Orcia Valley to just north of Sienna

After another great breakfast at Villa la Palazzetta we headed north again. Not far down the road we stopped at the Castiglione d’Orcia olive press. They have a tasting room. Their olive oil was really good but the bottles were all too big to carry in my suitcase so we just bought a small jar of local honey.

The Source of the Oil
Tasting olive oil

I’ve been wanting to see someone harvesting olives. We finally saw a guy today. To harvest he spread out a net under the trees then used a kind of motorized branch shaker. You can just see him in the picture below.

Harvesting olives

We stopped in Sienna and explored a bit. We parked the car just outside the Porta Tufi. We had coffee on Il Campo, the main square where they have their Palio horse race twice each summer.

Sienna City Hall

Next we visited the Duomo, Sienna’s Cathedral. The people lifter working on the front of the building seemed to be removing vegetation.

The Duomo
Cleaning the facade

We are staying just a few miles north of Sienna. We have what I think must be called the tower room it has a 360 degree view. The toilet is down a couple of flights of stairs and the windows are a bit dirty but it is an amazing place to spend the night.

Our top floor room.
Our room is at the top.

Exploring the Orcia Valley in Tuscany

The place we are staying, Villa la Palazzetta, is in the Orcia Valley area of Tuscany. It is a wonderful place to stay. It’s way out in the country, beautiful and very peaceful. We had a great breakfast there this morning. All the baked goods were home made and delicious.

Breakfast at Villa la Palazzetta

After breakfast we went for a drive to see some of the Nearby Tuscan towns and countryside. First we stopped at Castiglione d’Orcia where we had eaten dinner Tuesday night

Castiglione d’Orcia

They are currently harvesting olives. The press in Castiglione d’Orcia looked very busy.

Olives
A box of freshly harvested olives.

Next we went to Pienza.

Pienza
Pienza

And finally Montepulciano.

Montepulciano

It was so nice to have a crisp sunny Fall day. We decided to go back to Villa la Palazzetta where we are staying and spent the rest of the afternoon reading in the sun.

Relaxing and reading
Our view

Stroncone to the Tuscan countryside near Castiglione d’Orcia

Tuesday was an easy day. We drove from Stroncone to a lovely agriturismo in the Tuscan countryside near Castiglione d’Orcia.

Villa La Palazzetta

We stopped to stretched at a commonwealth WWII cemetery we happened to pass. It was beautifully maintained and had a plaque with an excellent summary of the 1943-1945 war in Italy.

The Bolsena War Cemetery
The War in Italy 1943-1945

Then we had a picnic lunch a bit farther down the road.

Picnic lunch

For dinner we drove fifteen minutes into Castiglione d’Orcia and had an excellent dinner at a little restaurant called Il Cerchio delle Streghe. We started with carpaccio, then had homemade pasta with a spicy sauce, then lamb and ended with a molten chocolate cake. It was another wonderfully great meal.

After dinner the German couple at the next table asked where we were from. We had a nice conversation about the area, the farm they bought here, and their recent olive harvest and press.

Carpaccio
Lamb
Desert