Travelling in Tuscany – Food and Landscapes, Bicycle and Shopping

One of Tuscany’s many gems is the beautiful province of Siena, land of sweet hills and countless thermal springs. There are many possible itineraries to enjoy the richness of this wonderful land, but here is one which may sum up its peculiar features through an unforgettable combination of colours, shapes and experiences.

Siena, Italy

One of the most celebrated area of the province is definitely Chianti, whose wine is renown all over the world. But its main towns – Radda, Gaiole, Castellina e Castelnuovo Berardenga – express a complexity which goes far beyond the wine culture, a rural aristocracy enriched by patrician villas located in the middle of landscapes whose soft features are reflected in the local food tradition’s irresistible flavours.

Beside its wine, Chianti offers on the visitors’ table an excellent oil, the meat of the local pork variety ‘cinta senese’ and savoury pecorino cheese obtained through attentive sheep farming. In kitchen one may find the land’s true nobility, but it’s on a bicycle that the travellers will most enjoy its beauty. Bike tourism finds here an ideal set made of woods, vineyards, remote villages and joyful paths.

Surrounded by a fable-like landscape, Siena is history and passion, it’s the town of contrade which every year challenge each others in the famous Palio, a medieval heritage which every 2nd of July and 16th of August involves ten of the seventeen contrade, but also thousands of fans and visitors. Every contrada has a territory, a people, a constitution, a parliament, a seat and museum, its own traditions and more than everything else its own history.

Through Siena also runs an ancient pilgrimage route, the Via Francigena, which crosses the historical centre entering from Porta Camollìa where the pilgrims are greeted by the latin words  cor magis tibi sena pandit: ‘Siena opens to you its heart’. Through the contrade of Porcupine, She-Wolf, Caterpillar and Woods it takes up to the town’s cathedral, in front of which the Ospedale di Santa Maria della Scale – nowadays converted into a museum – used to host the travellers.

Siena, Italy

A journey into the province of Siena can not be called complete without an encounter with Val di Chiana, a land with uncertain borders as the crinkled lines that define its gorges and reliefs from Chiusi to Montepulciano.

Valdichiana Outlet Village

Here, between Arezzo and Siena, there is also the province’s most important shopping venue, Valdichiana Outlet Village, builded in such way to respect the surrounding environment’s harmony and recall a true Tuscan historical village, with gates and fountains, streets and gardens, and a main square called Maggiore.

Valdichiana Outlet Village

From food to landscapes, from bicycling to shopping, the province of Siena, Tuscany’s gem, is a destination for any kind of traveller.

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