The rich Italian artistic heritage includes Pienza among its most precious jewels. The name derives from that of Enea Silvio Bartolomeo Piccolomini, who was Pope Pius II, in office in the mid-fifteenth century.
Piccolomini wanted to create, in full Renaissance spirit, an ideal city in what had been his birthplace, which before the urban re-foundation led by the architect Bernardo Rossellino, was called Corsignano.
What to visit?
Pienza rises in Val d’Orcia and is one of the most recommended sites by tourist guides from all over the world (it has been a UNESCO artistic heritage since 1996), not only for its particular urban structure, but also for its food and wine delicacies (in particular the “cacio”, or pecorino cheese, with the typical red skin).
The visit to the village, which is quick in itself, requires at least the entrance to the Palazzo Piccolomini, which recalls the Palazzo Rucellai in Florence, built by Leon Battista Alberti, maestro of Rossellino.
The palace, equipped with a small but characteristic hanging Renaissance garden, houses a museum. Recently the building was used to shoot the famous TV series “The Medici” and in the past it was also the set of famous films by Gassman and Tognazzi.
Having visited the palace and in front of Piazza Pio II, it is worth turning to the Cathedral, which mixes in a singular way the verticality of the Gothic style, especially in the interiors, with the harmony of the facade, of a clear Renaissance school.
The Palazzo Comunale, Palazzo Borgia, which houses the Diocesan Museum and finally the Pieve di Corsignano are also of interest
How to get? / Nearby..
Pienza is located about an hour’s drive from Siena, heading south-east.
Those who stop there will also have the opportunity to stop at the other famous sites around the village: Montalcino, Montepulciano, Bagno Vignoni, San Quirico d’Orcia (it is worth stopping at the Chapel of the Madonna di Vitaleta), Montichiello.