Pienza Old Town

Pienza Old Town

Route: Pienza Old Town

Area: Italy, Tuscany

Date of walk: 9th October 2019

Walkers: Andrew and Gilly

Distance: 2.0 miles

Ascent: 100 feet

Weather: Late afternoon sunshine and good light

This morning’s walk around Radicofani was only a short one, and this left sufficient time for us to revisit Pienza Old Town on this last day of our walking holiday in the Val d’Orcia region of Tuscany. We’d visited the town on the first day, having walked there from San Quirico, so we knew what to expect. Having passed under the arched Porta al Murello, which is the western entrance to the old town, we turned right to join the Passeggiata Panoramica. This is a belvedere path along the edge of the town walls, with wonderful views over the Val d’Orcia, which were shown in good light in the late afternoon sun

The path ends briefly at the walls of the Cathedral, but resumes again at the other side. We followed it to the end and then walked into the old town and wandered around the streets. We then returned to the Passeggiata Panoramico and the friendly Bar Il Casello for a prosecco and a final gaze over the rolling hills of the Tuscan countryside, a wonderful end to a wonderful walking holiday

In conclusion, some notes on walking in the Val d’Orcia area:

  • Pienza is a good base, as is nearby San Quirico. All the walks this week were within a short drive, save for Pitigliano, which is about 1 hour away
  • We stayed in the Tenuta Santo Pietro, about 5 minutes drive from Pienza. This is a 12 bedroom inn which produces its own wine, olive oil and fruit. All the food served here is fresh, seasonal, locally sourced – and delicious. The staff were all very friendly and efficient and I can recommend the place without hesitation
  • A hired car is necessary
  • We used the Tiemme bus service several times as a means of getting back to the start of a linear walk. Note however that it is serving remote rural communities and may only pass through some villages a couple of times a day. It’s necessary to check times before planning a walk
  • Navigation – we used the Kompass set of 4 maps of Tuscany, sourced from Stanfords. These are on a scale of 1:50,000, which is adequate for the terrain. The quality of the paper maps doesn’t match that of the Ordance Survey, but then nothing does
  • We used the Cicerone guides as a source of the routes. ‘Walking in Tuscany’ by Gillian Price is to the same high standard as the other guidebooks
  • Route finding was generally easy, and many of the paths were waymarked. Thanks to the gentle rolling nature of the Tuscan hills, the paths were easy to walk, many of them being along ‘strada bianca’ – white chalk roads – which make for quick progress, with only the occasional passing car

Click here or on the Map Page icon for a map of Pienza (I’ve not shown a route as it’s best to wander where your fancy takes you)

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