If you go
THE BEST WAY TO THE VAL D'ORCIA, ITALY
From LAX, Alitalia, Lufthansa, Air France, British, US Airways, United, Swiss, Delta and KLM offer connecting service (change of planes) to Rome. Restricted round-trip fares begin at $767, including all taxes and fees. Lufthansa, Air France, Swiss, KLM, Delta, United and US Airways offer connecting service to Florence. Restricted round-trip fares begin at $822, including all taxes and fees. Both cities are about a two-hour drive to the Val d'Orcia. Cars can be rented in Florence or Rome through Hertz, Avis and Europcar.
To call the numbers below from the U.S., dial 011 (the international dialing code), 39 (country code for Italy) and the local number.
WHERE TO STAY
Castiglion del Bosco, Località Castiglion del Bosco, Montalcino; 0577-191-3001l www.castigliondelbosco.com. Villas sleeping 6-10, $2,603 to $8,220 a night; suites $616 to $1,000, both depending on season. An entire hilltop village with spa, restaurants, shop, cooking school, Tom Weiskopf golf course, stable.
La Bandita Townhouse, 111 Corso Rossellino, Pienza; www.labanditatownhouse.com. $267 to $952 a night, depending on season, includes breakfast in excellent Townhouse Café.
Podere Il Casale, 64, 53026 Pienza, 0578-755-109, www.podereilcasale.it. Camping is available for $8 per spot, plus $14 per person. Two group meals for about $48 a day. Very rustic.
Agriturismo.net is a comprehensive service for finding country farmhouse experiences in Val d'Orcia.
WHERE TO EAT
Osteria Perillà, 74 Via Borgo Maestro, Rocca d'Orcia; 0577-887-263, www.osteriaperilla.it. Highly rated farm-to-table Tuscan cucina nuova, part of the Podere Forte farm. Menu changes frequently.
Ristorante Boccon DiVino, 201 Via Traversa dei Monti 201, Montalcino; 0577-848-233, www.boccondivinomontalcino.it. Massimo Ferragamo's local favorite, traditional Tuscan with twists. Pastas, $18; Secondi, $25.
Osteria Acquacheta, 2 Via del Teatro, Montepulciano; 0578-717-086, www.acquacheta.eu. Specializes in bistecca alla fiorentina ($40 per kilo), soups and pastas $10-19.
TO LEARN MORE
A Tuscany-produced website, www.discovertuscany.com, is a solid English-language resource, with a good section on Val d'Orcia. Information on tourist visas, embassies and documents is found at www.italia.it/en.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun