Tuscany and Val d’Orcia: Pienza, the ideal city

In Tuscany, in the heart of the Val d’Orcia, is Pienza, built to be the ideal city. And a glance is enough to understand that it is!

When Enea Silvio Piccolomini, son of an important Sienese family, was born here in 1402, the village was in a strong state of abandonment and neglect and had the name of Corsignano.
For this reason, when in 1458 Enea Piccolomini became pope, with the name of Pius II, an important restructuring of the village began.
He was in charge of the Bernardo Rossellino project with the aim of creating an ideal city in the Renaissance style.

Since then, the city has kept its appearance intact, especially in the buildings of the main square.

Piccolomini Palace

This magnificent palace, built at the behest of Pope Pius II as his private residence, is an example of Renaissance architecture.
Designed by Bernardo Rossellino, a former pupil of Leon Battista Alberti, it is inspired by Palazzo Rucellai in Florence.
It was the film set for numerous films such as The Archdevil, The Pleasant Nights and Romeo and Juliet by Franco Zeffirelli. Also numerous scenes from the Netflix series The Doctors.

Terrace overlooking the valley

On the south side of the city there is a magnificent walkway that offers a spectacular view over the valley and its magnificent colors.

Pecorino di Pienza cheese factory

One of the typical products of the Val d’Orcia is pecorino cheese.
In this area an excellent cheese is produced, according to the rules governed by the protected designation of origin “pecorino di Pienza”. It must spend at least 90 days in oak barriques to mature.
Our excursions to Pienza can stop at one of these dairies to visit the production and buy a genuine product.

Furthermore, this cheese is always served during the tasting of Tuscan wines, both in Montalcino and Montepulciano, and in other areas of Tuscany.

Possible combinations

The visit of Pienza can easily be combined with other visits to nearby villages and activities, such as:

  • Bagno Vignoni.
  • Monticchiello.
  • San Quirico d’Orcia.
  • Wine and oil producers.
  • Cheese producers.
  • Truffle hunting.
  • Cooking lessons.

We suggest that you include a visit to Pienza in your itineraries in Montalcino, Montepulciano or Siena.