A 15th Century door opens up onto an uphill road, leaving behind modernity only to find yourself just a few steps from the center of the Renaissance, some miles away from Montepulciano. Pienza is the “perfect city”, as imagined by Enea Sivio Piccolomini, Pope Pius II native of this Tuscan village.
The Renaissance show is visible from the streets and the architecture ahead. The spectacular buildings of Piazza Pio II found just between the Cathedral of the Assumption, the Palazzo Comunale and the Palazzo Piccolomini form the unique backdrop of Val d’Orcia. This is a square that is found in the center of this ideal city, built to accommodate the limits and man so they can truly feel as though they are the “center of all things”. This is the spirit of Humanism and the Renaissance.
“Born out of a thought of love and a dream of beauty”, as the Italian poet Giovanni Pascoli wrote, Pienza is truly the creation of a Humanist, Pope Pius II. He wanted to completely rebuild the ancient abandoned village of Corsignano. The village of Pienza has not undergone any change since the mid-15th century to today, making it a town straight out of the Renaissance in all its forms.
It is impossible to visit Pienza and not notice the characteristic smell of pecorino that pervades the streets. This typical product of the town is known throughout the world, from fresh to mature, and even those refined in a cave, under ashes, in Sangiovese pomace, in bay leaves or with walnuts. Every corner of Pienza is filled with good food and good living with old cheese shops, restaurants, taverns and historic cellars lining the streets. The town offers tours and tastings in the Tuscan tradition every day. The monumental and pictorial art of the town finds an ideal match in its gastronomic counterpart.
You cannot talk about Pienza without mentioning the famous pici, a homemade pasta made of water and flour, which is accompanied by typical Tuscan sauces, such as wild boar ragout, hare and game in general. Dishes that are almost always paired with the famous wines of the area such as a Nobile di Montepulciano and Brunello di Montalcino, as well as typical wines from the Val d’Orcia area or those of Chianti Classico.
Pienza is an ideal city that abides by the concept of ”slow” living, with a speed set at walking pace to meet the pace of man. This ideal city of Pope Pius II was realized through architectural forms, and the perfect fusion between man and nature, creations of human ingenuity and surrounding landscape.