What to do in Etruria near the border between Umbria and Tuscany
What to do in Tuscany near Umbria and in Umbria near Tuscany? Asking this question is more or less equivalent to asking what to do in Eastern Etruria. Answering it is one of the fundamental purposes of this website, which is not called Visit Etruria by chance, and has been written by people who have always lived and breathed Eastern Etruria. Here are some tips on what to do in Etruria near the border between Umbria and Tuscany.
What to eat
The most important thing to do has to be to eat. Torta al testo in Umbria, ribollita in Tuscany, porchetta in Monte San Savino, pecorino in Pienza, pici all’aglione in Valdichiana Senese, carpa in porchetta on the Trasimeno, crostini neri in Arezzo, dishes with Chianina in Valdichiana and with saffron in Città della Pieve: these are just some of the typical dishes you can eat in Eastern Etruria. If you then decide to visit Florence, you will also be spoiled for choice. Having been the largest and most powerful city in Etruria for centuries, it has made dishes originating from different places its own. The most famous examples include two street foods: schiacciata and lampredotto, but also Florentine steak and Florentine tripe.
In the centre of Eastern Etruria, near the Valdichiana tollbooth, there is a place that shopping lovers flock to, even from Rome. It is the Valdichiana Village, an outlet with over 140 shops and heavy discounts all year round. More info on the outlet.
Eastern Etruria in the province of Siena is one of the areas in Italy with the highest concentration of thermal baths. The main thermal spa resorts are Rapolano Terme in Crete Senesi, Chianciano Terme and Montepulciano in Valdichiana, Bagno Vignoni and Bagni San Filippo in Val d’Orcia, and San Casciano dei Bagni on the border with Umbria and Lazio.
Many facilities and some premises organise classes, mainly cooking and tasting classes. Fresh pasta and wine are essential in the culture of Eastern Etruria, but there is no shortage of other typical dishes, which vary from area to area; in particular you can distinguish between Umbrian, Sienese and Arezzo cuisine.
The typical food and wine produce of Eastern Etruria that can be easily tasted are Brunello wine in Montalcino, vino Nobile in Montepulciano, Chianti Classico wine in Castelnuovo Berardenga, Syrah wine in Cortona, Orvieto Classico white wine and L’Orvietan bitter liqueur in Orvieto, pecorino in Pienza, Tuscan and Umbrian oils and cold cuts all over, chocolate in Perugia and panforte in Siena.
Several facilities organise guided excursions on foot or by mountain bike, or they simply rent bikes. The path that is easiest to stumble on is the one that crosses almost all of Valdichiana, the Sentiero della Bonifica (Path of Reclamation), 62 km on level ground that goes from Chiusi to Arezzo. However, halfway along the path there is also a 12 km branch that leads to the main Etruscan archaeological site of Cortona. There is no shortage of stables that organise guided trips. It is best to avoid excursions in the hottest period of the year.
In the heart of Eastern Etruria, you can definitely play golf, padel, and tennis, as well as go kitesurfing, mountain biking and horseback riding: after all, the two most important equestrian events in Italy are held in Arezzo and Siena.