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Today Val d'Orcia is peripheral, a land fresh and unspoilt where the character of its agricultural economy and the persistence of the inhabitants to work the earth and the natural materials found in the area, have safeguarded the relationship between man and the environment. This valley is not only a place full of poetry and naturally happy people. It is a valley which contributed to handing down history and human relationship which has determined the quality of an area which was traversed by the roads of ancient Rome - The Francigena. All the events which developed along this highway and the adjacent hills, created a landscape which fascinated the great Sienese painters of the Renaissance, the European travellers of the "grand tour", the romantic writers of England, Germany and France, and which still charm us to this day. The scenery of the Val d'Orcia, which begins with a symmetry of natural harmony with its soft rolling hills, changes into the majestic grandeur of the Amiata, a mountain abounding with springs of crystal clear water and luxuriant vegetation. The colours of dry clay and golden earth, share the hills; dark green moss and undergrowth cover the base of rocky crags and old farm houses; the gentle colours found in the orderly lines of vineyards mix with the silver grey of the olive groves. The solitude, the empty spaces, the light, the views, conjure up a sense of pleasure, delight and even loneliness difficult to define. The Val d'Orcia is a landscape of never-ending hills, interspersed with torrents, ravines, rugged outcrops, river banks which intertwine until they are lost in the ash colour of the distant Crete. The Francigena, winding among this natural but hostile beauty throughout the centuries, has contributed towards the growth of the small centres and the pride of an ancient people, accustomed to sharing the dreams, arrogance and the Utopia pf powerful and famous men. The farming community of the Val d'Orcia has never surrendered to progress, it has always welcomed travellers and pilgrims and always made them welcome.



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