@Igerssiena founder and instagramer Francesca de Munari’s Val D’Orcia photos truly capture the essence of this fascinating corner of Tuscany, a green valley that stretches between the provinces of Siena and Grosseto where iconic cypress lined white roads and hidden churches instil poetry all throughout the land.
We interviewed Francesca about her Val D’Orcia photos, her favorite itineraries and suggestions on how to experience Tuscany at its fullest. Let this article inspire you – the Val D’Orcia is but a one hour drive away from Dievole!
You travel a lot – how do you feel every time you return to Siena? By looking at your Val D’Orcia photos, it’s quite evident that distance rekindles the photographic passion you feel for your land.
This is very true, I love travelling and am curious by nature so every time there’s a chance to travel I seize it! My journeys don’t only involve international destinations: I truly believe that Italy is the most beautiful country in the world and there are still so many parts of it that I’ve never seen!
Returning from a trip also requires that you re-enter in a mindset made of daily tasks (taking care of work, family, the house) that can be traumatic at times, but hey, let’s face the truth: we live in such a beautiful region that offers breathtaking views just a short car or motorcycle drive away and who doesn’t have an hour of time to spare to discover the heavenly corners of our countryside?
Our natural surroundings change colours with the seasons, this has a very strong therapeutic influence on me. I love taking long walks and admiring the ever-changing scenery. Taking pictures is just my way of burning those images into my mind.
You have a very special bond with light – how do you manage to capture the essence of the world-famous “Tuscan Sun”?
I really wouldn’t know… maybe it’s just luck or my working schedule that has me up and running from sunrise to sunset… So once I’m driving over of from my office, how could I not take advantage of the two most beautiful moments of the day?
Which are your favorite locations and is getting lost an important part of the experience? Do you have any funny stories you would like to share with us about how you found your most beloved spots?
My favorite locations are Bagno Vignoni and the areas around Pienza… Being lost is a fundamental part of exploring, also because the Val d’Orcia is so much more than what it is usually portrayed to be, and how could you ever discover its secrets without getting lost? There’s nothing more beautiful than to wander in our region’s nature.
A cute anecdote? The first time me and my husband went off to look for the Madonna di Vitaleta chapel, a sight I had often admired in magazines and postcards but never in real life. We managed to pinpoint the area thanks to Google Maps but couldn’t find the precise route, so we parked in the middle of a field and walked for about 50 minutes in the middle of nowhere hoping to spot our destination sooner or later… and we did! So we found the chapel and a pretty easy way to get there.
Do you have any tips for the Instagram community on how to approach the Val D’Orcia territory? Trace an ideal itinerary for all of those brave photographers that wish to discover the beautiful and mysterious facets of this charming stretch of Tuscany.
My first tip is to take your time and take it slow. I often meet people who expect to be able to visit Val d’Orcia and the Crete Senesi in half a day.
I would book a stay in a nice hotel or agriturismo, for starters, in order to really enjoy and savour the peaceful, colourful and fragrant nature and also taste some of the region’s most typical flavours. This should become the starting point of a day of intense shooting.
My suggested itinerary would start from San Quirico’s famous cypress lined path, just under Montalcino. From here, I would head to Pienza and stop by the Madonna di Vitaleta chapel (they recently put up a road sign) and finish in Monticchiello. On the way back, I recommend drivin towards Bagno Vignoni to bring the day to a close by admiring Poggio Covili’s iconic cypress road.
Thank you Francesca for sharing your stories and Val D’Orcia photos with us and our readers!