Walk from medieval Siena to Pienza, the first Renaissance ‘city’ • The best of Southern Tuscany, with its superb art and architecture • Irresistible rolling hills, long views and the picturesquely eroded ‘crete’ • Some of the best wine-producing areas in Tuscany – Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano • Exquisite abbeys of Sant’Antimo and Monte Oliveto Maggiore
|Southern Tuscany:|| Itinerary
Walking: Open hills with long views. Paths lie mostly along farm tracks, ancient drove roads, forest tracks, and gravel country roads.
Cycling: a mixture of small asphalted country roads and strade bianche
(well-surfaced gravel roads). Wonderful views justify cycling uphill.
When to go
Start any day from 01 Apr to 24 Oct
***Siena the best preserved great medieval city in Europe. An abundance of outstanding 14C and 15C art and architecture. Also see the Piazza del Campo, scene of the Palio horserace.
* Buonconvento small town on ancient Via Cassia, museum with fine 14-15C Sienese pictures and Art Nouveau features.
* Montalcino superbly-sited medieval town with castle (1361) and Museo Civico with fine Sienese pictures. Enoteche where you can taste (and buy!) the superb Brunello di Montalcino. Nearby is the exquisite 11C church of Sant'Antimo, built of alabaster and onyx.
* Bagno Vignoni Roman thermal baths occupy the village piazza.
** Pienza birthplace of Aeneas Piccolomini, elected Pope Pius II in 1458, who changed the town's name from Corsignano to Pienza by Papal bull and employed Rossellini in 1462 to transform it into a tiny Renaissance 'city'. Palazzo Piccolomini, Duomo and museum. Outside: Pieve di Corsignano, with 6C crypt.
** Montepulciano (optional route continuation) Fine palazzi, cathedral, frescoed churches and museum with Della Robbias as well as the superb Renaissance church of San Biagio.
Flights & Transport
Recommended Destination Airport: Pisa
There are international flights to Pisa and Florence. From Pisa Airport trains run frequently to Siena (change at Empoli), the start of your trip. The airport in Florence is five miles from the train station (airport bus) from where trains run direct to Siena. Return: buses from Pienza connect with trains to Siena, Pisa, Florence etc. Most places on route are connected by public transport, or taxi.
No. of nights with half board (dinner included): 1
Cycle hire: £60 / $108
Shortest / Longest days walk: 2 hrs 30 / 7 hrs