Overview of Pienza
Pienza is a small Renaissance town located in the wonderful area of Val D’Orcia, where Pope Pio II, named Enea Silvio Piccolomini, was born in 1405.
Pio II after being elected pope decided to update the town, redesigning its whole centre and changing also in his own honour its former name (Corsignano) by Pienza.
The Pope wanted it to represent an archetype of a wisely planned Renaissance town, where citizen’s way of live and the related govern should be based in high moral values able enough to satisfy the pressing need of reaching an ordered and pacific living.
Pope Piccolomini designed the prestigious architect Bernardo Rosellino to build a Cathedral, a papal palace and the town hall. All these magnificent buildings were completed in three years.
Afterwards, was discovered that architect Rossellino had commit fraud with papal funds, but nothing happened to him because he obtained Pope’s forgiveness
What to visit in Pienza:
Of course, Rossellino’s works:
- The Cathedral (Duomo)
The Cathedral was built in 1459 and in recent times it suffered significant subsidence at the eastern end. Cracks were found in the walls as well as in the floor of the nave, but the perfect classical proportions of this Renaissance temple remained intact.
Its interior could be considered like a miracle of brightness because of the great stained glass windows requested by the Pope. He desired literally a “house of glass” to symbolize the illustrious intellectual spirit of the Humanist age.
- Palazzo Piccolomini
It is close to the Cathedral and has been Pio II’s descendant home until 1968.
The apartments now open to the public are including Pope’s bedroom and library. Many of his personal objects are also exposed.
At its back there are a splendid arcaded courtyard and a large loggia looking out on the garden. From there visitors can enjoy of wonderful views to the wooded slopes of Monte Amiata.
- Pieve di Cosignano
Located on the outskirts of Pienza is the Romanesque Church were Pope Piccolomini was baptized. It has a peculiar round tower and a doorway ornamented with flower themes.
Where to eat
In Pienza there are several good restaurants. However, we are suggesting you two of them:
- “Il Chiostro”: offering a delicious traditional Tuscan and Italian cuisine.
It was former a magnificent convent coming back from the 15th century. It has been completely restored, becoming a luxurious hostelry. Indoors there is a wonderful cloister. It has also a beautiful hanging garden to have lunch while enjoying some spectacular panoramic views. Wine cellar keeps the most prestigious Tuscan and Italian wines.
- “Latte di Luna”: where you will enjoy a tasty roast sucking- pig as well as other local specialties. Tuscan wines are excellent.
For more information abot Pienza visit one of the official websites: Pienza
Main Towns of Valdorcia
Radicofani, Sarteano, Cetona,
San Quirico D'Orcia,
Bagni San Filippo,
Abbadia and Monte Amiata
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