Val d’Orcia stretches to the south of Siena, at the foot of an extinct volcano Monte Amiata is a land of dream for every enthusiast of photography and one of the most popular region in Europe for outdoor shooting. It’s comes from here majority of famous views printed on postcards. In this post you will find out where to go and what place you must choose to snap by yourself the most popular panoramas adorning numerous postcards and Tuscany travel guides.
Pienza – The Gladiator waking back home
Remember the final scene of Gladaitor movie, when injured Maximus dying in the Roman Colosseum walk back home on the field of ripe grain and heading in the direction of home where are waiting for him his wife and son? This scene was filmed at the foot of Pienza, and exactly between the village and the farmhouse Terrapille, where you can now rent a room or apartment for your stay in Val d’Orcia. Website Agriturismo Terrapille.
Terrapille – May 2013
Terrapille – September 2014
How to get there ? I remind you that this is a classic Google map, you can zoom in and out, pan.
Coming already along a dirt road watch out for the chassis of your car, because the road is very bumpy. Equally beautiful view of the countryside Terrapille you can enjoy from Pienza from the viewing terrace, to which you reach an alley starting on the right side of the entrance to the cathedral. I would recommend this view, especially in spring is very impressive.
View form Pienza- May 2013
View form Pienza – September 2013 – wrzesień 2014
Clump of cypress trees on the way to Montalcino
Lonely clump of cypress trees seen in Tuscany once, decades ago had a unusual task of luring wild birds to hidden among the trees traps – perches covered by some sort of glue. The glue was produced by cooking and pureeing fruits of mistletoe. These birds were eaten by poor local people. Yes, although it’s difficult for us to imagine today that, a few decades ago in Tuscany there was terrible poverty, and people were starving. the clump visible in the photo is on the road to Montalcino and today is a great attraction besieged by lovers of photography.
Monticchiello – „the cypress spring” road
„the cypress spring” in May
„The cypress spring” is my favorite view in the Val d’Orcia. The road begins in Monticchiello and leads to Chianciano Terme. To snap the picture you should just before the entrance to Monticchiello from the Pienza direction turn right into a narrow street and past the farm on the left. On the road you will see only a fragment of „spring”, so to capture all road visible in the image above you have to go into the field. But beware! The field – as in almost all of the Val d’Orcia cases – is a clay and you need to make allowances to avoid being total dirty with clay from the knees down, especially when it is fresh after the rain.
‚the cypress spring” in September
Chianciano Terme – „the cypress swirl” road
Imagine, that this gravel road – althoughyou can travel on it – actually leads to only one farm! This is only the „driveway” to the house :)This approach ” the cypress swirl” you can snap from the place marked on the map as B. To get there you must turn off on the road SP40 in a small street on the right side of the entrance gate to the Villa La Foce and drive approx. 300 m.
But beware! I recommend this place only to persons who holds a good photographic equipmentbecause swirl seen with the naked eye looks, unfortunately, just like that:
And below is a view using camera with normal lens without the tele (poor zoom)
Closer you can drive up here:
And the view from the side of the road looks like this:
This picture was taken at the end of September. Note, that in addition to swirl I managed to capture Monte Amiata volcano, I am very happyand proud 🙂
San Quirico d’Orcia – Cappella della Madonna di Vitaleta
The chapel in May – picture taken from a distance
Located in the middle of the wheel, literally a household chapel is inscribed on the UNESCO list and almost as willingly photographed, like a lonely villa, you could seen at the beginning of an post. How to get there ? Although on the map below I indicated, the chapel as a destination, it’s – at the moment – impossible to reach it by car, because the dirt road on both sides was gated (one side chain of the second fence) and named – probably rightly – private area. The picture, that I posted here I shot on the road SP146 from a place, that is marked on the map as an intermediate point.
Update November 2014
Being in Tuscany in September, we decided to once again get closer to the chapel. We arrived at the place where the gate is set on the road. The entrance is still not possible, however, Arthur decided to go and take some pictures. With a soul on my arm, I waited for his return, fearing that the owner pops out with pretensions, but it turned out, that maybe it’s not allowed to enter on foot to someone properity and taking pictures, but the buildings next to the chapel are just outbuildings. So, if you are ready for a pretty picture and go approx. 1 km, I recommend it!
The chapel in September 2014
Lonely Villa in San Quirico d’Orcia
Lonely villa – May 2013
Lonely villa – May 2013
This villa is the most photographed outdoor facility in Val d’Orcia and one of the most popular sights. She adorns the cover including „Hills of Tuscany” by Ferenc Mate. Even before dawn in the bushes accumulate hordes of photography enthusiasts equipped with cameras with a giant lenses, waiting for the first rays of the rising sun. In the spring and autumn villa bathed in the morning is usually in dense fog looks like an island. The following map I posted an access to the point where we did a photo posted above.