Val d'Orcia

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Val d'Orcia
Val d'orcia -pienza.JPG
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Location Tuscany, Italy Edit this at Wikidata
Coordinates 43°04′N 11°33′E / 43.07°N 11.55°E / 43.07; 11.55
Criteria Cultural: (iv), (vi) Edit this on Wikidata
Reference 1026
Inscription 2004 (28th Session)
Val d'Orcia is located in Italy
Val d'Orcia
Location of Val d'Orcia

The Val d'Orcia, or Valdorcia, is a region of Tuscany, central Italy, which extends from the hills south of Siena to Monte Amiata. Its gentle, cultivated hills are occasionally broken by gullies and by picturesque towns and villages such as Pienza (rebuilt as an "ideal town" in the 15th century under the patronage of Pope Pius II), Radicofani (home to the notorious brigand-hero Ghino di Tacco) and Montalcino (the Brunello di Montalcino is counted among the most prestigious of Italian wines). Its landscape has been depicted in works of art from Renaissance painting to modern photography.

World Heritage Site[edit]

In 2004 the Val d'Orcia was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites under these criteria:

  • Criterion (iv): The Val d'Orcia is an exceptional reflection of the way the landscape was re-written in Renaissance times to reflect the ideals of good governance and to create an aesthetically pleasing pictures.
  • Criterion (vi): The landscape of the Val d'Orcia was celebrated by painters from the Scuola Senese, which flourished during the Renaissance. Images of the Val d'Orcia, and particularly depictions of landscapes where people are depicted as living in harmony with nature, have come to be seen as icons of the Renaissance and have profoundly influenced the development of landscape thinking.
Val d'Orcia with Monte Amiata, view to the west from La Foce

Orcia DOC[edit]

Sangiovese vineyards in the Val D'Orcia, Monte Amiata in the background.

Within the Val d'Orcia is a strip of land following the Orcia river between the DOCG zones of Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Here the Sangiovese and Trebbiano-based wines are produced under the Orcia Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC) status. The DOC red wine is composed of at least 60 percent Sangiovese with other local varieties, such as Abrusco, permitted to fill in the remainder of the blend. The dry white wine and Vin Santo style DOC wines are composed of at least 50 percent Trebbiano with other local varieties filling out the rest of the blend. All grapes destined for DOC wine production are limited to a maximum harvest yield of 10 tonnes/hectare with the finished wines required to have a minimum alcohol level of at least 12 percent.[1]

Historic railways heritage site[edit]

Val d'Orcia is crossed by a nineteenth-century railway, whose tracks, stations and tunnels have been restored to working order. The scenic line connects the small town of Asciano with Monte Antico for tourism purposes, using historic steam engines and carriages.

Film locations[edit]

Val d'Orcia has been a location in many well-known films, including:

In popular culture[edit]

The book War in Val d'Orcia by Iris Origo is a first-hand account of the World War II events of 1943–44 in the region, written as a diary in English.


  1. ^ Saunders, Peter Lionel (2004). Wine label language. Firefly Books Ltd. p. 188. ISBN 978-1-55297-720-0. 

External links[edit]