When we talk about the beauties of Italy, Tuscany is certainly one of the first regions that comes to mind. Thanks to the boundless green spaces, the inestimable artistic heritage and good food, this region offers to its visitors a variety of tourist itineraries. Among the most popular activities, food and wine tours lead to the the discovery of the centuries-old winemaking tradition of the area and the excellence of the wines that originate from this region.
In the land of Brunello
Starting from the city of Siena and continuing southwards, you arrive in the land of Brunello di Montalcino. Here it's not to be missed a stop in San Quirico d'Orcia, an ancient Etruscan village which is halfway between two other unmissable stops in Val d'Orcia: Montalcino and Pienza.
Montalcino owes its international fame to the very famous wine produced here: Brunello. Walking through the streets of this charming medieval village, there are many wineries that you can visit to learn about and taste this red wine with an intense, persistent and ethereal aroma. One of the most interesting realities for the production of Brunello is La Poderina, located close to Castelnuovo dell'Abate: an area known for the particular elegance and balance of the grapes. In accordance with business philosophy, fully centered into respect of tradition supported by innovation, wines of La Poderina are aged in French oak barriques as well as in large barrels. Here, Brunello is produced in two versions: “Poggio Abate" Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG and Brunello di Montalcino DOCG.
The estate has 2 apartments of 50mq, equipped with kitchen, TV and Wi -Fi. At guest's disposal, the possibility of booking a visit to the winery with tasting or a visit to the vineyards with off-road vehicle.
La Poderina is an excellent starting point for those who also want to visit nearby Pienza, which is considered the “Renaissance utopia" of the ideal city and was recognized as a UNESCO Site in 1996. Stop in the gastronomic shops and taste the famous local products: from "pecorino" to "caciotta", with a fresh and unmistakable flavor.
Not to be missed is a visit to Bagno Vignoni: a tiny medieval village built around a large pool of hot and steaming thermal waters, known since Roman times.
Towards the ancient village of Montepulciano, home of the Nobile wine
Still in Val d'Orcia, between olive groves and vineyards, you can visit Montepulciano. It is perched on a hill, from where it's possible to admire the charm of the Tuscan hills. Between its cobbled and uphill streets, time seems to have stopped at 1500.
What has made this village famous all over the world is the highly prized wine obtained from the vineyards cultivated in the surrounding hills: "Montepulciano of every wine is the King" wrote the writer Francesco Redi in the seventeenth century, referring to the red produced in the municipality of the same name in province of Siena and today known as Nobile di Montepulciano.
It is one of the most ancient wines, a great enological excellence of Tuscany. It comes from a historic clonal selection of Sangiovese grape, here called Prugnolo Gentile, and from other possible indigenous red berried grapes, such as Canaiolo, used in a minimum part. The DOCG disciplinary provides for a minimum aging of 24 months, of which at least 12 in wood, which reaches 36 months for the Riserva.
Fattoria del Cerro, located in Acquaviva in Montepulciano, is the largest private producer of Vino Nobile. The spaciousness and the different exposition of the vineyards allow selecting the best grapes to make high quality wines. Guests of the estate, which has 11 rooms, have the opportunity to try an unforgettable experience between tastings in the cellar, e-bike tours and cooking lessons with chef Stefano Azzi from Villa Grazianella.
In the direction of Tirrenian sea: Val di Cornia
A perfect itinerary for nature lovers is the one that crosses the Val di Cornia. Between the green hills of Campiglia and the blue sea of the Etruscan Coast, the Parks of the Val di Cornia, in Tuscany, tell a thousand-year history, which starts from the ancient Etruscan people and testifies centuries of extraction and processing of metals up to the age closest to us
One of the unmissable stops on this journey is the Archaeological Park of Baratti and Populonia which extends between the slopes of the promontory of Piombino and the Gulf of Baratti, and it includes the area where the Etruscan and Roman city of Populonia stood, known since antiquity for the intense metallurgical activity linked to the production of iron. Beyond the medieval walls that surround Populonia, it is possible to admire the Rocca which, built in the first half of the fifteenth century, contains paved alleys, small shops and the private Gasparri Collection, which preserves Etruscan, Roman and underwater finds.
Another suggested journey is Suvereto: a very small medieval village where you can still admire the walls, the Rocca Aldobrandesca and other buildings from 1200-1300. For some years the town has been included among the "most beautiful villages in Italy" and thanks to the important companies operating in the wine sector, "the wine route" was created: a path between wineries and vineyards, to discover a territory to savor and taste.
A strategic place for a holiday to discover this area is the Monterufoli Estate which covers an area of 1,030 hectares of hills between 150 and 500 meters above sea level. This splendid scenery, immersed in the Monterufoli-Caselli Nature Reserve, is full of paths that offer scenic beauty and links to the traditions of the territory, rich in minerals. The remains of the lignite and magnesite mines and the old chalcedony quarries known since ancient times for the execution of mosaics are evidence of this.