Val D'Orcia is a beautiful valley located in the Siena area in Tuscany, Italy. Thanks to the beauty of its landscape, this natural area became a UNESCO world heritage site in 2004. Indeed these stunning panoramas, nowadays wisely preserved, have inspired several famous painters of the Tuscan Renaissance.
Nestled in the heart of Val D'Orcia, you will find an architectural jewel that you can visit, the Abbey of Sant'Antimo.
Find Val D'Orcia and enjoy its places, panoramas, and the food!
Driving through the Val D'Orcia will be an unforgettable travel experience. Soon you will realize what characterizes this site: the contradiction of feeling a wide palette of emotions through the quietness of a uniform hills landscape. Exploring this area, you will easily bump into a beautiful, well preserved medieval hamlet that will make you feel as if you’ve travelled one thousand years into the past. The most famous villages are Pienza, Montalcino, and Radicofani.
Ask for the typical food and drink of the area, such as the wines (Pici, Brunello di Montalcino, DOC Orcia), and the cold cuts and cheeses (Cinta senese, Pecorino di Pienza).
Find a beautiful Abbey nestled in nature
The Abbey of Sant'Antimo is a must visit during your trip through the Val D'Orcia. This religious building represents a rare example of Romanesque art, highlighted by the beauty of the surrounding landscape.
There is a legend about its erection, stating that Charlemagne himself founded the abbey on the way back from his travels in Rome, in 781. Historical accounts have it that he was walking with his army along the Via Francigena, an ancient road running from France to Rome, when he stopped near the abbey.
The first official documents stating the existence of the Abbey of Sant'Antimo are dated back to 814 AC.
Admire a unique example of Romanesque Art
The building, nowadays, was erected between the XI and XII century on an earlier edifice. To gather a certain magniloquence, the abbot of that time asked some French architects to design the new church. Indeed, the building is clearly inspired to the abbeys of Vignory and Cluny in France.
As you can see in the picture, the exterior is built of a local white travertine characterized by golden veining that brightens the entire structure. The bell tower is designed using Lombard architecture, and the portal, dating back to the last decades of the 1200s, is finely decorated.
Take some times to stand in the field around the church, and enjoy this breath-taking landscape!
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Go inside the church and enjoy a unique atmosphere
Inside the church you will enjoy a deep feeling of relaxation, similar to that of meditation. The church consists of three high naves, ending with three chapels. It is presumed that the right chapel was the main chapel of the pre-existing church. Admire the sculptured capitals, the frescoes, and the wooden roof, typical of religious buildings in Tuscany.
Near the church altar you can also find the access for a suggestive crypt. The crypt could also be an earlier work, and maybe used to host the relics of Saint Anthimus.
Siena (Province) Tour Guide
<p>I am a lively well-spoken tour guide and tour leader from Florence, and a person who has the ability to motivate different sets of audience; to communicate effectively and possesses a high degree of energy and enthusiasm.</p><p>I am able to manage multiple tasks, self-motivated team player with excellent communication skills. I am proficient in Italian, English and Norwegian and possess a strong love for art and culture and enjoy passing on this passion for our land to my guests in an exciting and educational manner which will leave them not only with a lasting memory of the country that they have visited but also of myself and the company I am working for.</p><p>Come with me and explore the best Florence has to offer. From world class museums and galleries to famous sites such as Santa Maria del Fiore, Santa Croce, Santa Maria Novella and the Palazzo Vecchio! I will ensure guests get the most out of their visit. I can show off Florence and Tuscany's hidden treasures such as narrow medieval street, hidden gardens, unique shops, and the quirky details that make a tour memorable while discovering Florence's past, present and future.</p><p>I am very adaptable and flexible with guests' interests and taking into account any special events or the weather. With me as a private guide, guests will have the time to fully experience Florence - stopping to take the perfect photo or popping into one of the shops, cafes or pubs.</p><p>I am also an enthusiastic well-spoken language teacher who has the ability to motivate different student ranges and a freelance translator for English and Scandinavian languages! I have a great passion for art and cooking, and consider cooking to be a high art form, so I suggest how to pair food and wine, while also looking for the right setting, as eating should be an all-around experience. I love cooking and make my own pasta, bread and pizza!</p>
Tours by Sara
Siena (Province) Tour Guide
Hello, my name is Joanna. I was born and raised in Poland but then I fell hopelessly in love with Tuscany and have been living in Florence for 20 years. Wisely enough, I decided to turn my passion into work and became a tour guide. Now I can share with you my immense love for the beauty, history and art of these enchanted places. I am particularly passionate about the Middle Ages, history, sculpture, nature and sports. In my spare time, I travel, read, go to concerts, play sports and do a lot of hiking. I work mainly in Florence and Siena but I love going to Lucca, less known Tuscan beauty and Pisa. I can also organize a food tour, a wine tasting or a day trip in Tuscany.
Tours by Joanna
Find the Val D'Orcia and all its treasures nestled in its amazing landscape
Your trip in Val D'Orcia will be a beautiful experience between history, amazing panoramas, and delicious, typical food.
If you are lucky while visiting the Abbey of Sant'Antimo, you may find its community of Canons Regular Prèmontre celebrating their religious function, singing the Gregorian chants!
The community of monks living in the abbey is also known as the White Canons, recognized by their all white dress..
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