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San Quirico d’Orcia is a small, hilltop town in Val d’Orcia, Tuscany. This is one of the smallest towns in the area and often overlooked by many travelers. If you have a few hours to spare, this lovely village a joy to visit.

Interesting Facts about San Quirico d’Orcia

San Quirico d’Orcia is located in Val d’Orcia, Tuscany. Val d’Orcia is famous for being one of the most beautiful landscapes in Tuscany, with its rolling hills, snaking lines of cypress trees, lakes and vineyards, and array of hilltop towns.

Also in Val d’Orcia are Pienza, Montalcino, and Radicofani. Val d’Orcia was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 2004.

San Quirico d’Orcia is named in honor of Saint Quiricus. This town is located on the Via Francigena, a pilgrimage route that once connected Canterbury, England with southern Italy.

The list of things to do in San Quirico d’Orcia is very small, which is one of the reasons we liked it so much. Strolling through town, along the colorful main street of Via Dante Alighieri, and having lunch topped our list of favorite experiences here.

Best Things to Do in San Quirico d’Orcia

Stroll along Via Dante Alighieri

Via Dante Alighieri is the road that runs through the center of San Quirico d’Orcia. This colorful street is lined with cafes and small shops. It’s just over 400 meters long, from one end of town to the other, which gives you an idea of just how small this town is.

Breaking off from Via Dante Alighieri are small side streets that lead to houses and views over Val d’Orcia.

San Quirico d'Orcia

Via Dante Alighieri


Via Dante Alighieri San Quirico d'Orcia

Via Dante Alighieri

Piazza della Liberta

Piazza della Liberta is the main square in San Quirico d’Orcia. Surrounding the square are more cafes, shops, and Chiesa di San Francesco. This church, also known as Chiesa della Madonna, is dedicated to Saint Francis and inside you can see a statue of the Madonna that was created by Andrea della Robbia.

San Quirico d'Orcia Piazza della Liberta

Piazza della Liberta


Chiesa della Madonna

Chiesa della Madonna


Piazza della Liberta

The view from Chiesa della Madonna. InTralci, the restaurant where we had lunch (mentioned later in this guide) is the blue building in this photo.

Collegiate Church of San Quirico d’Orcia

This church, which also goes by the name the Collegiate Church of Saints Quirico and Giulitta, dates back to the 8th century. It was rebuilt and enlarged several times since then, so it has several architectural styles.

Giovanni Pisano, who was also involved in the construction of the Siena Cathedral, is thought to have created one of the doors into the church in 1288.

Collegiate Church of San Quirico d’Orcia

Collegiate Church of San Quirico d’Orcia

Horti Leonini

Horti Leonini is a community garden that sits just a short walk from Piazza della Liberta. This Italian garden contains numerous statues, including a statue of Cosimo III de’Medici.

Climb the steps on the far end of the garden. From the tops of the steps, you can look out over the garden and rooftops of San Quirico d’Orcia and over the rolling hills of Val d’Orcia.

Horti Leoni

Horti Leoni


Horti Leoni Red Telephone Booth

Horti Leoni San Quirico d'Orcia

Horti Leoni Viewpoint

The view from Horti Leonini

Have Lunch or Dinner

While in any of the hill towns in Tuscany, one of the best things to do is to eat the food and drink the wine.

There are number of restaurants to take your pick from in Val d’Orcia. We had lunch at InTralci Wine Bar, trying local foods and wine, making this our favorite experience in Val d’Orcia.

InTralci is located on Via Dante Alighieri, within view of Piazza della Liberta. There are a few outdoor tables and a few indoor tables. The menu for the day is written on a chalkboard. At the advice of the owner, we ate several varieties of bruschetta as well as arancini and pici pasta. The food, the wine, the service, and the setting were fantastic.

San Quirico Where to Eat

Lunch at InTralci

Other restaurants that get great reviews include Ristorante Fonte alla Vena and Trattoria Toscana al Vecchio Forno (two Michelin-starred restaurants), Ross o Vivo Pizzeria Verace (some people say it’s the best pizza in town), and La Bottega di Cacio (a specialty food market).

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Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta

This small church was built in the 12th century. It is topped with a bell tower and vestry. It sits at the southern end of Via Dante Alighieri.

Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta

Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta

How Much Time Do You Need in San Quirico d’Orcia?

To stroll along Via Dante Alighieri, visit the garden and the Collegiate Church of San Quirico d’Orcia, and have lunch or dinner, plan on spending about two to three hours in San Quirico d’Orcia.

How to Get to San Quirico d’Orcia

The best way to get to San Quirico d’Orcia is by car. Very few tours include San Quirico d’Orcia, since they usually visit the more popular towns of Pienza and Montalcino. With a car, you can also visit several famous viewpoints of Val d’Orcia, mentioned next.

Here are driving distances and times from nearby destinations:

  • Pienza: 10 km, 15 minutes
  • Montalcino: 15 km, 20 minutes
  • Montepulciano: 24 km, 30 minutes
  • Florence: 120 km, 2 hours
  • Siena: 47 km, 55 minutes

Things to Do Near San Quirico d’Orcia

There are several viewpoints of Val d’Orcia that are a very short drive from this town.

Cappella della Madonna di Vitaleta is a small chapel that is a very popular photo spot in Val d’Orcia. You can see it from a distance on Strada Provinciale 146 die Chianciano. To see it up close, you’ll have to drive on a gravel road, park at this spot, and then it is a 10-minute walk to the chapel.

To see the famous circle of cypress trees, which is labeled as Cipressi di San Quirico d’Orcia on Google Maps, it is a five minute drive from San Quirico d’Orcia. There is a small parking lot on SR2 and it is a 5-minute walk up to the viewpoint. Our photos were taken in September, when the land is tilled. For the lush, green photos that you see on postcards, visit Tuscany in May.

You can also combine a visit to San Quirico d’Orcia with the nearby towns of Pienza, Montalcino, and/or Montepulciano.

Cipressi di San Quirico d’Orcia

Cipressi di San Quirico d’Orcia in September


Val dOrcia Cypress Trees

From the Cipressi di San Quirico d’Orcia viewpoint, if you walk farther along the gravel road, you can also see this ring of cypress trees.

Where We Stayed

We spent three nights at Villa le Prata, which is a short drive from San Quirico d’Orcia and a great home base for exploring Val d’Orcia. At Villa le Prata, we got the experience of staying in a Tuscan villa, which was extra special since the end of September is harvest season. At the villa, we had dinner each night, plus sunset wine tastings and tours of the vineyard.

Staying in a villa is a wonderful experience to have while in Tuscany. There are many villas located in the area, but we chose Villa le Prata since it gets rave reviews, and we have to agree. Staying here was one of our highlights of our time in Tuscany.

More Information for Your Trip to Tuscany

FLORENCE: For a list of things to do, take a look at our Florence Bucket List and learn how to plan your time with our 2 Day Florence Itinerary. We also have information about how to visit the Florence Cathedral, about the best rooftop bars in Florence, the best viewpoints in Florence, and where to stay in Florence.

TUSCANY: Get started with our guide to the Best Things to Do in Tuscany. Learn how to plan your visit with our Tuscany Itinerary, which has sample itineraries, whether you have 3 days, 5 days, or an entire week in Tuscany.

TUSCAN HILL TOWNS: Check out our detailed guides to Siena, Montepulciano, Pienza, Montalcino, San Gimignano, Monteriggioni, Lucca, Volterra, Arezzo, and Cortona. For a full list of things to do, read our article Best Things to Do in Tuscany.

If you have any questions about things to do in San Quirico d’Orcia, let us know in the comment section below.

More Information about Italy

ITALY ITINERARIES: If you are just beginning to plan your Italy itinerary, take a look at our 10 Days in Italy Itinerary for five different ways to spend 10 days in Italy. We also have a detailed 10 day itinerary that includes Rome, Florence, the Cinque Terre, and Venice. For those with more time, check out our 14 day Italy itinerary, which covers the highlights of Italy.

BEST OF ITALY: In our guide to the Best Places to Visit in Italy, we list 25 beautiful destinations to consider for your next trip to Italy.

UMBRIA: In our article Best Things to Do in Assisi, we cover the top experiences to have, plus where to eat and where to stay. In our One Day in Assisi Itinerary, we have a detailed walking tour of the historic city center. And don’t miss our guide to the Best Things to Do in Orvieto.

ROME: For a list of the top experiences in Rome, read our article Best Things to Do in Rome. Learn how to put these together in our 2 Day Rome Itinerary and 3 day Rome Itinerary. And don’t miss our guides to the Best Views of Rome, best Rooftop Bars in Rome, and our Rome Restaurant Guide.

We have TONS more information about Italy in our Italy Travel Guide, including Rome, Florence, Venice, Tuscany, the Dolomites, the Amalfi Coast, the Cinque Terre, Basilicata, and Puglia.


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