Discover Val di Chiana: Tuscany’s Scenic and Historic Valley

Val di Chiana, a beautiful valley in Tuscany, Italy, is renowned for its picturesque landscapes, rich history, and culinary delights. Stretching between the provinces of Arezzo and Siena, Val di Chiana offers visitors a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage. This guide will help you explore the best attractions, activities, and culinary experiences in Val di Chiana.

Val di Chiana - Tuscany - Italy

Getting to Val di Chiana

Val di Chiana is easily accessible by car, train, and bus. The nearest major airports are in Florence and Rome. From Florence, you can take a train to Arezzo or Chiusi-Chianciano Terme, which are key towns in the valley. Driving offers flexibility and the opportunity to explore the scenic countryside.

Top Attractions in Val di Chiana


Arezzo is one of the principal towns in Val di Chiana, known for its medieval architecture and vibrant arts scene. Key attractions include the Basilica of San Francesco, which houses Piero della Francesca’s famous fresco cycle “The Legend of the True Cross,” and Piazza Grande, a beautiful square that hosts the annual medieval jousting tournament, Giostra del Saracino.


Cortona, perched on a hill, offers stunning views of the valley. This charming town features narrow streets, historic buildings, and excellent museums. Don’t miss the Diocesan Museum, which houses works by Fra Angelico, and the Etruscan Academy Museum, showcasing artifacts from the town’s ancient past.


Montepulciano is famous for its Renaissance architecture and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano wine. Visit Piazza Grande, the heart of the town, and climb the tower of Palazzo Comunale for panoramic views. The town’s wine cellars, many of which are located underground, offer fascinating tours and tastings.

Exploring the Countryside

Chiusi Lake

Chiusi Lake, located near the town of Chiusi, is a tranquil spot ideal for birdwatching, fishing, and picnicking. The lake is surrounded by lush vegetation and offers scenic walking and cycling paths.

Thermal Baths

Val di Chiana is home to several thermal baths, known for their therapeutic properties. The spa town of Chianciano Terme is one of the most popular destinations, offering a range of wellness treatments and thermal pools.

Culinary Delights in Val di Chiana

Val di Chiana is renowned for its cuisine, which reflects the rich agricultural heritage of the region. Some must-try dishes include:

  • Chianina Beef: This local breed of cattle is known for its high-quality meat, used to make the famous Bistecca alla Fiorentina.
  • Pici Pasta: A thick, hand-rolled pasta often served with a garlic tomato sauce or rich meat ragu.
  • Cantucci: Almond biscuits typically dipped in Vin Santo, a local dessert wine.

Local restaurants and trattorias offer authentic Tuscan dining experiences, often featuring fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

Practical Information

Val di Chiana is best explored by car to fully appreciate its scenic beauty and to easily access its various attractions. The valley enjoys a mild climate, with hot summers and cool winters. The best times to visit are during the spring (April to June) and fall (September to October), when the weather is pleasant and the landscapes are at their most vibrant.


Q: What is the best time to visit Val di Chiana?
A: The best times to visit are during the spring and fall for mild weather and vibrant landscapes.

Q: How can I get to Val di Chiana from Florence?
A: You can take a train to Arezzo or Chiusi-Chianciano Terme. Driving is also a convenient option.

Q: What local dishes should I try in Val di Chiana?
A: Try Chianina beef, Pici pasta, and Cantucci with Vin Santo.

Q: Are there any thermal baths in Val di Chiana?
A: Yes, Chianciano Terme is a popular spa town offering various wellness treatments and thermal pools.

Val di Chiana, with its rich history, stunning landscapes, and delicious cuisine, offers an unforgettable Tuscan experience. Whether you’re exploring historic towns, relaxing in thermal baths, or enjoying local wines and dishes, Val di Chiana promises a delightful journey through one of Italy’s most beautiful regions.

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