Photo by Giulio Bernardi
A Postcard-Perfect Drive
Find any postcard of Tuscany—likely emblazoned with rolling wheat fields, a rustic farmhouse, spiky cypress trees, and sunlight so perfect it casts everything in a warm glow—and chances are it was taken in the Val d’Orcia. Set in the southern part of Tuscany, this region is considered one of the most scenic in a region replete with pretty panoramas; its beauty is so special that the valley was proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004, specifically for its landscape. The best way to soak it all up is with a ride through the valley. Take the SR2 route from Siena to Buonconvento (make a quick stop to check out its early Romanesque church), then turn onto the SP146 and meander towards Pienza (famous for its cheese) and Montepulciano (known for its wine). Along the way, you’ll pass one breathtaking view after another, so make sure your camera battery is charged. Arguably the most popular shot is of the hilltop Vitaleta Chapel just outside of Pienza—itself another UNESCO-protected site.
By Sandra Ramani, AFAR Contributor
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53026 Pienza SI, Italy