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Val d'Orcia
Site number:
Type of site: Cultural
Date: 14-15th century
Date of Inscription: 2004
Location: Europe, Italy, Tuscany, Province of Siena
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Description: Part of the agricultural hinterland of Siena, the landscape of Val d'Orcia was integrated in the territory of the city-state in the 14th and 15th centuries. To reflect a romanticized model of the good governance of Siena and to fashion an aesthetically pleasing representation, Val d’Orcia was re-drawn and developed. Countless artists have been inspired by the landscape's distinctive aesthetics, made up of flat chalk plains from which rise almost conical hills topped with fortified settlements. Their work illustrates the beauty of well-managed Renaissance agricultural landscapes. The inscribed site encompasses an agrarian and pastoral landscape manifesting ground-breaking land management systems; towns and villages; farmhouses; and the Roman Via Francigena and its associated abbeys, inns, shrines, bridges and the like. --WHMNet paraphrase from the description at WHC Site, where additional information is available.
  The Val d’Orcia, or Valdorcia, is a region of Tuscany, central Italy, which extends from the hills south of Siena to Monte Amiata. It is characterised by gentle, carefully-cultivated hills occasionally broken by gullies and by picturesque towns and villages such as Pienza (rebuilt as an “ideal town” in the 15th century under the patronage of Pope Pius II), Radicofani (home to the notorious brigand-hero Ghino di Tacco) and Montalcino (the Brunello di Montalcino is counted among the most prestigious of Italian wines). It is a landscape which has become familiar through its depiction in works of art from the Renaissance painting to the modern photograph. --Wikipedia. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.
Reference: 1. UNESCO World Heritage Center, Site Page.
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