a small town near Siena, is a rare example of Renaissance town
building. Defined, from time to time, the "ideal city", the "utopian
city", it represents one of the best planned Renaissance towns,
where a model of ideal living and governing was realized thus
working out the idea of a town able to satisfy the need for a
pacific, civil and hardworking living. It represented the so called
utopia of the "civitas" vainly cherished by people for centuries.Pienza
has at present two museum, a third one into being. Its location
in the middle of Val d'Orcia, a wonderful and untouched valley,
enables the town to perfectly embody the basic interest which
the humanistic architecture gave to the relationship man - nature.
Nowadays Pienza is part of a territorial system called "Parco artistico,
naturale e culturale della Val d'Orcia", which aims at preservation
of the extraordinary artistic heritage of the five boroughs which
constitute it: Castiglion d'Orcia, Montalcino, San Quirico d'Orcia,
Radicofani and Pienza.
center of Pienza was completely redesigned by Pope Pius II in Renaissance
times. He planned to transform his birthplace into a model Renaissance
town. The architect Bernardo Rossellino was commissioned to build
a Duomo, papal palace and town hall, the construction were completed
in three years.
Duomo Piazza Pio II - Open daily
The Duomo was built by the architect Rossellino (1459) and is now
suffering from serious subsidence at its eastern end. There were
cracks in the walls and floor of the nave, but the splendid classical
proportions are remained inctact. It is flooded with ligth from
the vast stained glass windows request by Pius II; he wanted a domus
vitrea (litterally "a house of glass"), which would symbolize the
spirit of intellectual enlightenment of the Humanist age.
Piccolomini Piazza Pio II - Open
Tuesday - Sunday
The palazzo is next door to the Duomo and was home to Pius II's
descendants until 1968. Rossellino's design for the building was
influenced by Leon Battista Alberti's Palazzo Rucellai in Florence.
The appartments open to the public include Pius II's bedroom and
library. At the rear of the palazzo there is an ornate arcaded
courtyard and a triple-tiered loggia looking out on the garden.
From here there are spectacular views across to the wooded slopes
of the Monte Amiata.
di Corsignano Via delle Fonti.
Open by appointment.
Phone to the tourist office: (+390578749071)
Pius II was baptized in this 11 th. century Romanesque parish
church on the outskirts of Pienza. It has an unusual round tower
and a doorway decorated with flower mytholgical motifs. A crib
is sculptured on the architrave of the side doorway.