Valiano Travel Guide

Discover the secrets of Valiano in Tuscany, Italy - Learn about its best attractions, activities, food and more in this comprehensive travel guide.

Nestled in the heart of beautiful Tuscany, Italy lies the charming village of Valiano. This off-the-beaten-path destination is perfect for travelers looking to escape crowds and explore a more authentic side of Italy. From natural scenic beauty to cultural experiences, there is something for everyone in Valiano.

Introduction to Valiano

Valiano is a small village located in the Siena province of Tuscany, Italy. Surrounded by rolling hills, vineyards, and olive groves, Valiano is the perfect place to relax and unwind. The village dates back to medieval times and it is filled with narrow streets and stone buildings that transport you back in time.

List of Places to Visit in Valiano

Valiano offers a variety of attractions that cater to different interests. Whether you are into history, nature, or food and wine, Valiano has something to offer. Here are some of the best places to visit in Valiano:

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • The Church of San Michele Arcangelo: The church is located in the center of Valiano and dates back to the 13th century. Its stunning architecture and intricate frescoes are sure to impress art lovers.
  • Castello di Montalto: This castle is located on a hill just outside of Valiano. Built in the 10th century, it offers stunning views of the surrounding Tuscan countryside.
  • The Museum of Rural Life: Located in the nearby town of Asciano, this museum has displays of traditional Tuscan rural life, including farming tools and household items.

Natural Attractions of Valiano: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Crete Senesi: Valiano is located in the heart of Crete Senesi, a region known for its gorgeous rolling hills and unique landscape. Consider taking a drive or hike through this scenic area.
  • Natural Park of Montagnola Senese: The park surrounds Valiano and offers hiking trails and beautiful views of the area.
  • The Garden of La Foce: Located just a few miles from Valiano, this garden is a must-see for nature lovers. Its colorful flowers and unique sculptures are a sight to behold.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Valiano

Valiano and its surrounding areas are fantastic for a day or multiple day hikes or bike tours. Here are some excellent hiking and biking trails in Valiano.

  • Val d’Orcia Natural Park Loop – an 8-mile loop starting in San Quirico d’Orcia and covering the Collina del Vento, the Chapel of the Madonna di Vitaleta, and Pienza.
  • Monte Oliveto Abbey Trail – a five-mile hike that begins at the abbey and takes visitors on a path leading to the town of Buonconvento.

Best Things to Do in Valiano: Activities and Tours

There are plenty of activities and tours in Valiano that cater to different interests and budgets. Here are some of the best things to do in Valiano:

  • Wine and food tasting: Valiano is surrounded by vineyards and olive groves, making it the perfect place to indulge in the best wine and food that Tuscany has to offer. You can book a tour to one of the local wineries
  • Balloon Rides: Take a hot air balloon ride over Tuscany and take in the breathtaking scenery from above.
  • Cooking classes: Learn how to cook traditional Tuscan cuisine under the supervision of a local chef during a cooking class.

Week-Long Itinerary for Valiano

If you have a week to spend in Valiano, here is an itinerary that will allow you to experience the best of the village and its surrounding areas:

  • Day 1-3: Explore Valiano and the nearby town of Asciano, visit museums, churches, and do some hiking in the Natural Park of Montagnola Senese.
  • Day 4-5: Visit the towns of Pienza and Buonconvento and explore their historic landmarks and famous food specialties.
  • Day 6-7: Go for a hot-air balloon ride and take a wine and food tour of the area with a professional guide.

Food and Drink Scene of Valiano

Tuscany is known for its delicious food and wine, and Valiano is no different. Here are some of the must-try dishes and local beverages:

Must-Try Dishes

  • Cacciatore: a hearty Tuscan stew made with wild game, tomato sauce, and red wine.
  • Pappa al pomodoro: a traditional Tuscan soup made with tomatoes, bread, and olive oil.
  • Ribollita: a vegetable and bread soup.

Local Beverages

  • Chianti Classico: Tuscany is renowned for its wine, and the Chianti Classico is one of the best.
  • Brunello di Montalcino: A red wine from the town of Montalcino, known for its robust aging qualities.
  • Vino Nobile di Montepulciano: Another red wine from Montepulciano, known for its velvety texture.

Where to Stay in Valiano: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Valiano offers a variety of accommodation options ranging from budget-friendly hostels to luxury villas. Here are some recommendations:

  • Relais Val d’Orcia: an upscale hotel located in the nearby town of San Quirico d’Orcia, offering stunning views and a beautiful outdoor pool.
  • The Lazy Olive: a bed and breakfast located in a renovated farmhouse just outside of Valiano, offering a charming Tuscan countryside experience.

What to Buy in Valiano: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Tuscany is famous for its artisanal crafts and food products. Here are some of the best souvenirs and products to bring home from Valiano:

  • Pecorino cheese: This sheep’s milk cheese is a must-try when in Tuscany.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Tuscany is known for its olive groves, and their olive oils are among the best in Italy.
  • Pottery: Tuscany is renowned for its ceramics and pottery, with each town having its distinctive style.

Local Culture and Customs of Valiano

Valiano is a small village with a close-knit community. It is essential to respect the local culture and customs. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Not speaking Italian: English is not widely spoken in Valiano, so it is helpful to learn a few basic Italian phrases.
  • Dressing appropriately: Dress modestly when visiting churches and other religious sites.
  • Remembering siesta time: Many shops close for a two-hour “siesta” in the afternoon, so plan accordingly.

Best Time to Visit Valiano

The best time to visit Valiano is during the shoulder season of April to June and from September to November. During these months, the weather is pleasant and the crowds are fewer.

Do’s and Don’ts of Valiano


  • Respect local culture and customs: Italians take pride in their cultural heritage, so it is essential to be respectful towards their customs and traditions.
  • Ask locals for recommendations: Italians are generally warm and welcoming people, so feel free to ask for recommendations for places to eat or things to do.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings: Valiano is a relatively safe place, but it is essential to be aware of your surroundings and keep your belongings close to avoid pickpocketing.


  • Be Too Loud: Italians value peace and quiet, so avoid being too loud or rowdy in public places.
  • Wear revealing clothing: Dress modestly when visiting religious sites.
  • Drive under the influence: The legal limit for drunk driving in Italy is extremely low, so it is essential to avoid driving under the influence.

Safety and Health

Safety in Valiano

Valiano is generally safe, but it is essential to keep your belongings close and be mindful of your surroundings, particularly in tourist-heavy areas to avoid pick-pocketing.

Health in Valiano

The tap water in Valiano is safe to drink, but it is always good to carry a reusable water bottle. There is a local pharmacy in the village and a hospital in the nearby town of Siena.

Getting to Valiano: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Valiano

The nearest airport to Valiano is the Florence Airport, located about 86 km away. Other nearby airports include Pisa International Airport (136 km) and Rome Fiumicino Airport (245 km).

Bus Stations Near Valiano

The nearest bus station is in the nearby town of Asciano and is connected to Siena and other major cities in Tuscany.

Other Options

One of the best ways to explore Valiano and its surrounding areas is by renting a car. Driving around Tuscany’s winding roads can be challenging for novices, so it is essential to brush up on Italian driving rules.

How to Get Around in Valiano

Valiano is a small village that is best explored on foot. If you plan on traveling to nearby towns and attractions, renting a car is the best option.

Where to Go Next from Valiano: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Valiano is situated in the heart of Tuscany, making it the perfect base for exploring other nearby towns and attractions. Here are some recommendations:

  • Siena: Just a 30-minute drive from Valiano, Siena is a beautiful city famous for its medieval architecture and rich history.
  • Montalcino: Known for its vineyards and beautiful landscapes, this town is just an hour’s drive from Valiano.
  • Montepulciano: Another charming town located in the Val d’Orcia region, famous for its wine and architecture.


Valiano is a hidden gem in Tuscany that is worth visiting. This comprehensive guide will help you plan your trip to Valiano and ensure that you experience the best that Tuscany has to offer. Make sure to pack accordingly, wear comfy shoes, and be open to new experiences!