VAL DI CHIANA
Montepulciano, Val di Chiana
Val di Chiana is located to the eastern border of Val d'Orcia and touches the region of Umbria to the south. It is a valley covering an area of about 2300 km2 with an average altitude of 405 meters. It has one of the most fertile grounds of the country, feature which is mainly due to the presence of numerous man-made channels and streams which were dug over the past centuries.
Val di Chiana is a great place for those who like outdoor activities, such as trekking, horseback riding or mountain biking. But for those looking for culture and history, this area has something to offer as well. Here you will find for example, 'La rocca longobarda di Civitella', which was destroyed during a bombing in 1944 and never reconstructed, or the National Archaeological Museum Gaio Cilnio Mecenate in Arezzo.
Located on top of a hill you will find Montepulciano, the largest municipality of Val di Chiana. As this municipality is surrounded by fortifications and several Renaissance palaces and churches, a visit there will represent a sort of journey back in time. In other words, Val di Chiana is definitely worth a visit!
Here originate the Chianina, a breed of cattle from which the famous "Bistecca alla fiorentina" (Florentine steak) derives.
Book your accommodation, choosing between hotel, B&B, residence, farmhouse in Val di Chiana!
The medieval village of Cetona, located in the southern east province of Siena, still preserves its ancient origins.
It stands on a hill with a fortress (Rocca) situated at the highest point of Monte Cetona (1148 meters above sea level) surrounded by pine trees and cypresses. In Cetona there are still traces of the ancient walls.
To visit: The Archaeological Natural Park in the Belverde-Biancheto Area, where you can see traces of ancient settlements dating back to prehistory.
Situated at the border between Umbria and Tuscany, Chianciano Terme has always been famous for the healing properties of its mineral waters, known since the time of the Etruscans and Romans. Etruscan origins are demonstrated by important findings, like paintings and objects, including about 70 canopic jars inside the imposing necropolis (more than 700 tombs so far discovered) near the city.
Chianciano is located between Val di Chiana and Val d'Orcia.
Chianciano Vecchia stands on a hill, partly surrounded by medieval walls. Still retains part of its ancient urban plan.
The new village, however, has grown up around the famous Terme, among which we mention: the Acquasanta, Park Fucoli Park Baths of St. Helena, the Thermal Baths of the sensory and Sillene.
View: Museo Etrusco - Associazione geo-archelogica di Chianciano Terme
Chiusi, which extends between the ValdiChiana and Val d'Orcia in southern Tuscany border with Umbria, is worldwide famous for its Etruscan origins: it was, in fact, one of the 12 cities comprising the Etruscan dodecapoli and one of the oldest known Etruscan cities.
Today is a very important archaeological site, famous for its Etruscan findings. Many of the finds are collected at the National Etruscan Museum of Archaeology, as well as the Etruscan tombs called "della Pellegrina" (Pilgrim's Tomb) and "del Leone" (Lion's Tomb). It is possibile to walk inside the Labyrinth of King Porsenna, king of Etruria lived in the fifth century BC who, according to the legend, wanted his tomb at the center of a maze that lies beneath the city. In fact the tunnels that run in the city's underground where in the past streets that led to tanks used for the collection of rainwater. No trace of the tomb of King Porsenna was found, although hopes are not completely exhausted because only a small part of the underground galleries have been recovered, yet, while the corridors digged into the tuff sandstone run under the whole city. They were filled with several materials by Romans and slowly brought to light only during the twentieth century.
Places to visit: in addition to the National Archaeological Museum and the Etruscan tombs already mentioned, the Tomb of the Monkey (della Scimmia), the Civic Museum and the Cathedral Museum, which gives access to the Labyrinth of Porsenna (with guided tour offered).
A few miles from town there's a beautiful lake where you can see different species of birds.
Sinalunga extends between the Val di Chiana and Val Ombrone and is divided into two parts: the village at the top and the Parish at the bottom.
Sinalunga is well known for its culinary products, including wine, oil and Chianina beef, used for the famous Florentine steak.
Sinalunga was an Etruscan settlement of Chiusi lucumonia; you will find there, remains of an ancient city walls dating back to the medieval time and some towers in the south-east.
Trequanda stands on a hill between Val di Chiana and Asso Valley.
It has Etruscan origins, even if the main development occurred in the Middle Ages, when the Cacciaconti Castle was built, that still exists and around which the village has expanded.
Grown under the influence of Siena, Trequanda fell, together with Siena, under the Florentine Republic of Medici, in 1554.
Early in the nineteenth century the territory was invaded and occupied by the French troops led by Napoleon Bonaparte, and annexed, then, to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, in 1815, and with this to the Italian Kingdom in 1861.
Attractions in Trequanda: the Church of Saints Peter and Andrew, the old villages of Petroio and Castelmuzio with the beautiful Romanesque parish church of Santo Stefano.
The town was awarded with the prestigious Orange Flag of the Italian Touring Club, a symbol used to reward some inland locations selected and certified by the Touring for their particular features.
Trequanda is one the countries that are on the "Nature Train" route, a train that, every Sunday from May to October, crosses the southern countryside of Siena, through the valleys of Arbia and Orcia and area of the Crete Senesi.
Montepulciano is situated on the top of a hill between Val di Chiana and Val d'Orcia, and is the largest municipality of Val di Chiana.
Founded by the Etruscans, the popular tradition located in Montepulciano, a sort of summer residence of King Porsenna.
Read more about Montepulciano
San Casciano dei Bagni
San Casciano dei Bagni, Orange Flag of the Italian Touring Club, is located on the slopes of Mount Cetona (583 meters above sea level). Founded by the Etruscans and later ruled by the Romans, it is famous from the beginning for its thermal water.
At the end of Roman rule and with arrival of the barbarian invasions, thermal bath underwent a decline, both in San Casciano and all over the Italian territory. In the Middle Ages San Casciano dei Bagni was under the jurisdiction of the Abbey of San Salvatore, during the 13th century under the Visconti family and finally annexed to the Republic of Siena, in 1412.
Thanks to the Medici and Lorena families, the Baths were restored and finally relaunched in recent years, also thanks to the creation of a spa complex that is among the most important in the world. The baths represent now the main attraction of the city.
Sights: Chiesa basilicale, the collegiate church of San Casciano, the Oratory of San Antonio.
Events: Festival of ciaffagnone, the first Sunday in June. The "ciaffagnone" is a pancake made of cheese
The patron is celebrated on August 13: Saint San Casciano.