Today was our last full day in Val d’Orcia which is a beautiful, river valley in Tuscany that extends from the hills south of Siena to Monte Amiata (Tallest Mountain in Tuscany). From our home base in Montepulciano we drove to the nearby hill towns of Pienza and Montalcino to close out our stay.
Pienza is built on hill but was unexpectedly flat to walk around unlike all the other hill towns we explored. There is a wonderful panoramic walk around the perimeter with great views of Val d’Orcia below and Monte Amiata in the distance. For lunch, we found a nice restaurant with a gorgeous view and had to have our picture taken against that backdrop.
Pienza was designed in the 15th century to be the ideal Renaissance town. It is also the birthplace of two popes (Pious II and Pious III). The main square is Piazza Pio II with a beautiful flower garden in front of the Duomo (Cathedral).
Montalcino was busy with lots of small stands lined up along the narrow streets for the Friday market. It was a pleasant day to wander around given that it’s been rainy in the afternoon for the last several days. The small, main square is the Piazza del Popolo and it’s slender town hall and bell tower is Palazzo Comunale.
Arrivederci for now to our adventures in the beautiful Val d’Orcia valley and hill towns. And especially to our wonderful home base of Montepulciano!