Val d'Orcia
Val d'Orcia

What to do in San Quirico d’Orcia

San Quirico d’Orcia, a charming village in the Val d’Orcia

San Quirico d’Orcia is an ancient walled town located in the heart of the beautiful Val d’Orcia, halfway between Pienza and Montalcino.

The village owes its fortune to the position on the path of the Via Francigena; we find it mentioned in Sigeric’s itinerary (10th century) with the name of “Sce Quiric”.

According to archaeological findings, a first settlement was founded by the Etruscans.

The current village was developed in the early Middle Ages around the ancient parish church of Osenna, now replaced by the Collegiata dei santi Quirico e Giulitta (Collegiate curch of the saints Quirico and Giulitta).

During the thirteenth century San Quirico came under the control of Siena. During the XV century the Sienese enlarged and restructured several times the city walls that are largely preserved to our times.

Things to do in San Quirico d’Orcia: the guide

Walking through the main street, via Dante Alighieri, from north to south, you will find the main historical buildings of San Quirico: La Collegiata, Palazzo Chigi, the church of San Francesco (Saint Francis) and church of Santa Maria Assunta.

  • Collegiata dei Santi Quirico e Giulitta
  • Palazzo Chigi
  • Chiesa di San Francesco
  • Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta
  • Horti Leonini

Collegiata dei santi Quirico e Giulitta

It is a romanesque church built in the 12th century and renovated in the following century.
The Church has a very simple facade embellished by a magnificent portal with a round arch decorated with knotted columns resting on lions. The lintel is decorated with a bas-relief with monsters (crocodiles?); in the lunette of the portal there is a statue of San Quirico .
Remarkable also the two portals on the left of the Church, particularly the left onw presenting two caryatids resting over Lions.

Things to do in San Quirico d'Orcia: visit the Collegiata
Collegiate curch of the saints Quirico and Giulitta (Photo by Vignaccia76CC BY)

Inside there is a polyptych by Sano di Pietro, Madonna col Bambino e quattro Santi and a wooden choir by Antonio Barili.

San Quirico d'Orcia cosa vedere - Collegiata - Polittico di Sano di Pietro
Polyptych by Sano di Pietro (Photo by Edisonblus / CC BY)

Palazzo Chigi

Built in the XVII century, today is the building of the municipality. Inside are preserved numerous frescos of roman painters.

San Quirico d'Orcia cosa vedere Palazzo Chigi
Palazzo Chigi (Photo by Sailko / CC BY)

Chiesa di San Francesco

The church of Saint Francis, also known as Chiesa della Madonna di Vitaleta, contains a terracotta depicting the Madonna attributed to Andrea della Robbia and others pieces of art dated between the XV and the XVII century.

Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta

This small romanesque  church, XI century, has one nave ending in an apse and a nice portal open on the left side.

Things to do in San Quirico d'Orcia: visit the church of Santa Maria assunta
Church of Santa Maria assunta (Photo by Vignaccia76CC BY)

Horti Leonini

The Horti Leonini are a wonderful example of italian garden. This park was created around the middle of the sixteenth century by Diomede Leoni in an area next to the city walls. In the centre of this garden, between nice flowerbeds, stands the statue of Grand Duke Cosimo III de ‘ Medici (1688).

Things to do in San Quirico d'Orcia: visit the Horti leonini
Horti Leonini

What to see around San Quirico d’Orcia

One of the most famous monument of the val d’Orcia is the Cappella della Madonna di Vitaleta. It is a small chapel situated on a hill along the road leading from San Quirico to Pienza. You should definitely take a picture of the chapel!
what to see in san quirico d'orcia Chapel of the Madonna di Vitaleta
Chapel of the Madonna di Vitaleta (Photo by Massimo TelòCC BY)

Another famous panoramic view point is located about halfway between San Quirico and Montalcino. Is a group of cypresses isolated in the countryside protagonists of countless photographs.
To reach them (from San Quirico) you must take the Strada Regionale 2 (Regionl Road number 2) for about 6 kilometers.

what to see in san quirico d'orcia Cypresses
Cypresses near San Quirico (Photo by lo.tangeliniCC BY)

Just south of San Quirico (about 5 Km) you can find the thermal baths of Bagno Vignoni. Few kilometres beyond Bagno Vignoni, you can visite the “two towers” of the Val d’Orcia: Castiglione d’Orcia and Rocca d’Orcia.

Bagno Vignoni in Val d'Orcia
Bagno Vignoni in Val d’Orcia (Photo by Lepo55 / CC BY)

How to get to San Quirico d’Orcia

By car: from north get to Siena taking the raccordo autostradale Firenze-Siena then continue on SR2 till destination.
From south A1 highway till the exit Chiusi/Chianciano Terme, then SP146 in direction of Chianciano, after 6km turn on SP19 and on the right on SP40 in direction of Abbadia San Salvatore; after 10km turn on the right to San Quirico d’Orcia.

By bus: from Siena line 112 or line 54A by Siena Mobilità.

By train: the closest train station is in Buonconvento, from there you have to take a bus, line 112 by Siena Mobilità

La straordinara campagna intorno a San Quirico d'Orcia
The wonderful countryside around San Quirico d’Orcia (Photo by Enrico Pighetti / CC BY)

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