Crete Senesi

The territories of Tuscany

Travelling south from Siena we find unique scenery, characterised by bare hills (badlands) which change colour with the seasons.
The Crete Senesi have been formed by centuries of water erosion modelling clay and sandy sediments.
The overall feel is that of a lunar landscape. This area also offers many medieval towns: Asciano, Buonconvento, Monteroni d’Arbia, Rapolano Terme, San Giovanni d’Asso and Trequanda.

The area was so inhospitable that in the Middle Ages it became known as the the Accona Desert. Over the years however parts of the hills have been reclaimed and are now cultivated mostly with wheat and sunflowers.
Farms tend to be larger than in other areas, rural homes are often imposing and have large barns.
In contrast to the dry Crete, the neighbouring Val d’Orcia offers a great variety of gentle hills, flanked by cypresses; here we find the beautifully preserved renaissance town of Pienza and the picturesque town of Montalcino, surrounded by the famous Brunello vineyards.