“My idea of heaven still is to drive the gravel farm roads of Umbria and Tuscany, very pleasantly lost.” writes Frances Mayes in her book "Under the Tuscan Sun", which - together with the movie - enchanted and sparked the imagination of thousands of readers and viewers, a fictional portrait of the very real Tuscan landscape in its most iconic beauty.
If you are among those readers, know that this trip will turn your dreams into reality: you will see all the fig trees, cypresses, soft rolling hills and hamlets you have ever dreamt of, and much more. Starting from Siena, with its "Contrade" and the shell-shaped square, this trail takes you through the thermal baths of Rapolano, prestigious wineries serving the divine local "Brunello" red, the lunar, iridescent landscape of the "Crete Senesi", dense oak woods and open pastures dotted with cypresses and "cascine".
Last but not least - Cortona, where "Under the Tuscan Sun" was set: a beautifully located hilltop town, home to artists and Saints, Romans and Etruscans; the perfect place to end your quintessential Tuscan adventure in, ready to delve into your next literary adventure.
Arrive in Siena and check-in at the hotel. If you arrive early, enjoy a visit to the city, famous for its biannual “Palio” horse race, held in the most beautiful shell-shaped square in Europe: the Piazza del Campo. Don’t miss a visit to the Duomo, an architectural treasure, and numerous imposing medieval palaces. History comes alive as you meander through the narrow streets of this fantastically preserved jewel of Italy.
After a short train ride you start a long walk through the heart of Crete Senesi. You can enjoy great wiews of the iconic tuscan rolling hills landscapes enriched by old stone houses and lined cypresses. You pass through the famous "Biancane di Leonina" the "Sito Transitorio". The route to Vescona winds through gullies and cultivated fields, where we won't encounter much shade and the soil is mainly clayey. We reach the small village of Macigliani, perched on a spectacular balcony facing Siena.
Today you wander through a beautiful region of rolling hills, oak woods, cypress trees and pretty villages. We continue our journey through the Crete Senesi until we join the Eroica. Following this legendary route we reach Asciano, the heart of the Via Lauretana.
It's an easy walk along the heart of Crete Senesi. You can enjoy great wiews of the iconic tuscan rolling hills landscapes enriched by old stone houses and lined cypresses. In case of rain some part can be muddy and slippery because the clay soil.
The thermal baths complex at Rapolano Is the perfect location to spend the afternoon soaking up the Tuscan warmth. Hop back on the road to walk the last few kilometres to your final destination of today, Serre di Rapolano.
It's a long walk through the tuscan countryside in a hilly landscape composed by woods, vineyards, olive groves and fields. Along the trail you can enjoy astonishing views of Valdichiana (the valley of Chiana River). Leaving Serre di Rapolano, we have the opportunity to look out and admire the landscape shaped by the travertine quarries. We then leave the Crete Senesi and enter the oak woods that separate us from Sinalunga. After admiring San Gimignanello from afar, we pass through the medieval village of Scrofiano.
Today you will walk along country roads, through the fields, and the canals banks digged in the past to drain the valley for the reclamation of lands. At half way you can make a short detour to visit the centre of Bettolle. At the end of the walk it is recommended to visit the Abbazia di Farneta which is just in front of the hotel.
It's a long but gentle walk through the planes and hills of Valdichiana. From here on, the path coincides with the Via Romea Germanica, for which we find the signposts. We continue along a flat and not very shady path that winds through small hamlets. When we reach the ancient parish church of San Michele, we begin to climb up to Cortona, the final destination of our journey.
You can avoid the ascent taking the alternative route to Camucia Cortona train station from where you can take the bus to Cortona.
Last day included. Tour ends after breakfast.
Hotel Chiusarelli*** located in the historic center of Siena finds its natural setting in a neoclassical villa built around 1870. Renovated in 2013, the Hotel offers spacious and clean rooms equipped with bathroom with tub or shower, air conditioning/heating, telephone, rooms with Wi-Fi Internet and TV with Sky Vision. It does not have an elevator to reach the rooms. Quality buffet breakfast.
Let yourself be captivated by the atmosphere of the hotel "La Pace": a welcoming environment, which maintains the original "rustic" style, able to harmonize with the most modern comforts and with a quality of service that pays attention to the smallest details. The indoor garden and swimming pool are the perfect crowning glory for a totally relaxing vacation, able to give you a unique experience in the heart of the Crete Senesi, among art, nature and history.
The Antico Granaione b&b Tuscan Historical Residence, an ideal place to sleep in Siena and its surroundings, is located in the characteristic village of Serre di Rapolano near the Terme di Rapolano. L 'Antico Granaione, b & b in the province of Siena, offers relaxing stays in the enchantment of the Crete Senesi, a land of strong contrasts and breathtaking scenery, surrounded by the charm of an atmosphere of yesteryear. The Crete Senesi offer beautiful scenery along the Via Francigena: white roads for lovers of cycling in Tuscany, churches, small villages and gullies dot the landscape.
Hotel Santorotto, family-run since 1975, is located in the area of the Val di Chiana Senese, precisely in the town of Sinalunga, in the province of Siena. It is a three-story structure, ideal for business stays, being just a few minutes from the A1 highway (Valdichiana exit), or for families and vacation groups who want to discover Tuscany or enjoy a day of shopping at the Valdichiana Outlet Village. The hotel also has a large parking lot perfect for buses. There are 27 rooms of various types available. Thanks to the restaurant inside, customers can choose to have breakfast, half board or full board.
The perfect environment for a quiet relaxation, surrounded by friendliness and cordiality: this is the atmosphere you will find at Hotel Farneta!
Hotel Farneta in Cortona Camucia is built on a hill overlooking the beautiful landscapes of the Valdichiana: surrounded by nature, it is the ideal place to spend quiet days of relaxation or a comfortable stay during conferences or business trips. It also has a large parking lot and its own park, as well as a cool porch with comfortable chairs and tables.
Its historical and religious origin of former Franciscan convent, makes it a place full of charm but at the same time cozy and comfortable.Despite its central location, is located in a very quiet and picturesque, in fact most of the rooms overlook the cloister of the church of San Francesco.Il complex, divided into two parts with 11 rooms available and 2 breakfast rooms, has been completely renovated and equipped with all the comforts suitable for the needs of travelers.
It is possible to park the car at the first accommodation for the whole trip
These services can be added to the ones included in the base price of the tour: