Our guide to the Val di Chiana
The valley of the Chiana river stretches wide, extending from the Tuscan provinces of Arezzo and Siena to the Umbrian provinces of Perugia and Terni and taking in over 22 municipalities. Historically, much of it was a vast and marshy floodplain and it is not surprising that most of its beautiful cities sit high on the bordering hills and have magnificent views of the valley floor.
Home to Italy’s oldest Carnival (since 1539), Foiano della Chiana
Events in the Val di Chiana
Torrita Blues Festival in Torrita di Siena – 20-22 June
Giostra del Saracino in Sarteano – 15 August
Tria Turris in Chiusi – 23-25 June
mid-AugustMaggiolata in Lucignano – last 2 Sunday in May
Festival dell’Olio Novo in Trequanda – 22 October
Bruscello Poliziano in Montepulciano – mid-August
Palio dei Somari in Torrita di Siena – 24 March
Bravo delle Botti in Montepulciano – last Sunday in August
Occhio Collo Festival in Marciano della Chiana – in September
Sagra della Porchetta in Monte San Savino – 2nd weekend Sept.
Palio dei Rioni in Castiglion Fiorentino – 3rd Sunday in June
Cortona Mix Festival in Cortona – 17-21 July 2019
Things to do in the Val di Chiana
Walk the Vin Santo Trail from Torrita di Siena to Montefollonico
Find a spa at Fonteverde thermal baths in San Casciano or Chianciano Terme
Go bird-watching at the the ancient lake known as ‘Moonlight’
Taste the ‘noble’ wines of Montepulciano
Slip into the Bronze Age in Cetona’s Archeodrome
Towns & Sites
San Casciano dei Bagni
Famed for its thermal springs and encircled in lush forests and rolling green countryside, San Casciano dei Bagni has tended to foreign travelers since the 1400s. A charming town centre and a relaxed tenor of life add to the cure.
Taking its name from the slopes of the mountain on which it stands, Cetona offers visitors the gracious Piazza Garibaldi and fine restaurants as well as the Belverde Archeological Park and an ‘Archeodrome’ that makes history fascinating for all ages.
At the edge of the Val di Chiana and on a plateau in the breath-taking Val d’Orcia, Sarteano has been inhabited since pre-historic times. Its past can be seen in a fine archeological museum and its ‘orange flag’ status for welcoming tourism makes visiting a pleasure
One of the most important cities of the Etruscan empire, Chiusi invites modern visitors to enjoy exploring its labyrinthine underground city, an excellent Etruscan museum and the costumed Triaturris Junefestival of costumed tournaments and banquets.
Though its crenellated walls and an imposing defensive tower still stand, Trequanda is now a charming village characteristic of the Sienese countryside. Check out the fascinating ‘Molino a Vento Tower’ dovecote and, in nearby Petroio, a fine Terracotta Museum.
Civitella in Val di Chiana
Now a picturesque walled town perched in the pre-Apennine hills, Civitella in Val di Chiana has seen both triumph and tragedy. The church nurtured its prosperity, WWII brought deadly reprisal. Happily, peacefulness and good restaurants have the final say.
Just outside the confines of the Val d’Orcia, Montepulciano stretches along the hilltop overlooking the lovely Madonna di San Biagio church. Famous for its stately Renaissance palaces, Piazza Grande and well-respected Vino Nobile red wine.
foiano della Chiana
Foiano della Chiana is home to Italy’s oldest Carnival (since 1539), and while the celebration takes place in February, their famous floats are being built throughout the year. It is also home to works by many Renaissance artists, such as Andrea della Robbia.
Lucignano‘s elliptical rings leave no doubt as to its medieval origins. For at a time when its strategic position between Siena and Arezzo was critical and fought over, being able to see invaders from the any direction atop a hill was a decided advantage.
Food and Wine
MONDAYS – Foiano della Chiana, Chiusi Scalo
TUESDAYS – Chiusi Centre, Sinalunga
WEDNESDAYS – Chianciano Terme, Monte San Savino, Badia al Pino-Civitella, Castiglione del Lago
THURSDAYS – Cetona, San Casciano dei Bagni (1° & 3° ), Montepulciano
FRIDAYS – Sarteano, Castiglion Fiorentino, Tuoro sul Trasimeno
SATURDAYS – Torrita di Siena, Cetona, Bettolle, Sinalunga, Città della Pieve, Cortona, Marciano della Chiana
- La Tavernetta – Lucignano, Tel: +39 0575 836568
- Le Logge del Vignola – Montepulciano, Tel: +39 0578 717290
- Osteria Ciriera – Trequanda, Tel:+39 0577 662054 (Vegan)