Tuscany. Monticchiello – Does it a good idea to Val d’Orcia?

Val d’Orcia, the most picturesque part of Tuscany, is famous for its postcard landscapes, charming towns, winding cypress roads and fine cuisine and wine. Despite the great popularity of the valley, it can be found places not crowded and covered by mass tourism. One of them is the tiny Monticchiello located on a hill. On the small area you will find everything that is best. I would say the thesis, that this is a very good idea, both for a quick getaway from the Val d’Orcia as well as a base for a longer stay in this part of the region. In the post you will find a venue with very cool, proven agritourism and absolutely phenomenal osterie, which is difficult to get without reservation of the table. Come and see!

 

Does it worth to go to Monticchiello?

Definitely yes! I love this town and will try to convince you to visit it. In Val d’Orica (since 2004 on the UNESCO list) and on its outskirts, more specifically in the neighboring Val d’Chiana, there are a three absolutely pearls: Montepulciano (officially Val d’Chiana) – the largest and most refined, although definitely worth to visit, Pienza – smaller, although tourists are little less than in the first one, and Monticchiello – the smallest, out of the main routes. How many tourists? Hardly! So if you only had a few hours to the Orcia Valley (no matter the reason) and wondered where to go to feed your senses, then you know my answer. But Monticchiello is also a very good base for exploring the whole valley as well as the Val d’Chiana.

włochy monticchiello toskania tuscany italy

Monticchiello in the daylight seen from the side road. Below in the post I give a hints where to find this place.

 

What to see in Monticchiello?

Get to know one of the most beautiful little town in Tuscany.

Town, or maybe village. Medieval Montichiello is a small settlement, dating back to Roman times, and flourished at the age of XIII and its attachment to the Republic of Siena. Coming from the picturesque road from the Pienza side, the tower is first noticed, followed by the stone walls of 1260. The road leads to the St. Agata. In front of the gate along the street are parking lots, and slightly below the small, free parking. Passing through the gate its like to travel to another world. First you can see is peace and quiet, and also the amazing, typical Tuscan atmosphere. What to see in Monticchiello? The whole village is one great monument and the best way to explore it is to take a leisurely stroll through the charming streets. Interesting is Chiesa dei Santi Leonardo e Cristforo – together with the frescoes dating back to the Middle Ages, which were discovered in the last century.

włochy monticchiello toskania tuscany italy

Monticchiello Toskania Włochy Val d'Orcia Tuscany Italy

włochy monticchiello toskania tuscany italy
włochy monticchiello toskania tuscany italy
włochy monticchiello toskania tuscany italy
włochy monticchiello toskania tuscany italy
As you can see on the pictures, Monticchiello we were visited in the evening, around 8pm. While walking we could not believe our eyes. It was September, high season for Tuscany, but we were there completely alone. Not that there were no other tourists, I didn’t meet a single resident. Incredible, weird feeling. Where are the people? The puzzle was about to be explained in a moment. Notice the picture below and the door next to the stairs. By crossing them we took a step into another dimension. Why?

włochy monticchiello toskania tuscany italy
 

Where to eat in Monticchiello?

Let me tell you about Osteria La Porta

That wasn’t in our plan. About the existence of Osteria La Porta we learned just after come to Monticchiello and cross the city gate. We were going to find a place for dinner, and this one caught our eye. We walked down the intimate streets and returned to the door. Crossing the threshold was a shock. Inside this inconspicuous pub was all the people. The first thought is that we probably found residents. It turned out,
that the meal was consumed both locals and tourists from nearby agritourism and other towns. It was the end of September, the middle of the week, but the free tables were missing despite the fact that the premises are large, the space is both ground floor and mezzanine and terrace overlooking the Pienza. After a dozen minutes of waiting we got a table on the mezzanine, because the couple which has reservation didn’t come. By showing you Osteria La Porta, I will use both my own photos as well as those from the website of the restaurant, made in the daylight.

© Osteria La Porta

© Osteria La Porta

© Osteria La Porta

We took the sit. Gucia in restaurants (in Italy in my opinion there is no ban on entering the restaurant with the dog, if such law exists, it is not complied by the service) usually lies under the table or sleeps in the adjacent chair, completely disinterested in what is happening – on the table. Our dog, adopted at the age of 6 months, has always been an avid dog. On this trip we traveled through Italy including Sicily, for a total of 30 days, and feeding a dog was one of the biggest problem. At home, the cat manages the problem he’s very craving, so as soon as he finishes his portion, immediately goes to the dog bowl. Such an argumentation is enough for Gucia to enjoy eating a meal. Unfortunately, there was no cat on the way, so we had a problem.Cozze? No way! Pizza? No, this Italian one is not worth a try, the home pizza is better. Ham long maturing? Well maybe I can eat a piece or two. Scamorza bianca cheese at Aunt Marta in Matera? Okay, that’s good. And so on. Returning to the penultimate evening of this trip. Gucia took an adjacent seat on a chair tucked under a table and as usual had a hangover on everything. We received a menu, not too extensive, which in my opinion is an advantage, but anyway the dish was already selected earlier. Bistecca alla fiorentina, a bloody beefsteak by Florentine, which I wrote more here tutaj. The price of fiorentina in La Porta is 5 euros / 100g, which comes out about 60 euros for a bone weighing dish, usually about 1.2kg (less serving), and in my opinion one steak is enough to feed two persons. So we ordered a fiorentina, in the meantime we received extras such as bread, beans, and of course – as in any respectable restaurant – a bottle of olive oil. The lady serving our table also recommended to us a sparkling wine. We weren’t convinced because the bottle cost 16 euros, but with a clever play we got glasses with a portion for the tasting and we were gone. Heaven in mouth! The bottle was on the table.

włochy monticchiello toskania tuscany italy
włochy monticchiello toskania tuscany italy

 
Our fiorentine was brought in. Gucia, sleeping under the table, suddenly stunned like a genie from a bottle and followed her nose with the smell of meat. Listen, the taste was fantastic! This is the best fiorentina we have ever eaten! Gucia signaled that she also wants to get her portion. I laid down a few napkins and cut a piece of it. She didn’t eat, she was consuming like a vacuum cleaner! One bite for me, the next for her. When I ate two, I was clawed and called to order. When I slowed down, there was also dissatisfaction. What was it for the evening? Delicious food, fine wine. I know I will return to Osteria La Porta for sure, but already smarter about those experiences I’ll book a table, necessarily on the terrace overlooking the hills.

włochy monticchiello toskania tuscany italy
włochy monticchiello toskania tuscany italy
włochy monticchiello toskania tuscany italy
włochy monticchiello toskania tuscany italy

włochy monticchiello toskania tuscany italy
włochy monticchiello toskania tuscany italy
włochy monticchiello toskania tuscany italy
 

Osteria La Porta – when to come in?

The website shows that the property is open at noon and in the evening, which is from 12:00 to 15:30 max. And from 19:30, 20:00 to close, which may be 23:00 or later. Completely closed on Thursdays. Website Osteria La Porta, .Osteria La Porta, also in English. Let’s look on photos of Monticchiello in day light.

© Osteria La Porta

© Osteria La Porta

© Osteria La Porta

© Osteria La Porta

© Osteria La Porta

© Osteria La Porta

Where to sleep in Monticchiello?

Welcome to the Barbi agritourism

włochy sprawdzony nocleg toskania val d'orcia barbi monticchiello

 

 
Just one and a half kilometer from the village, on the rolling hills of Val d’Orcia, surrounded by hectares of olive trees and with a view of Pienza, is located Agriturismo Barbi. Three very nice furnished apartments, two of them in a separate building on the other side of the road and a little eccentric owner named Vilmo, whose small part of a land in a small fraction of a scene (but nevertheless) was immortalized in the movie “The Twilight. New Moon” when the main characters run the yellow Porsche to Volterra. Actually, the scenes that took place in Volterra​ itself were filmed in Montepulciano, and the frenzy driveway to the small town was filmed just off the road to Monticchiello, just outside Vilmo’s house.

włochy sprawdzony nocleg toskania val d'orcia barbi monticchiello

Host house and at the same time the main building. This door to the right in which Gucia lies is the entrance to our apartment. 

włochy sprawdzony nocleg toskania val d'orcia barbi monticchiello

Fragment of the road to Monticchiello, near Agriturismo Barbi. In the distance on the right you can see the Pienza.

włochy sprawdzony nocleg toskania val d'orcia barbi monticchiello

włochy sprawdzony nocleg toskania val d'orcia barbi monticchiello

włochy sprawdzony nocleg toskania val d'orcia barbi monticchiello

włochy sprawdzony nocleg toskania val d'orcia barbi monticchiello

Table in front of our apartment. It was really nice to spend time there.

włochy sprawdzony nocleg toskania val d'orcia barbi monticchiello

Vilmo cultivates olive trees with purely organic methods. Its olive oil, which sample in the form of a small bottle of 0.1l receives guests, is incredible tasty, has also won numerous awards and is said to be considered one of the best products of this type in Tuscany. Cons is it’s not cheap, for a bottle of 0.7 l capacity in 2014 we paid 18.5 euros. We spent for a night 80 euros per day, now in mid September night cost about 90 euros for a double apartment. The Agriturismo Barbi website Agriturismo Barbi, unfortunately does not encourage, it is simply ugly. You will find out more about the Barbi on the Booking. Unfortunately, in this case I do not have photos of the middle of the apiary, but its appearance is nothing like what is shown on the booking. The kitchen is well equipped, even with the coffee maker and the coffee itself, the rooms are very nice and clean, including the bathroom, which also has a washing machine. But beware. The breakfast mentioned in the offer is in fact a basket of biscuits, nutella, jams and butter, waiting in the kitchen for self servise, ncluding the aforementioned pack of coffee for moons and optional coffee in capsules because such a coffee maker is available there. In a word, prepare your own breakfast and if you want to eat, visit a grocery store. This breakfast doesn’t bother me because biscuits and pre-packed long-lasting croissants may not exist for me, so the next day we did shopping at the Coop store which I really like. The smaller version of this store is located in the town of San Quirico d’Orcia, exactly in this area.

I very much like to stay at Vilmo and would be happy to return to this agritourism. First of all the location is great, close to everywhere. The undoubted advantages of staying in Barbi are the fact that Vilmo has a deal with the owners of Osteria La Porta and every guest receives a 10% discount on food at the bar, moreover, Vilmo will help you in booking a table, just ask. I unfortunately learned about it after, because after arriving to Barbi we didn’t find the owner at home and went to dinner at Monticchiello. The rest of the story you already know. For lovers of Tuscan cuisine, Vilmo sells hand made pici, elegantly curled and prepacked in the same way as in the shop. Unfortunately, the price is almost double, in 2014 it was probably 5 or 5.5 euros per pack. If some of you take advantage of my recommendation and go to Vilmo, then I will be very happy if you greet him from me, and when you return, you will post a comment here under the post. I’m curious if it’s still there so good.

 

Where to find the best panoramic point in Monticchiello?

Directions to the “cypress spring”

monticchiello cyprysowa droga toskania val d'orcia włochy tuscany italy cypresses road
“The cypress spring” is one of my favorite viewpoints in the Orcia Valley. This unusual shade of the road is just before the entrance to Monticchiello from the Chianciano Terme side, but to snap it, as seen on the photo above, turn to the ground on the Pienza side. How to find it, details, map and advice photography tips can be found in the post to which I link below. From the same place you also photograph Monticchiello in full glory.

Toskania – najpiękniejsze punkty widokowe w Val d’Orcia

Why Monticchiello is a good idea at Val d’Orcia?

Just 20 km from the A1 motorway exit at the Chiusi – Chianciano Terme junction.

If you are traveling on the “sun motorway” or “autosole” and want to spend a couple of hours on the road, without too much of a bounce, but at the same time willing to relax in a place without crowds of tourists, with beautiful views and delicious cuisine, Monticchiello seems to be the ideal solution. Going off the A1 motorway at the Chiusi – Chianciano Terme junction, head to the second town and then directly to Monticchiello. What’s more, this route will allow you to reach the place by beating the “cypress spring”. Emotion guaranteed!

How to get to the Monticchiello?

If you have any questions, please, please them below in the comments under this post, I will try to answer each and every and advise. I would also like to read about your experience traveling to Tuscany, confidently sharing information, they will certainly help those who are planning to leave.

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Natalia

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