Originally called "Castello di Corsignano", Pienza took its current name in honour of Pope Pius II Piccolomini, who instigated its rebuilding in the second half of the 15th century, with the aim of turning Utopian ideas of the ideal town into reality.

piazzapienza-pio-IIThe whole town is a feast for the eyes, but especially wonderful is the cathedral, which brings together works by Giovanni di Paolo, Matteo di Giovanni del Vecchietta and Sano di Pietro; there is even a marble altar attributed to Rossellino, the architect who was entrusted by Pius II with the task of re-designing the town. Next to the cathedral is the "Diocesan Museum", where visitors can admire works from the school of Sodoma and Sano di Pietro, and Flemish tapestries from the 15th and 16th centuries.

A few metres away is the gorgeous Palazzo Piccolomini, built to the designs of Bronzino and Beccafumi.
Below the town spreads the enchanting countryside of the "Val d'Orcia Natural and Cultural Artistic Park", with its undulating fields and celebrated Cretaceous ridges.

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