Visit Pienza and its surroundings

Visit Pienza and its surroundings

Pienza is the perfect tourist ticket for the whole of Tuscany. Art, history and authenticity immersed in a landscape made of hills, cypresses, olive trees and blue sky. They are postcards from a past that becomes a tourist present and that many, especially foreigners but also many Italians, come to rediscover every year.

Until 1462 Pienza was called Corsignano and was a tiny agricultural village in decay. One day Prince Enea Silvio Piccolomini, who was born there, at that moment became Pope Pius II, returned to visit it. Struck by the decay, he decided to finance its restoration and rebirth. The village became a model town, the “city of Pio”, that is “Pienza”. Pienza still bears the signs of that rebirth today, in palaces and churches that are the engine of its tourism.

What not to catch in Pienza

In the Middle Ages, many paintings represented an “ideal city” or “utopian” with large spaces, marble churches and beautiful buildings. They were dreams of many, but Pius II realized his creation by creating this urban planning right in his Pienza.

The main square of the town, where the Assumption Cathedral and the institutional buildings stand, has exactly the appearance and size of the “ideal cities” painted by many artists. Order, space, airiness and marble.

The churches of Pienza are a very high tourist itinerary, which travels from the Middle Ages to the early Baroque period: San Francesco, Sant’Anna in Camprena, San Bernardino a Castelluccio, Pieve Santa Maria dello Spino, Abbey of San Pietro in Campo are just some of the many examples of these sacred buildings.

Beyond the churches, the stately palaces are to be admired: Palazzo Piccolomini, of course, followed by Palazzo Borgia, Palazzo Comunale, Palazzo Gonzaga-Simonelli, San Carlo Conservatory, Villa Benocci, Villa Fregoli and many others.

The ancient walls of Pienza follow the path that leads to three castles: Spedaletto, Castello di Cosona and Castelluccio Bifolchi.

For those who love nature trails, the paths of the Lucciola Bella Nature Reserve and the Contrada Delle Checche wind their way around Pienza, where an incredible and ancient tree stands out among many oaks.

What to visit nearby Pienza

Pienza is within easy reach of several interesting tourist locations. Based here you can move to the discovery of the most beautiful Tuscany and also cross over into nearby Umbria.

Just an hour away is the medieval city of Cortona, just under an hour and a half by car it takes to get to Arezzo – to the east – or to Siena – to the north-west. In just an hour of travel you can reach Lake Trasimeno, in Umbria.

While only 45 minutes by car separate Pienza from Rapolano Terme, a place that, in addition to peace and beauty, offers high-level spa treatments.

The Quercia delle Checche

The monumental and centenary tree of the Quercia delle Checche, just outside Pienza, dates back to 1760! 19 meters high, it has a trunk diameter of 5 meters and a crown diameter of 34 meters.

If you love the mountains, also try the paths of the nearby Monte Amiata.

To taste, in Pienza and its immediate surroundings, the famous local pecorino cheese, oil and excellent wines from the surrounding hills.

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