Trip Status: Registration CLOSED

May 27 - June 3, 2015
Tour Cost: $2250

I am so happy to be able to present this trip to you. The Val d'Orcia is my Italian home. Our hosts will be Giuseppe and Paola Giordano of La Montalla Azienda Agricola in the tiny town of Contignano. We can't see or do it all in one week, but you will get a very good idea of the people and artistic wealth of the region in our one week journey.



  • The wines: The Barolas of Montalcino and the Rosso Nobiles of Montelpulciano
  • The hilltowns of Montepulciano, Pienza, and Monticchiello


  • A cheese cooperative, known for its pecorino and ricotta cheeses.
  • A linen factory
  • Etruscan ruins and museums
  • Geothermal spas and baths
  • Terra cotta museum
  • La Foce, an estate renovated by the Origo family in the 1920's.
La Montalla B&B image
La Montalla B&B
Giuseppe, one of our hosts, pictured in a vineyard.


La Montalla - a simple, charming and very clean B&B, thanks to Donatella, Giuseppe and Paola, who also makes wonderful cakes for breakfast!


This trip will be an easy one:  we'll toot around the Val d'Orcia region to explore the variety of arts originating in the area: of course, the wines (the Barolas of Montalcino; the Rosso Nobiles of Montepulciano); cheese - Pienza is known for its pecorinos, but there's a cheese cooperative right up the road from La Montalla; and if there's pecorino, there's ricotta, which is the recooked whey of the heartier pecorino. We will visit a linen factory —  Italian linens are gorgeous and surprisingly easy to care for, Etruscan ruins and museums, geothermal spas and baths, and explore small hilltowns offering watercolor artists, potters, and terra cotta museums. We are also hoping for a chamber music series during our journey — if not a series, then we'll scare up a concert or two for those willing.

Our B&B is just across the valley from this magnificent sight at La Foce, the estate renovated by the Origo family in the 1920's. I didn't mention this as one of the arts, but it is. Landscape architect Cecil Pinsent was hired to reorganize the grounds. Perhaps the most famous result of his work is an art installation: a cypress lined curved driveway up an adjacent hill, designed after a 14th century painting by Lorenzetti. Also part of this estate is the old fortress, Castelluccio, where concerts and art exhibits are now held.

Our week will be spent exploring these different places and arts. But if you'd rather just sit by the swimming pool, or if it's raining, watch for the inevitable rainbow that graces the valley, that's fine.

Giuseppe, one of our hosts, is a wheat farmer but here he's hanging around grapes.
View overlooking the roof at La Foce.
View overlooking the roof at La Foce.
La Foce, the estate renovated by the Origo family in the 1920's.
La Foce

TOUR COST:  $2250

  • Includes accommodations for 7 nights, all meals, airport transfers, ground transportation in Italy, all excursions that you wish to go on, all entry fees, and administrative fees.
  • Single Supplement is $350.
  • NOTE: A deposit of $500 is required upon registration to secure a place on this journey.
  • Airfare is not included to enable travelers to use their “travel points,” upgrade flight arrangements, or to extend their trip.
  • Travel insurance is strongly encouraged.

Registration for this Journey is now closed.

An example of Val d'Orcia linen.
An example of Val d'Orcia pottery.
For a great laugh watch:
Ten Things We Love About Italy
Examples of Val d'Orcia linen and pottery.

For details/questions, please call Joan Hill at 508-255-7907 or email her at

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