The Val d’Orcia RegionWorld Heritage Site
Val d'Orcia extends along Tuscany and northern Lazio. Its landascape is characterised by hills, calanchi (craggy hillsides) and biancane (dome shaped mounds), natural elements that take company along the via Francigena trail which linked Rome to Canterbury.
The Val d’Orcia's name is derived from the Orcia river that crosses the Orcia valley where the enchanting landscape is the natural theatre of many important medieval sites such as castles, fortresses, parish churches, villages, Etruscan, Longobardian and Roman traces. On July 2nd Val d'Orcia was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites because of the excellent preservation of the landscape which inspired so many Renaissance artists.
The Committee decided to inscribe the property on the basis of:
Criterion (iv): The Val d’Orcia is an exceptional reflection of the way the landscape was re-written in Renaissance times to reflect the ideals of good governance and to create an aesthetically pleasing picture.
Criterion (vi): The landscape of the Val d’Orcia was celebrated by painters from the Siennese School, which flourished during the Renaissance. Images of the Val d’Orcia, and particularly depictions of landscapes where people are shown 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.