The 2nd day of our Tuscan road trip, we are taking the country road to visit several Tuscan towns. This route will cover Pienza, Montefollonico, Montepulciano, La Foce, Radiocofini with Hotel Borgo Antico at Monteroni d’Arabia being the last stop for the day.
We left Hotel Garibaldi heading east to the town of Pienza. It’s a short 10km drive taking 15 minutes. Once we are on SP146, the Tuscan beauty begins to unfold. You will start to see the beautiful Tuscan countryside with cypress trees leading to farm houses. The SP146 offers several road shoulders for you to park to admire and take photos of the landscape.
Pienza is a small town in the beautiful valley of Val d’Orcia amidst gentle undulating hills and wonderful natural landscapes. Pienza stands atop a hill with extraordinary views of the Orcia Valley. The town was made a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1996 and later in 2004, the entire Val d’Orcia was included on the list of UNESCO’s World Cultural Landscapes. With two UNESCO’s list, you will naturally be rewarded with magnificent views upon views of the Tuscan countryside.
Arriving Pienza from San Quirico d’OCrcia, drive straight to the parking lot as shown below. The parking lot is limited but do be patient for one. Thereafter, proceed to the viewing point as indicated. There are concrete benches for you to sit and take in the views. Here, you will be rewarded with the magnificent views of the Val d’Orcia valley right up to the mountains. This captivating views will be etched in your memory for some time. You will regret if you miss this.
If looking down the valley isn’t enough, drive down via SP18 for a reverse view of Pienza. We did just that. From down there, looking up you will see Pienza majestically atop of the hill. After more than an hour, we left Pienza for Montefollonico.
From Pienze, we stayed on the SP146 towards Mantefollonico, another town on the hills 11km away. Halfway on the SP146, take a left into SP15 that will take you to Mantefollonico. There are also nice views here but the route from Mantefollonico to Montepulciano is what awed us. Take the country road Str. dei Colli until it meets the SP135. From the town, it’s all the way downhill and towards your left and right its pure Tuscan country sight with farms and vineyards. Awesome. Green as far as you can see.
Once the country road meets SP135, turn right to head to Montepulciano, a medieval and renaissance hill town 9km away. Later when the SP135 meets SP17, take another right till you reach the town. Again nice views as the rest of the other towns but difficult to find a spot to enjoy it. Montepulciano by comparison is mush bigger and busier and you’ll find traffic lights here. It is a major producer of food and drink.
From Montepulciano, take the SP88 heading to La Foce. This route is a bit tricky. After 7.5km, the road branches to the right, still called SP88. Drive straight and you will hit a dirt road which is still SP88 where at some spot, it is too narrow for two vehicles to pass. The ground is hard so you don’t need a 4-wheel. Keep on this road for about 4km until you reach the intersection with SP40. Cross over to the other side straight ahead and you’ll see this famed photographed cypress trees. At this view-point, you’ll need to crop your photo to avoid power lines.
Take the SP40 downhill for about 600m and to your left is a parking lot where again you will be able to photograph the cypress tress and the winding road. Opposite the parking lot is the Dopolavoro restaurant & bar. Drive down for another 900m and to your right is the entrance to road leading up to the cypress tress and that winding road.
Staying on the SP40 we then took a left onto SR2 onwards to Radiocofani, another town up on the hills. This section of the SR2 is a sigle carriage motorway. About 5km ahead, after a petrol station turn left onto SS478 that will lead up to Radicofani. This will be an uphill drive with fantastic mountain views as you get further up. We actually stopped by the roadside that has a picnic bench and had our lunch under the ble sky with endless view to the mountains.
Radiocofani was the last town we visited and we are then off to our hotel in Monteroni d’Arabia. For our 2nd day, we had travelled a distance of 122km and were truly amazed at the beautiful sights Tuscany has to offer. To enjoy this, you have to drive. We are pretty sure there is no similar tour package itinerary similar to what we’ve enjoyed and have experienced.