The main base and take off point for our hot air balloon flights in Tuscany is an enchanted valley, surrounded by woods, pastures and a truffle reserve hidden below Montisi, near Montepulciano.
Ballooning is an incredible way to explore the magical local landscape which we share with wild animals that wander through including deer, badgers, occasionally wild boar and lots of birds. From here we rise up out of the valley to get a notion of the direction that we are going to take in our hot air balloon — north over the Crete Senesi and Siena, west to the canyons and steep valleys of the calanche, south to Pienza and the Val d’Orcia, or east over the 1000 ft wooded hills and into the Val di Chiana.
Balloon rides from Montisi give you the chance to explore the old Tuscany and the Tuscany that many people imagine, away from the hustle and bustle of the north.
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To find Montisi on your map, first locate Pienza in southern Tuscany, about 10 miles west of Montepulciano. Montisi is 8 miles due north of Pienza on the road to Trequanda.
If you are coming from Rome or Florence on the Autostrada A1, exit at Valdichiana and turn right after paying the toll, following signs to Siena. Join the “Superstrada” and leave it at the next exit, Sinalunga, where you turn left and left again. Go under the bridge and go straight over the next roundabout, and past the AGIP petrol station to the end of the road. Turn right and immediately left, following signs to the Amorosa (a great restaurant!). After half a mile, turn left again after the bridge over the railway. Take the next main turning to the right, signed to Rigaiolo, Asciano, and Trequanda. Follow signs to Trequanda and continue to the next village, Montisi.
Here you do not go into the centre of the village, but follow the ring road around and below the village. Take the turning to Castelmuzio opposite the green rubbish bins, and immediately turn right down a narrow lane between high hedges, marked by a white cutout of a balloon. We are at the end of this lane, at the bottom of the valley. Follow the lane down for 400 yards, keeping left at the only fork.
Coming from Siena, you should take the main Siena-Perugia road (SS 326) towards Perugia and the Autostrada A1. After about 40 km, you should exit to the right and go through Sinalunga making for Montepulciano or Torrita di Siena. On the outskirts of Sinalunga, take the turning to the right marked to Rigaiolo, Asciano, and Trequanda and continue as above.