Val d'Orcia

UNESCO World Heritage Site
Val d'Orcia
Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List
Type Cultural
Criteria iv, vi
Reference 1026
UNESCO region Europe and North America
Inscription history
Inscription 2004 (28th Session)

The Val d’Orcia, or Valdorcia, is a region of Tuscany, central Italy, which extends from the hills south of Siena to Monte Amiata. Its gentle, cultivated hills are occasionally broken by gullies and by picturesque towns and villages such as Pienza (rebuilt as an “ideal town” in the 15th century under the patronage of Pope Pius II), Radicofani (home to the notorious brigand-hero Ghino di Tacco) and Montalcino (the Brunello di Montalcino is counted among the most prestigious of Italian wines). Its landscape has been depicted in works of art from Renaissance painting to modern photography.

World Heritage Site

In 2004 the Val d’Orcia was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites under these criteria:

Val d'Orcia with Monte Amiata, view to the west from La Foce

Orcia DOC

Sangiovese vineyards in the Val D'Orcia, Monte Amiata in the background.

Within the Val d'Orcia is a strip of land following the Orcia river between the DOCG zones of Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Here the Sangiovese and Trebbiano-based wines are produced under the Orcia Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC) status. The DOC red wine is composed of at least 60% Sangiovese with other local varieties, such as Abrusco, permitted to fill in the remainder of the blend. The dry white wine and Vin Santo style DOC wines are composed of at least 50% Trebbiano with other local varieties filling out the rest of the blend. All grapes destined for DOC wine production are limited to a maximum harvest yield of 10 tonnes/hectare with the finished wines required to have a minimum alcohol level of at least 12%.[1]

Historic railways heritage site

Val d'Orcia is crossed by a nineteenth-century railway whose tracks, stations and tunnels have been restored to working order. The scenic line connects the small town of Asciano with Monte Antico for tourism purposes, using historic steam engines and carriages.

Film locations

Val d'Orcia has been a location in many well-known films, including:

The book War in Val d'Orcia by Iris Origo is a first-hand account of the World War II events of 1943–44 in the region, written as a diary in English.


  1. Saunders, Peter Lionel (2004). Wine label language. Firefly Books Ltd. p. 188. ISBN 978-1-55297-720-0.
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Coordinates: 43°04′N 11°33′E / 43.067°N 11.550°E / 43.067; 11.550

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