The city of light
Squatting on a hill, the ideal Renaissance city takes its name after Pius II, who wanted it built. Enea Silvio Piccolomini, a leading member of Humanism, who became pope with the name Pius II, decided to transform his native land, the medieval walled village of Corsignano. In 1459 he commissioned the project from the Florentine architect Bernardo Gambarelli, aka “il Rossellino”, a follower of the great architect Leon Battista Alberti. That is how a rare example of urban planning on a human scale came to light, focussing on the monumental character of the main square, Piazza Pio II, around which the major buildings were laid out: the Cathedral, the Piccolomini Palace, the Borgia Palace, the Townhall Palace. Today the town still has its original stylistic unity, representing one of the most significant architectural achievements of the humanist ideals of the 15th century, and for this reason, in 1996 the historic centre of Pienza was included on the World Heritage Sites list. A few kilometres from Pienza, the town of Monticchiello was built on a hill where you can enjoy a wide view. Down in the valley there is the fortified castle of Spedaletto and north of Pienza the Monastery of Sant’Anna in Camprena.
What to do
Val d'Orcia is expecting you with all its excitement, browse through the travelling tips and find inspiration for your stay.
Staying in Val d'Orcia means waking up in the midst of a beautiful incomparable landscape, surrounded by historic towns and engaging nature. Look for the accommodation that most suits you and find the ideal place on the hills, between the churches and the stars of Val d'Orcia.