The Val d'Orcia and the legend of Ciparisso
The cypress is undoubtedly one of the undisputed symbols of the whole of Tuscany and in particular of the landscape in the Val d'Orcia. It came from the territories of Asia Minor in ancient times and was introduced to Tuscany by the Etruscans.
The name comes from the legend of Ciparisso, a young man loved by the god Apollo. According to legend, he turned himself into a cypress tree because he was in too much pain after accidentally killing his pet deer during a hunting trip.
Over time, the cypress has taken on a symbolic meaning and it is not uncommon to find it as an ornamental tree in cemeteries.
In Val d’Orcia, however, its use is deeply-rooted in centuries-old tradition, both as a windbreak element to protect crops, and also to signal roads, property borders, farms, crossroads and churches. Thus, this explains its widespread presence in all Tuscan landscapes, so much so that it has become an essential element of the scenery.