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The waterway in Val d'Orcia, Siena

The waterway in Val d’Orcia, Siena

(di Eduardo Lubrano). The water path between Vivo d’Orcia and the Ermicciolo knoll is one of the most evocative routes in the splendid Val d’Orcia, in Tuscany, just south of the famous “Crete Senesi”. It is an experience of total immersion in the penumbra of the woodland surrounding the small hamlet of Vivo d’Orcia, which belongs to the municipality of Castiglione d’Orcia, in the province of Siena. The site is just a few kilometres from the two famous wine-producing towns of Montalcino and Montepulciano. And it is a UNESCO site.

The water path starts in the centre of the small village and runs along the Vivo stream, from which the small village takes its name.  As you leave the last houses behind, you seem to enter a fairy-tale landscape: a dense wood, consisting mainly of chestnut trees, covers the path. Just enough to allow the light to filter through, maintaining a pleasant coolness in the warmer months.

Along the way, you can still see the ruins of old mills that operated with the power of water, as well as sawmills, ironworks and other buildings. One of the most fascinating encounters is the “laghetto dello scodellino”, followed by “la cascatella”.

Beyond all this is the Ermicciolo hillock where the Ermicciolo springs are located. An authentic spectacle of nature carved into the rock and made accessible thanks to the structure of the ancient aqueduct built between 1908 and 1914 and the joint work of the Fiora Aqueduct with the Municipal Administration of Castiglione d’Orcia and the Parco Vivo. The church of San Benedetto is also worth a visit.

There is not only the water path, which already has a lot to offer, because tourists can enjoy various tourist offers in the name of culture and art. During the summer period the Alba e tramonto festival is held. Two months of shows, events, walks and meetings, to enhance the hours of the day, especially those in transit, which have always been in dialogue with the colours of the Val d’Orcia.

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