Pienza, the ideal Renaissance city

Pienza

The harmony of nature, the artistic and historic wealth, the intensity of flavors and the best wines aromas emanate from this little village that, due to its beautiful historic center, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Walk along Via del Bacio (Kiss Street), turn right and you find yourself in Via dell’Amore (Love Street), then continue on Via della Fortuna (Fate Street). No doubt, you’re in Pienza, one of the most striking places to visit in Tuscany. This small town in Val d’Orcia is known as the land of “love streets.” The perfect destination for romantic souls.

Pienza is one of the most beautiful medieval villages in Italy, placed between soft hills about 20 kilometers east of Montalcino in the province of Siena. Its architecture was completely transformed in 1459 following the visit of Pope Pius II who was born here and tried to make of Pienza his ideal Renaissance city. Much of the relevant historical and artistic heritage of Pienza is concentrated in the picturesque square dedicated to the pope. His projects entrusted to the architect and sculptor Bernardo Rossellini, were only partially completed, but they are still one of the best examples of urban rational planning of the Italian Renaissance. Isolated and clearly visible, the Cathedral of Pienza dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta preserves some works of the most famous masters, in front is the Town Hall and at its side are Palazzo Borgia and Palazzo Piccolomini, the latter was chosen by director Franco Zeffirelli to shoot some scenes of “Romeo and Juliet “. Furthermore, near Pienza is the Romitorio, a complex of rooms carved in sandstone by hermit monks. In one of the caves you will see the bizarre sculpture of a Madonna with six fingers.

Panorama da Pienza

Pienza is also a concentration of irresistible flavors. Starting from cacio (a type of cheese), to which numerous “Houses of cacio” are dedicated, where the famous Pienza’s pecorino cheese, very tasty and made with goat milk, is king. Also dedicated to the local cheese is the traditional ‘Palio del Cacio a fuso’ which is held every year since 1960 in the first week of September. It is a fun game in which players from each town district have to push and roll whole pecorino wheels around a small wooden spindle located in the center of the main square.

The cheese just must be accompanied by one of the most prestigious wines of the area, like Nobile di Montepulciano, the first Italian wine to be awarded the Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin. Or else a Chianti or a White from Valdichiana, among the oldest in Tuscany. Superior and valuable wines because they are rich in history. And to make a truly unique present, do not miss the artcraft workshops for vases and pottery decoration.

In Pienza you can visit the exhibition The Master of Pius II until 30 September in the Diocesan Museum. Among the objects on display is a marble relief commissioned by the Pope: the work represents the image of the Madonna and Child with Angels, embellished with refined gilding.


Dolci sogni – La nostra selezione di palazzi, residenze e hotel di charme:

La Bandita - Vista dalla finestraLa Bandita – Località Lucciola Bella, Pienza (SI)

Fotografia di copertina: Flickr.com

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