The landscape of Val d’Orcia is part of the agricultural hinterland of Siena, which extends from the hills south of Siena to Monte Amiata.
It is characterised by gentle and conical hills with fortified settlements on top occasionally broken by gullies and by picturesque towns and villages such as Pienza and Montalcino (the Brunello di Montalcino is counted among the most prestigious of Italian wines). It is a landscape which has become familiar through its depiction in works of art from the Renaissance painting to the modern photograph.
The landscape of the Val d’Orcia was celebrated by painters from the Scuola Senese, which flourished during the Renaissance. Images of the Val d’Orcia, and particularly depictions of landscapes where people are depicted as living in harmony with nature, have come to be seen as icons of the Renaissance and have profoundly influenced the development of landscape thinking
This is only one of the reasons that allowed that in 2004 the Val d’Orcia was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites