Val d'Orcia field trip

Saturday September 24th we took our students to the first school field trip of the semester.
After three weeks of Italian Intensive course (3 hours every day, plus a lot of homework!) the students deserved an interesting, relaxing and great tour to the Tuscan countryside.

We left Siena in the morning. The weather was really nice, the fall season had already begun so the sun wasn't so hot but at the same time warm and shining in a wonderful blue sky. 

The first stop was at the Mulino Val D'Orcia, a family run farm located in the middle of the beautiful Val D'Orcia where Luchino and the other family members produce organic pasta, starting from the cereals that they grow, passing through the stone milled flour, ending with a product that is genuine and extremely good. The students could observe, guided by Amedeo (Luchino's son), this long process that brings to that final stage.

After this educational experience, a "dive" into the hotsprings was just what was needed! The next stop in fact was the small and peculiar town of Bagno Vignoni, where the central piazza is a huge water pool and the hotsprings – used since the Roman times – are the heart of the village. The students had a relaxing time under the sun.

Easily reachable from Bagno Vignoni is the jewel of the Renaissance, one the most well-known centre of the Orcia valley: Pienza.

Here we could appreciate the artistic and historical importance of many monuments and places, a great heritage from the Renaissance period.

More than that, we were delighted by amazing views of the landscape and by one of the best cheeses of Tuscany, the Pecorino di Pienza. 

As our last stop, we had the chance to visit a treasure almost hidden in the woods: Monte Oliveto Maggiore, a Benedictine Monastery with a fantastic Renaissance fresco cycle, a historical pharmacy, a cloister, a beautiful church and a library with old and precious books. 

Eventually we came back to Siena, after a day that we enjoyed all together, surrounded by beautiful things and with a bit more knowledge of art, history, and nature in Italy.