One of the wonderful things to do during your holiday at La Selva Vacation Villa Rentals is to take a walk up to Montebenichi. It overlooks the breathtaking Val'd'Ambra or valley of the Ambra River. It is considered one of the most scenic roads in the Province of Arezzo and is part of “Le Strade del Vino” or “Wine roads”. It's a great way to start your day or to get moving after a day of relax reading or lounging around the pool. If you think La Selva Villas already has an extraordinary panorama just you wait!
At the top is Montebenichi, a charming ancient medieval village and aside from the church and private homes of local and international dwellers, it has a small 4 star hotel in a castle and one quaint restaurant, both fantastic. There is no bar or grocery store, but thankfully there is a public drinking water fountain next to the church to fill up your water bottles.
The climb starts out slowly and increases, a sort of natural warm-up. Softer slopes dot the route from time to time to give you a bit of a break. It's nice to stop and turn around to admire the remarkable view. Often wild animals can surprise you when they cross your path; wild boar, pheasants, porcupines, fox, deer and badgers. No worries, they are afraid and take off fast! You won't be alone on this trail as quite a few of us have discovered this wonderous walk.
About 2/3rds to the top is an interesting 8th Century Romanic Church where the local Priest Don Alessandro stays. The church is a wonderful setting for weddings overlooking terraced hills you can see in the photo above.
The back faces the road and you can just walk around the side to get to the front.
The 360° panorama is stunning from the top. Siena can be easily seen to the SW and the Chianti Mountain range to the north.
Of course the main view is Val'd'Ambra spread out marveously below. On clear days you can see as far as Rapolano, the Crete di Siena, Val'd'Orcia and Tucany's volcano, Monte Amiato where the famous Brunello wine comes from. Closer below you can see La Selva and a little beyond Castello di Montalto (historical enemies of La Selva Castle-now-Villa during the medieval, but this is another story for another blog!).