Today I’ll continue our trip through tuscan countryside: Val di Chiana is the name used to denominate the country around Cortona and Arezzo. The valley gives name to a type of beef meat, the “chianina”, a local product tipically served everywhere”al sangue” (rare) with vegetables. To reach Val di Chiana from Val D’Orcia, there are about 20-25 km from Montepulciano to Cortona: Cortona it’s a medieval village developed on several levels, with beautiful churches and monasteries.


The main square in Cortona is Piazza della Repubblica, placed on a higher level than the contiguous streets, which bring down to the town’s medieval doors.


Cortona has just a special charme, with all these ancient sideways that you can glimpse strolling in the main street. To be lost in these tiny streets is just the best way to visit and appreciate the town.



Close to the town doors, in few alleys, you can admire also some ancient medieval houses: with a little imagination, you’ll go backwards over the centuries.


After that, following the main road by car, you’ll soon reach Arezzo (half-hour); Arezzo too is placed on several levels, and the most interesting part of the city is on the peak of the hill: so, you’ll start your “promenade” at the “feet” of the town, climbing littlle by little the ancient alleys till you’ll reach the main square (Piazza Grande, or Piazza Vasari) and the Duomo.


Curiously, the main square is similar to Piazza del Campo in Siena: it has the same incline, and the main buildings (a church, Pieve di Santa Maria, and the CourtHouse) are surrounded by characteristic multi-level houses. Just on the right side of the church, you can admire the “Logge del Vasari”, a long colonnade that ran along the square.


The Duomo, dedicated to San Donato, in its back is surrounded by beautiful gardens, and the gothic inside is perfectly preserved. In the church, Pope Gregorio X’s relics are on display, and you can admire the fresco paintings of Piero della Francesca and beautiful stained-glass windows of Guillaume de Marcillat.



  1. Ciao, Cristina! I’m really grateful for this post; my family and I stayed in this area for 2 weeks two years ago. We just loved it. We didn’t visit these towns but they do remind me of the ones we did visit: Montepulciano, Volterra and San Gimignano. It’s a magical region; all of it. I’ve truly enjoyed revisiting.
    Thanks for bringing me back one of my best holidays ever! ❤

    • Hello to you! I totally agree with you. Tuscany has such beautiful places. I’m lucky to live near it.
      Some years ago I stayed in Volterra and San Gimignano, and i visited Siena. They’re great places too. And food is just excellent. Thank you to you to stopping by!Xoxo Cris

  2. che bello cara amica! quante volte sono stata in questi posti!! a Giugno vado a Bolgheri in provincia di Grosseto! sai lì c’è il vile di cipressi al quale Giosuè Carducci ha dedicato una poesia!!! ti ricordi” davanti San Guido” è un posto meraviglioso! buona giornata e grazie per queste meravigliose immagini!

    • ciao cara! sai che lì invece non ci sono mai stata? la provincia di Grosseto è l’unica parte della Toscana che devo ancora visitare! uao, che citazione colta, no, non ricordavo.. se capito da quelle parti vado a fotografarlo sicuramente! Buona giornata! Cri

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