Based in the town of Chianciano Terme, on this single-centre walking holiday you'll experience archetypal Tuscany: stunning timeless landscapes, delicious rustic cuisine, friendly local people and, of course, interesting walking routes.
This is not just a walking holiday it is a full immersion into local Tuscan life, from a guided walk passing the local produce providers to wine-tasting, a cookery class and a chance to bathe in sulphur-rich healing waters. You'll walk through ancient chestnut forests, vineyards and olive groves, passing lakes and freshwater ponds alive with the sounds of frog chorus. Visit mediaeval, Roman and Etruscan towns and villages, sample the Vino di Nobile of Montepulciano, rich Peccorino cheese in Pienza or take a bath in Roman Bagno Vignoni.
The walking takes in UNESCO World Heritage Val d'Orcia with its sweeping valleys laced with cypress trees and verdant green meadows. As summer sets in they turn a wonderful shade of terracotta. The adjoining Valdichiana is full of verdant vineyards as far as the eye can see.
Your base for the week is the modest but comfortable Agriturismo La Pietriccia, which stands on a hill with great views of Chianciano Vecchia. Stefano who runs the agriturismo will welcome you with his enthusiasm for everything to do with nature in the surrounding area. He will also lead the cookery course for you during your stay, and teach you all about the artisan products in the local area. The hotel produces 65% of what it serves on your table, and is surrounded by its own farm and orchards. There is a lovely terrace and swimming pool and lovely shady grassy area that looks out across the valley, where in the heat of summer you can take your dinner outside.
Take the train from Rome to Chiusi-Chianciano, where you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Perhaps enjoy a stroll to the old town, before your evening briefing by the owner, Stefano, and the first of many superb dinners. (Staying at the Agriturismo La Pietriccia for 7 nights, Half Board)
You'll start this morning with a guided walk passing the different producers that make this a special part of the world, through fruit orchards and vineyards, starting at a local oil mill, then visiting the Cinta Senese pigs followed by an area set up to allow truffles to grow and finishing off in Chianciano Vecchia, with great views of the Valdichiana before enjoying wine and local produce tasting in a charming cantina in the old town.
A short transfer takes you to the charming village of Castiglioncello; once abandoned it is now restored with a hotel and cafe, and the interesting Etruscan burial site. From the village you follow a trail through the forest to pass wonderful viewpoints of the area, dropping down to Poggio Pietraporciana, a Nazi gun point in the war. Continuing through the Pietraporciana Nature Reserve you pass the Rifugio Pietraporciana, once owned by the Marchesa of Val d'Orcia, Iris Origo, who during the war cordoned off this area to create a neutral zone, which the allies, Nazis and partisans all obeyed. From here, follow a path downhill through the forest to reach the beautiful Villa la Foce, the former residence of the noble Origo family and enjoy a drink at the Dopolavoro La Foce before a transfer back to the agriturismo.
As you descend into the Valdichiana, a mix of quiet lanes and gravel tracks provide perfect views of the vineyards and over to Monte Rufeno. Passing pretty farmhouses you make your way to the small town of Montallese, and from here you pick up the Sentiero della Bonifica, a long-distance path between Chiusi and Arezzo. This leads you to the charming Lake Chiusi, where you can enjoy the birdlife and perhaps lunch at the lakeside restaurant. You will be transferred back to the hotel.
This morning you have time to yourself, maybe walk into Chianciano Vecchia and visit the Etruscan Museum of Chianciano Terme, or use your voucher for the Theia Spa and relax in the healing waters or treat yourself to one of their many treatments. In the afternoon you begin your cookery class where you will learn classic Italian techniques and eat the meal you prepare for dinner.
A short transfer out of Chianciano to start the walk to the wine town of Montepulciano, where you will be rewarded with stunning views across the Valdichiana. Follow a chestnut-laden track to meet the forest road, then detour to the Convento dei Cappucini (optional), before following a track around the vines and farmlands up to Montepulciano. You will be picked up here, but before this, take time to explore the town, which is full of wine bars and shops and has plenty of tasting opportunities.
After a short transfer to Pienza, take time to explore the town, it is one of the cheese capitals of Italy, and a beautiful mediaeval historic centre. Perhaps pick up a sandwich filled with porchetta or a slab of rich and creamy pecorino cheese. The walk takes you downhill from Pienza, crossing the stunning Val d’Orcia. It is an easy walk following a well-marked trail, giving you the chance to take in the views of mediaeval towns, rolling hills and rows of cypress trees. You will reach Bagno Vignoni then follow the river Orcia before climbing up to the town passing the spring baths and the old mill, before arriving in the Roman town, with its large baths in the centre of town. Perhaps treat yourself to the hot waters of the Hotel Posta Marcucci, where the baths come with a view! We transfer you back to the hotel for your final night of Stefano’s superb food.
We take you back to the train station where you could possibly head to Florence or Rome for extra nights.
During your holiday you stay at the following hotels. If you'd like to extend your time at any of these or, if you'd like to enhance your stay with an upgraded room, just let us know at the time of booking.
NEARBY:The Agriturismo Pietriccia is a wonderful place sitting across a small valley from the old town of Chianciano, rewarding you with wonderful views. The simple hotel has large rooms with balconies or terraces. You will be given a warm welcome by the owner Stefano, who is extremely passionate about the produce of the local area and the nature. The agriturismo has a lovely pool and terrace a small garden area with a shady area. The food is superb traditional cuisine, and 65% of the produce is grown or reared on site.
If you'd like to extend your trip with extra nights at the start or end, or if you'd like to arrange a stop off point en-route, then we recommend the following hotels.
The 3-star Hotel Astoria Garden has a most unusual feature: an internal garden complete with banana and orange trees! Centrally located near the main railway station, but in a quiet residential street, this is a really good base from which to explore. There are 34 rooms, all air-conditioned and recently refurbished. They have telephone, television, and ensuite bathrooms.
Transfers included from Chiusi train station at 14:49, and back to Chiusi train station at 10:15.
Please call our sales team on 1-800-267-3347 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange connecting flights.
Everyone who goes on a Headwater holiday will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assessment of all aspects of their holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus an overall rating and comments about their holiday.
Any feedback collected is posted to our website, so that people can make an informed decision based on past experiences before heading off on holiday. We don’t edit the reviews, the only thing we do is proofread them and alter any typos, where necessary, to ensure they are easy to read for everyone. All reviews will be published (except in certain extreme circumstances), and a member of the Headwater team will respond to any constructive criticisms/comments under the reviews, at their discretion. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.
Stefano and his staff at La Pietriccia did everything to make our holiday successful. We got what we expected, and more! A return trip is called for, but when it's not raining!
Another excellent trip with Headwater, this time to a splendid Agriturismo in Tuscany, with excellent facilities, a great location for walking and superb cooking. Additional features included a cooking lesson one afternoon, a spa visit and a very enjoyable wine/cheese/salumi tasting in town. Thanks to Stefano and his family and friends for a very warm welcome and a most entertaining time!
Excellent holiday, food fantastic and Stefano was so enthusiastic about his cooking and the environment
This holiday was a great way to enjoy the Tuscan landscape, food, wine and local people. Really enjoyed the local countryside, villages and towns and came away feeling relaxed, well fed and keen to visit the area again.
This was a wonderful experience of rural Tuscany in a delightful Agriturismo with fantastic food and staff who made you feel very welcome. Stefano was very helpful in organising our walks and tailoring them to suit all abilities. This was one of our best holidays and we would really recommend this lovely corner of Tuscany.
Flexibility of walks during the week was a real positive. Hot days were catered for by Stefano and option to not walk at all was great. Additional Wine tasting, cooking and Spa gave good variety as well
A glorious experience of real rural Tuscany in every way. The staff made you feel part of the family and Stefano in particular made sure every aspect of the holiday was tailor made for each person. Couldn't have been better.
Stephano was a wonderful host, couldn't be more welcoming or helpful and we had a wonderful Tuscany experience. Had time to soak up the wild flowers , butterflies and wonderful aroma of the countryside.
An experience to treasure. Learned about the people and the area; enjoyed seeing how the farm was organised and how the 'slow food'/organic methods benefit the community.
Fantastic local produce including the wines. Walking routes were challenging but offered a real sense of achievement. Such a beautiful, sensuous region. Did not want to leave!
Stephano was an enthusiastic host and made us feel very welcome. He was very keen to please as were the other members of his family who are involved in the farm enterprise. He shared his passion for the region and for local living, telling us all about olive oil, bee keeping and wine making amongst other things and we learned a lot! The walking was excellent and the food was very plentiful and delicious....in fact we had to ask for small portions as we couldn’t keep up with the four courses!
A great holiday!
You can be confident that our pricing includes all the standard requirements of your holiday and many additional extras. Always ensure that you are comparing like for like when booking your holiday. Find out about The Headwater Price Promise to ensure you're getting the very best value for money.
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Please contact us for child prices.
Self-guided walking Managed locally by hotelier.
Every Saturday from 20th Apr 2019 to 26th Oct 2019, for 7 nights.
All buffet breakfasts and 4-course evening meals
Transfers included from Chiusi train station at 14:49, and back to Chiusi train station at 10:15.
Due to the tailor-made nature of our holidays, we need a little more information in order for us to check availability for A Taste of Tuscany Walking. Simply complete the form below and a member of our sales team will contact you (when it's most convenient for you) to provide availability information, travel options and an accurate price. Of course there's no obligation, but if you do wish to proceed with a booking they will be on-hand to assist you throughout the process.
Alternatively, you can call our sales team on 1-800-267-3347 to discuss your requirements in more detail.
We've been creating high-quality relaxed activity holidays since 1985 and our wealth of experience means we're able to build the perfect tailor-made tour for you. Our 'Gold Trusted' rating on Feefo, the independent review site, underlines our exceptional levels of customer service, and our ATOL bonding and ABTA membership guarantees your holiday is safe with us.