Chasing the Fog in Val d’Orcia

Chasing the Fog in Val d’Orcia

grew up in the Val d’Orcia valley in Tuscany, but left my
stomping grounds years ago when I moved to London. Following the
old Cassia road south from Siena, the area is peppered with small
medieval towns. Their rich history, art and architecture date back
to the middle ages. San Gimignano and Pienza are just a couple of
the gems that are a must visit on this route.

Sheltered by the Apennines to the east and the inactive volcano
Monte Amiata to the south, the area has a unique microclimate with
mild winters and hot dry summers. This balanced climate is ideal
for winemaking and the region boasts two of the most renowned
Italian wines: the Nobile from Montepulciano and the Brunello from
Montalcino. The undulating hills not covered by vineyards are the
real stars of the show though. Soft and poetic, they look their
best at sunrise and sunset. It’s worth leaving the main roads and
getting lost among them to really take it all in.

Some mornings, during the first months of the year, the fog
doesn’t rise and it covers the entire valley so only small towns,
like Montalcino, sit above a sea of clouds. I was lucky enough to
wake up to such a spectacle on a visit home. With a 35mm camera and
a roll of film I spent a few hours immersed in this landscape.

It’s breathtaking, calm and fresh. A simple beauty that never
gets old.

@ollyfcooper |

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Lecce, Italy