Oh Pienza, Where do I begin? I dreamt of going to that place in all those pinterest pictures with the windy Tuscan roads lined with cyprus trees, the peaceful countryside and the endless views for miles.
It started in a little fiat from Florence through Tuscany, the drive was just as I imagined. Gorgeous hillsides covered in vines, wheat fields, villas on every hilltop when on for the 3 hour drive to Pienza.
The Val d Orcia region of Tuscany is known for it’s world-renowned wine, pecorino cheese and of course the ultimate Tuscan experience. After spending weeks in the big cities of Florence and Rome, it was time to get out to the countryside and Pienza had our names written all over it.
We spent a week eating, drinking and relaxing in the gorgeous little hill-town. It may not make us experts, but we certainly felt like it by the end of our stay.
We have rounded up the top places to stay, eat, visit, and celebrate while in the Val D Orcia and the village town of Pienza.
Exploring the Hill Towns of Tuscany
There are so many, I wish we could have visited them all. I spent days just wandering through the towns, relaxing over long lunches, tasting oils, cheeses, and wine became a daily ritual.
Go wine tasting in Montalcino and sip on the world renowned Brunello De Montalcino. Stroll through the narrow medieval streets of Montepulciano and sip on an espresso in the many cafes that line the streets. Head over to the very small town of Monticchiello and have lunch at Osteria La Porta and soak in one of the most amazing views in Tuscany. I could go on and on...
Where To Eat
La Fonte happens to be a working agriturismo which offers one of the best restaurants in Pienza that is also open to the public. I still dream of the porcini mushroom pici pasta and Cacio e Pepe (pecorino cheese and pepper sauce). So simple yet one of the most amazing things I have ever consumed.
We happened to stay at agriturismo La Fonte, which was absolutely lovely so we were spoiled and had dinner at La Fonte many times. It’s a small restaurant attached to the villa so in peak season it can fill up quickly. Absolutely worth the visit and our top choice in Pienza.
Podere Il Casale is not your typical restaurant, it's a working sheep farm just outside of town that offers tours of the farm and pecorino production. After the tour and sampling way too many cheeses, lunch is served outside, family style overlooking the gorgeous farm. We enjoyed homemade bread, pastas, grilled vegetables, and of course the house wine. What a great farm to table experience and certainly worth the visit.
An outdoor patio in the middle of town bustling with locals enjoying their long long lunch of a variety of crostinis and house wine. Tuscan stews, crostini’s and a caprese salad is what’s for lunch and it's absolutely perfect.
Where To Stay
6 apartments make up the villa and can accommodate 14 if you choose to rent all the rooms. Breakfast is included, which is a simple spread of homemade breads and pastries, jams, cheeses, cereals, eggs, fresh squeezed juices, and coffee. It was perfect. La Fonte is located less than a mile from town and offers complete privacy. There is an onsite shop, restaurant, and pool.
8 room villa and bnb located just outside of town. The entire property comes with a full time concierge, gourmet chef, welcome basket, daily house keeping, and daily breakfast included. La Bandita is available for exclusive use and it’s the ideal backdrop for weddings, group getaways, family reunions, and honeymoons.
What To Do & See
Visit one of the many hot springs for a day of relaxation. We visited Bagni San Filippo which is a bit off the beaten path and was fabulous. We also visited Bagno Vignoni which is a small stream that runs through town.
If you are adventurous, rent a couple bikes in town and cruise the roads of pienza. Visit the Abbey of Sant'Antimo, go wine tasting in Montalcino, Multipulciano, or take a true tuscan cooking class and learn how to make that delicious pici that you will leave dreaming about.
Do you have a local hot spot to share? We'd love to hear about it...