The white gravel road (or strada bianca), the Gladiator road towards Podere Terralippe 
Circular walk between Pienza and the Cappella di Vitaleta, along the famous Gladiator road
Itinerary in the great scenery of the Val d’Orcia. There is no difficulty in following the track. It is a magical moment when you reach the Cappella di Vitaleta, a small chapel gracing many postcards. On the first stretchs you walk along the winding scenic road where Russell Crowe returned home in Gladiator.
And a visit to Pienza, rebuilt as an ideal town in the 15th century, is a must. You can start your journey with a good coffee at Buongusto on Piazza San Carlo, or have lunch at La Chiocciola (Via Mario Mencattelli, 2) near the parking lot in Via Mario Mencatelli.
Circular walk | Anello Pienza - Cappella di Vitaleta | Ingrandire mappa
This itinerary starts and ends at Via Mario Mencatelli in Pienza. In Via Mario Mencattelli there is always good parking, and at the end of the street there is also a square for paid parking. On the same Via Mario Mencattelli, you will find a good restaurant, La Chiocciola.
Pienza, the ideal city
Pienza was rebuilt from a village called Corsignano, which was the birthplace of Enea Silvio Piccolomini. It was in this Tuscan town that Renaissance town-planning concepts were first put into practice after Pope Pius II decided, in 1459, to transform the look of his birthplace Corsignano. This new vision of urban space was realized in the superb square known as Piazza Pio II and the buildings around it: the Piccolomini Palace, the Borgia Palace and the cathedral with its pure Renaissance exterior and an interior in the late Gothic style of south German churches.
We start this itinerary with a brief exploration of the alleys of Pienza, starting at Largo Roma, entering this beautiful village
through the Via dell'Apertura.
Walk into the Via dell'Apertura, and almost immediately turn left into Via Case Nuove, entering a pleasant square. There is a good ice cream shop, Buon Gusto Gelateria (Via delle Case Nuove, 26), and at number 7 Caffè della Volpe.
Enjoy this brief passeggiata through the ideal city. The
Via Case Nuove takes you to the central street of Pienza, the Corso il Rossellino. The Corso leads to the trapezoidal main square Piazza Pio II, a grand and elegant square, surrounded by the city hall, with its bell tower, the Palazzo Piccolomini,Palazzo Borgia and the Duomo.
The track leads you to the Porta al Prato, following the directions for the Pieve di Corsignano on the Piazza Dante Alighieri, Viale Santa Catarina and Via del Fonte. A 11-min walk will bring you to the Pieve di Corsignano.
Lenghth: 11,25 km, about 2 hours
Total climb 331 m
Total descent 328 m
You can also considerexpanding your walk to a longer itinerary, the Anello Pienza - Cappella Vitaleta - Spedaletto (22 kms). We walked more or less the same track years ago, download gpx tracks here for an nice variation (espaccially the exploration of Pienza).
Pienza, view from Podere Terralippe
From here, turn left following the directions for Podere Terralippe. Continuing to the Vitaleta Chapel and further on to Bagno Vignoni this itinerary offers some wonderful views over the valleys. The scenery of the Val d’Orcia changes according to the season, ranging from the bright green meadows of spring to the golden wheat fields of summer, but the region's delectable essence will always linger with you long after you've departed.
And finally, do not leave Pienza without a glass of wine or an aperitif at Paolo's bar Il Casello'on Via Il Casello (the street to the left of the Duomo). Here the four famous alleys of Pienza, via dell'Amore, via del Bacio, via del Bula and via della Fortuna come together. A great spot with uninterrupted views of the Val d'Orcia and frequented by locals and young lovers.
Returning to the parking, you walk again alog the Largo Roma, were the Consorzio Agrario di Siena could be a final stop for shopping. Here you will find a nice and affordable selection of regional products. Not only pecorino cheese, but also meats, truffles, mushrooms, olive oil, wine and so on.
Cappella della Madonna di Vitaleta, San Quirico d'Orcia
Cipressi nella Val d'Orcia. La storia di Cyparissus nella Metamorfosi di Ovidio
San Quirico d'Orcia, Cappella della Madonna di Vitaleta
Cipressi e la Cappella della Madonna di Vitaleta, tra Pienza and San Quirico d'Orcia
Holiday houses in Southern Tuscany
Podere Santa Pia is a large old rambling Tuscan farmhouse or podere, located on a hill among vines, olive trees and Mediterranean macchia in the heart of the Tuscan Maremma. A winding scenic road, just outside the village of Castiglioncello Bandini, is leading to this former cloister, hidden in a seduced valley.
The surrounding hills, crossed with dirt roads and secret paths are ideal for hiking. The famous trail Montalcino - Abbey of Sant'Antimo is situated north of Podere Santa Pia. A short drive will bring you to the attractive hilltop towns of Montalcino, San Quirico d'Orcia, and Pienza. We selected the best hiking trails in the Val d'Orcia. Guides and maps are available in Podere Santa Pia.
Gladiator: The Spaniard Russell Crowe returns home
Some of the crucial scenes of Gladiator were filmed in Pienza and San Quirico d'Orcia.
The first scene is filmed on the dirt road leading from the Pieve di Corsignano towards Podere Terrapille, the first stretch of this walk.
The ending scene was filmed near San Quirico d'Orcia, at Villa Poggio Manzuoli, with the beautiful cypress lane in front of the podere.
#poderesantapia Spring in Pienza.
The Val d’Orcia is a valley located to the north-east of the Monte Amiata. The main towns in Val d’Orcia are Montalcino, Pienza, San Quirico d’Orcia, Montepulciano, Castiglion d’Orcia, Monticchiello, Bagno Vignoni, and Bagni San Filippo. All within easy reach of Podere Santa Pia.