DRIVING LOOPS – 3. Through the Crete Senesi

Starts and ends: Agriturismo Il Rigo
Route length: 55 km – optional extension 74km

This ring will bring you to the less beaten tracks of Val d’Orcia. Leaving behind the most popular destinations like Pienza and Montalcino, you can really discover some untouched gems, like the medieval villages of Castelmuzio, Montisi and Trequanda, driving by the Monastery of Monte Oliveto Maggiore and the iconic landscapes around Chiusure and San Giovanni d’Asso. This route is much more for contemplating the peace and beauty of this territory, rather than doing! Load your camera and be prepared to spot some unforgettable glimpse of Tuscany!

1. Buonconvento

Head to the SR2 and turn right. Pass through San Quirico d’Orcia and arrive at the village of Buonconvento. Don’t mind the modern part of the town. The medieval walls are almost complete and a walk in the city centre is worth the effort! Don’t forget to visit the Museum of the crop-sharing!

2. Monte Oliveto Maggiore

In front of the marketplace begins the SP451 that reaches the abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore (check the link for opening hours). The ascent up the hilly “Crete” (“creta” in Italian means clay) along with the view is simply breathtaking. Consider visiting the abbey, since the frescos are very well preserved and the monks are excellent olive oil producers. You can have the best view of Monteoliveto from the village of Chiusure, located a bit higher up in elevation. There in April you can taste fabulous artichokes.

3. San Giovanni d’Asso

Reach than San Giovanni d’Asso, well know for his white truffle. There is even a dedicated museum, or you can taste the speciality in the local restaurants. We enthusiastically recommend a stop by the garden “Bosco della Ragnaia”, right before the village (if you’re fond of gardens, read our post about our favourite ones in Valdorcia).

4. Trequanda and 5. Castelmuzio

Then consider stopping by the village of Trequanda. Take the chance and plan a visit at Fattoria del Colle for a wine tasting, or just to buy some wine and olive oil! Enjoy than a visit of Montisi and Castelmuzio, two back-roads villages totally worthy and unknown!

6. Sant’Anna in Camprena

Head back to the road again for a last stop by the Monastery of Sant’Anna in Camprena where was set the movie “The English Patient”. Continue to the intersection with the SP146 and turn right up to the sign that points to Vitaleta and il Rigo.

MONTE OLIVETO MAGGIORE
Where to shop:
Liquoreria ed erboristeria dei monaci
SAN GIOVANNI D’ASSO
Where to eat:
osteria Delle Crete €€ : +39 0577 803076
CASTELMUZIO
Where to eat:
Locanda Casalmustìa €€: +39 0577 665166
TREQUANDA
Where to eat:
Ciriera (vegan) €€ – +39 0577 66205

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DRIVING LOOPS – 1. Ring Pienza – Montepulciano – La Foce

DRIVING LOOPS – 2. Brunello’s ring

DRIVING LOOPS – 4. Into the wild – Amiata and Radicofani

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