The Clay Hills, one of the most unique landscapes in Tuscany, display an ever-changing palette of color according to the seasons; brilliant yellow sunflowers, rich green young wheat, or neatly ploughed undulating rows of deep brown soil. Groves of silver-leaved olive trees dot the fields, and flocks of sheep graze in open areas. We first drive through the Clay Hills and then visit the 14th century monastery of Monte Oliveto Maggiore , home to frescoed masterpieces by Sodoma and Signorelli. Then we move on to a tiny medieval village where we can wander the narrow streets and enjoy the view. Afterwards we continue on to the Montalcino area for lunch at a family-run farm (extra cost of about €20-25 per person) The father makes sausage and prosciutto; the mother is a wonderful cook and makes homemade pasta; the son is in charge of the wine production – a great trio! We will enjoy a visit to the cellars of this winemaker, specializing in the world-famous Brunello di Montalcino. From here, we head back home.
The Clay Hills can also be an option without wine. In this case we will stop for a casual picnic or trattoria lunch (extra cost of about € 20 per person) and substitute a second lovely hilltown for the winery.
- recommended by Rick Steves’ guidebooks
- joinable tours with an intimate group – max 8 people
- pick-up and drop off at your hotel (9ish to 4ish)
- full day
- 100 euro per person (lunch not included)