The Crete Senesi is a territory of Tuscany located south of the city of Siena. The name "crete" derives from the clayey soils present in this area. The characteristic gray and light blue color of these lands gives the landscape a lunar aspect, especially in the periods following the autumn and winter plowing.
The bare and undulating hills of this area, and those of the Val d’Orcia, constitute the classic imagery of the Tuscan countryside in the world. The symbolic tree of the Crete Senesi is the cypress: solitary on top of a hill, gathered in small groves or arranged in long rows along the roads that lead to the farmhouses.
The almost total absence of woods - there are only a few small ones in the hollows between the hills - allows you to sweep the view for many miles: from the skyline of nearby Siena in the north, to the top of Mount Amiata which rises in the views south of the Crete.
I love to photograph this area of Tuscany during two periods of the year: early autumn and late spring. In autumn, the colors are fantastic, the orange foliage of the trees magically blends with the colder pastel color of the freshly plowed land and the frequent morning mists make the landscape wonderful. In late spring, however, the colors are more vibrant and the different crops that cover the hills profoundly change the appearance of the landscape, making some views of the same area almost unrecognizable from one year to another.
I usually choose sunrise hours and especially sunset for my photographs in the Crete Senesi. In particular, the sunsets after a storm in this area are one of the things that a landscape photographer should never miss. I also really like looking for some minimalist photography in broad daylight, playing with textures, shapes, and color harmonies, or on cloudy winter days, taking some classic black and white Tuscan landscape photographs with the help of the long exposure technique.