Quercia delle Checche
The biggest oak of Val d'Orcia

The oak "Quercia delle Checche" is located in the Municipality of Pienza, in the province of Siena, in the heart of the Val d’Orcia. A real attraction for tourists and photographers, it is at least 370 years old, 22 meters high, has a trunk of 4.5 meters perimeter and in summer it boasts a splendid foliage that can reach a diameter of 34 meters!
The perfect nest for numerous birds.

Curiosity and origin of the name

"Checche" are none other than magpies, which use the branches to perch and have a snack based on acorns. Furthermore, the same place where the gigantic tree is located has the same name.
An ancient legend, however, also speculates that the Checche were the witch-women who in past times met under the tree to perform their magical rites.
History has seen it as a protagonist at various times, the last of which was during the Second World War when it was chosen as a shelter for the partisans' ammunition.

Its protection
On August 15, 2014, she was seriously injured by a shameful act of vandalism, losing one of the largest branches, equal to one third of the volume of the giant plant following a wild session of Tree Climbing.
From that moment on, a long bureaucratic process began to protect the Oak, which in less than three years led the Ministry of Cultural Heritage to recognize it as a real estate to be protected. It was classified as a monumental tree because it is "of particular public interest" and in June 2017 it became the first Green Monument in Italy.

How to get there
To admire it, you have to reach the Val d’Orcia, between Bagno Vignoni and Monticchiello. From our hotel it is only 20 km away, head towards Chianciano Terme until the junction indicating Pienza on the left. Having taken this road, keep it until it becomes SP 53, at which point you will have arrived!

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