Tuscany: Day 3 – Monday, May 8

Today’s Shooting Agenda

  • Val d’Orcia from below Castiglione d’Orcia
  • Poppy Fields below Castiglione d’Orcia
  • Blue Flowers Near Monticchiello
  • Pienza

The Val d’Orcia From Below Castiglione d’Orcia

We met at the van at 5:15 this morning and travelled to our dawn photo shoot. This morning we will be focusing (literally) on the Val d’Orcia from below Castiglione d’Orcia.

A bit of explanation of these places for those not familiar: Val d’Orcia is a wide and beautiful countryside in southern Tuscany. It is close to the border with Umbria and on the slopes of Mount Amiata, stretching along the agricultural hinterland of Siena. Castiglione d’Orcia is a municipality in Tuscany’s province of Siena, which is located about 90 kilometres southeast of Siena, in the Val d’Orcia:

Returning to the hotel after our shoot, we met in the hotel dining room at 7:45 for breakfast.

Poppy Fields Below Castiglione d’Orcia

About 10:00 we met at the van and travelled to the poppy fields below Castiglione d’Orcia. We were greeted by a sea of red covering the rolling hills:

Blue Flowers Near Monticchiello

Just after leaving the poppy fields we encountered a very pretty field of blue flowers, near Monticchiello, and stopped to photograph them:


Leaving the field of flowers we moved on to the marvellous walled town of Pienza. Situated between the towns of Montepulciano and Montalcino, Pienza is considered the touchstone of Renaissance urbanism. In 1996, UNESCO declared the town a World Heritage Site, and in 2004 the entire valley – the Val d’Orcia – was included on the list of UNESCO’s World Cultural Landscapes.

The view from Pienza’s wall

I really enjoyed touring Pienza; its architecture was truly fascinating.

We spent a couple of hours exploring the town, and enjoyed lunch while there. It was late in the afternoon, so our group headed back to the hotel to have a bit of a break.

Evening Meal

Regrouping around 6:00PM, we agreed to abandon our next shoot due to the rain. We met again later at the hotel bar, then proceeded into San Quirico d’Orcia for an 8:00 dinner at Trattoria al Vecchio Forno. The weather was now fair so we enjoyed our meal out on the covered terrace. As usual, another superb Italian meal was served and enjoyed by all.

We returned to the hotel after 10:00PM, then off to bed.

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