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Let’s visit Pienza in Tuscany

Tuscany has cities of enormous beauty and one of them is the charming Pienza. If Tuscany is part of your itinerary, today, I invite you to visit Pienza.

Pienza
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Let’s visit Pienza in Tuscany

In the heart of Val D’Orcia, in Tuscany, there is this wonderful village called Pienza, one of the Italian jewels included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Required by Pope Pius II is still a unique example for the rational organization of spaces and perspectives of squares and buildings that reflect the urban canons of the Renaissance. Precisely for this reason it is considered an ideal and perfect town. Its beautiful historic center fully represents the application of these humanistic concepts of urban planning because it is concentrated in the main square on which the most important buildings of the city face, following a precise trapezoidal pattern.  Let’s visit Pienza in Tuscan?  Here at Your Travel to Italy with Ana Patricia you make the trip of your dreams!!! ALSO: see our “Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your holidays!”

A little more about Pienza…

This village is known as the city created by the great humanist Enea Silvio Piccolomini, who later became Pope Pius II. Piccolomini had the economic possibilities and the influence to transform his birthplace into what he believed should be a utopian city, which should embody the principles and philosophy of the classical age and the great Italian Renaissance, and so it was. Just admire the Duomo, or the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, to be enchanted by the delicate balance between Gothic and Renaissance forms. Also read: What are the types of italian wines?

We then go to the discovery of Pienza, the ideal city, starting from its center which is the square dedicated to Pius II, built by Bernardo Rossellino, with its particular trapezoidal shape where the Cathedral and the Borgia Palaces, Piccolomini and Palazzo Comunale overlook. Pienza is characterized by streets with very particular names; the main street is Corso Rossellino and bears the name of the great urban architect.  Discover here the five must-see castles in Tuscany!

1) Let’s visit Pienza in Tuscany: VISIT THE CATHEDRAL OF SANTA MARIA ASSUNTA (DUOMO)

We start from the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta or Duomo to be enchanted by the balance between Gothic and Renaissance forms. The complex was designed to be inserted in the main square. The Duomo houses important and remarkable paintings by the most renowned artists of the time.

The interior is divided into three naves, very illuminated by the presence of large Gothic stained glass windows, you can admire some Pale d’Altare made by artists of the Sienese school. And then there is the beautiful octagonal shaped bell tower that rises above the ancient crypt pointing straight to the sky. Find out here The ten must-see Agrotourism in Tuscany!

2) Let’s visit Pienza in Tuscany:  VISIT THE PALAZZO PICCOLOMINI

To the right of the Cathedral is Palazzo Piccolomini, the private home of Pope Pius II, one of the most important buildings built by Rossellino. The southern part of the Palace consists of three superimposed arcades, from which you can admire the splendid panorama of the Val d’Orcia. In this Renaissance building, paintings and engravings depicting members of the Piccolomini family are preserved in various rooms and galleries. This Palace was chosen by Franco Zeffirelli to shoot some scenes of his famous movie, Romeo and Juliet, and it was here that the two lovers met for the first time, at the party in the Capulet’s house. Read to: Wine route in Val d’Orcia? Wine tour in Tuscany?

3) Let’s visit Pienza in Tuscany: VISIT TGE BORGIA PALACE

Another palace to see is the Borgia Palace, in front of the Piccolomini Palace and so called because it was donated by the Pope to Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia, at the time his close collaborator, who became Pope Alexander VI and who made it his residence. The building is characterized by the Guelph cross windows, here, today you can find the Diocesan Museum.

4) Let’s visit Pienza in Tuscany: VISIT THE COMUNALE

Also nearby there is the Palazzo Comunale (Town Hall) that stands out for its low and big tower, for the courtyard characterized by a loggia with travertine columns and for the mullioned windows on the facade. Today the Palace is the seat of the Municipality of Pienza.

5) Let’s visit Pienza in Tuscany:  VISIT PIEVE DI CORSIGNANO

At this point you are still in the center of Pienza, but follow the signs to the Pieve di Corsignano, it is located a few hundred meters from Pienza and you can get there with a short walk along the side of the hill. This church is located in a corner of the countryside with great scenic charm.

It is a Romanesque church with three naves and its ancient origins can be found in the 7th century, but the present Romanesque style dates back to the 12th century. The church is relatively empty, but has the peculiarity of having an altar in each nave and on the right, you can see the original baptismal font where both Pope Pius II and his nephew Pope Pius III were baptized. On the last column in the capital, you will find a sculpture of the serpent ruler, one of the few representations considered a Roman deity who did not necessarily represent evil.

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Watch this video about Val D´Orcia!


BONUS: VISIT THE WINERIES!

Attention: it is necessary to check visit availability and make reservations in advance.

  • Fabbrica Pienza: in addition to the excellent wine, they also produce great olive oil.
  • Capitoni Marco: great option, close to the city and easily accessible!
  • CasaGori: In addition to wines, they offer options for honey, cereals, breads and other amazing products!

How to get there in Pienza?


1) How to get there in Pienza? BY PLANE

The closest airports to Pienza are: Perugia 80 km away from Pienza; then the airports of Rome: Fiumicino and Ciampino, about 200 km away and Florence, about 130 km.

Also read our Special Posts on Airports in Italy:

2) How to get there in Pienza? BY TRAIN

If you want to get to Pienza by train, you have to get off at the station of Chiusi-Chianciano Terme, on the Rome-Florence line and, from there, take one of the buses that take you to the town.

3) How to get there in Pienza? BY CAR

If you want to reach Pienza by car from the North, you have to take the freeway A1 Firenze-Roma, exit Valdichiana/Bettolle and continue to Torrita di Siena – Pienza. Instead from the south you have to take the A1 Rome-Florence freeway; exit Chiusi/Chianciano Terme and then continue along the SS 146 for Chianciano Terme, Montepulciano, Pienza.

Traveling by car in Italy

How about if I give you a rental car option? Are you ready for it? If you are renting a car be sure to read our posts in the section Driving in Italy on the blog Your Travel to Italy. In addition to car itinerary tips, we have everything about signage, tolls, roads and many more tips.

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Conclusion

Let’s visit Pienza in Tuscany. This beautiful “Val d’Orcia” is full of wonderful villages, Pienza is one of them, and we highly recommend you to visit this lovely village. And if you feel insecure, have no time, and need help to organize your trip, don’t hesitate to contact me! I will love to help you make your dream trip to Italy come true. And how can I do that? Keep reading this post until the end and you will understand how we make your life and your trip much easier 🙂

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