Val D'Orica: High on Tuscany

I came to Italy's Val D' Orica for the first time with my son, Jacob, to ride horses--only to learn that the horses were too spirited for mere amateurs to ride. Since we'd signed on for a week, we had to learn how to relax. The longer we stayed in this rarified air, enjoying this spartan beauty, the easier it became. No wonder it's a UNESCO World Heritage site and a summer playground for rich people from Rome:

"Gently-rolling hills covered in the dense vegetation of vineyards, olive groves, cypresses, beech and chestnut trees alternate with Medieval habitations, rural villas and castles boasting impervious towers – all of which is diffused in a tranquilly-isolated nature. This is the scenario that is laid out before the eyes of the visitor to Val d’Orcia – just as evocative in real life as it is when depicted by the Sienese Masters." 
A photo posted by Landscapes | Travel | Animals (@naturerad) on