Heading south from Siena, the view extends across a clayey and barren sea, dotted with cypresses, farms and small villages: these are the Crete, an endless series of hills that taper under the majestic Monte Amiata. At the foot of the mountain sits a UNESCO World Heritage Site: the Val d’Orcia, surrounded by villages and small cities, an amazing paradise for rough and uninhibited cycling


Idealized in the Renaissance, the image found in Good Government, the landscape of the Val d’Orcia is the ideal scenery for those looking for a one-of-a-kind experience by bike, characterized by white roads, gravel dust and continuous ups and downs across hills that are yellow with grain, grey with clay or green with vegetation, according to the season. The shape of the land o ers the unique possibility to ride along gravel roads, asphalt, and cobblestoned streets of historic city centers, all within just a few kilometres.

No matter which ter- rain you choose to take on, you’re guaranteed to enjoy it thanks to the almost complete absence of cars, a fairly common feature of the rural roads found throughout the province of Siena.


So long as you avoid the expressway at the bottom of the valley, you will find yourself pedalling along, immersed in silence, nature and history. In geographical terms, the Val d’Orcia is akin to a sea of hills surrounded by low mountain chains. On the tops of the hills are cities and villages, dating back to the Middle Ages and Renaissance, while all around, a dense network of roads connects these places to the open countryside, with its farms and occasional houses. The territory is perfect for bike excursions, both for those interested in a day outing and those aiming for a longer journey with stops
along the way. There are numerous choices for where to start and end your trip: Montalcino, S. Quirico d’Orcia, Castiglione d’Orcia, Pienza, Radicofani; these are just a few of the places where you can stay before beginning your explorations. For those who love to expe- rience the wilder side of life, “vacation” farms are dotted across the countryside, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the hills’ rugged and barren landscape, where you can take to the dirt tracks immediately from your lodging.

In the Val d’Orcia, you can ride across a variety of tracks, immersed in a landscape recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. e silence and beauty of the white roads are one of the best reasons to ride in this part of Tuscany, as well as the chance to explore the small Renaissance and Medieval town dotting the tops of the hills.

From a cycling point of view, the extensive presence of a dense network of white roads is the most beloved feature of this territory. You can ride surrounded by dreamlike landscapes, in complete silence, along well kept dirt roads. The immense beauty of these places and the increasing presence of slow tourism has led to the development of thematic itineraries, with dedicated sign postings that provide constant support for getting your bearings, as well as providing a meaning to the roads you’re riding on. The wheels are now spinning down the L’Eroica route, running north towards the Sienese Chianti; now on a stretch of the Via Francigena, running south towards Rome; now on other thematic tracks that criss-cross the land. With a variety of road surfaces, the Val d’Orcia boasts a terrain for all types of bikes, including road bikes. The perfect, thick ground of the white roads allows for every kind of road bike to cycle down them without risking puncturing the tires, as long as they are at least 25 mm thick; one must love rough cycling and be ready to get covered in dust, but apart from that, this sport was born on these trails, and with terrible quality bikes! To guarantee a perfect outing, agile gears are recommended; level ground is scarce around these parts and the ascents point straight up to the blue sky above the hills, creating demanding inclines.