Central Tuscany

Central Tuscany : Le Crete and the Val D'Orcia

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New 2015 Guide to the Tuscan Val d'Orcia This new guidebook on the Val d'Orcia is the sixth book in Grabinger's "Inside Tuscany: A Second Time Around" series based on the south central regions of Tuscany. Here he invites you to visit the area of Tuscany that is the standard for pictures in calendars, books, movies, and postcards - most typically the cedar lined drives through the area and leading to towns and solitary farms standing on hills. Towns stand high on hills with their Roccas and forts visible for miles. Different areas produce a variety of wines and foods, especially the "pecorino" cheese from Pienza. In this book you find information to: learn about the art and sites in several Val d'Orcia towns, get an idea of mobility accessibility of tourist sites and towns, use decimal GPS coordinates for navigating, decide if a site is something that interests you, cook from authentic Italian recipes, many from my Italian family. Grabinger takes you to a variety of sites from spas to forts to scenic areas to small and large towns: Drive through the eery and astounding rolling clay hills of "Le Crete." Stop at the "Abbazia di Monte Oliveto Maggiore" and enjoy the peace of the monastery hidden in the forest south of "Le Crete." Walk through the hill town of "Montalcino," climb the ramparts of its "fortezza," taste the world famous Brunello di Montalcino, and study art in the churches and the excellent Museo Civico e Diocesano. Listen to the monks say their prayers in the Gregorian chant at the "Abbazia di Sant'Antimo" a few kilometers from Montalcino. Stop at the "ideal humanist city" of "Pienza" with its unique Piazza Pio II and brilliant architecture. Have a lunch taking an option for each course that uses Pienza's great "pecorino" cheese. Explore deceptively quiet San Quirico d'Orcia famous for its gardens: the "Horti Leoni" and the "Rose Garden." Take a break from the effort of touring in the spa town of "Bagno Vignoni, " first used by the ancient Romans. St. Catherine was brought there by her mother who hoped that the waters would cure of her desire to become a nun - they didn't. Be surprised by the beauty and treasures in the tiny hill town of "Monticchiello." Want to avoid the cost of using the spas in Bagno Vignoni and dive into natural hot tubs? Drive to the "Fosso Bianco" at "Bagni San Filippo" and take a short hike through the forest to visit its wild pools. Explore the "fortezza" and rocca of "Radicofani, " the highest in the Val d'Orcia near Monte Amiata. Find exciting and busy "Montepulciano, " the largest town in the area. Learn its history from the Middle Ages to today. Appreciate the stunning views from its walls. Survey the museums and churches. Taste the excellent Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and have a great lunch at the "Ristorante Enoteca la Corte Medicea." "Bonus Materials" authentic Italian recipes, many from my Italian family, several restaurant descriptions, maps to give you a basic idea of locations. So, set up a base in one of the larger towns in the regions like Montalcino, Montepulciano, or Pienza and spend three or four days carefully exploring the beautiful scenery, hill towns, restaurants, museums, fortresses, and churches, finishing the day in one of the hot springs. For more information: www.insidetuscanybooks.com.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 274 pages
  • 152.4 x 228.6 x 14.73mm | 449.05g
  • Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1507831706
  • 9781507831700

About Scott Tiezzi Grabinger

About the Author "Who am I? What is my experience?" My family and I have been traveling around Italy since 1992 learning the towns, sites, foods, language, and culture. I have a wealth of cousins in Foiano della Chiana in Tuscany (my maternal grandparents emigrated to the US at the turn of the 20th century). They give me a unique perspective that only a family provides showing me sites and restaurants that other writers miss, taking me to festivals of food "(sagre)" and celebrations, and teaching me how to "act Italian" - well, they try. "Where did the idea for my books come from?" In 2008, after retiring form the University of Colorado Denver, and asked myself, "What do I know and love?"; The answer was writing and traveling in Tuscany, so I decided to begin a series of guidebooks starting with my home away from home, Arezzo. "What makes my books unique?" I realized that no one needs another guide about the major sites of Tuscany, so my focus is on the lesser known gems - places missed by a first time visitor and that a repeat visitor wants to see - sites that other guidebooks cover in 30 words or less. The return visitor to Tuscany wants to take a closer look at the art, food, festivals, and culture. I also began to add "extras" to the books: background, history, recipes from my Italian family, and stories about the culture and people. "Trying to teach an old dog new tricks." To communicate with the family I had to learn Italian, only a few spoke any English, and that was limited. After 20 years of off-and-on studying I get by pretty well. I spend at least two weeks of every trip studying in an intensive Italian language school, which is great fun and exercise for an old mind. My favorite school is in Arezzo: "La Cultura Italiana Arezzo." New Book of Stories: "Walking the Aqueduct." In 2013 I took a different tack that I found exciting, I added a book of stories on my adventures, misadventures, and insights about the culture of Tuscany in the well-received "Walking the Aqueduct: Tuscan Adventures and Culture." Available both in paperback and in Kindle format. To contact me: scott.grabinger@gmail.comshow more

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