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“The Pope Slept Here” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Historic Centre of the City of Pienza

Historic Centre of the City of Pienza
near Montepulciano, Italy
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Private Tour: Florence to Siena, Montalcino and Val D'Orcia Area
Ranked #69 of 2,448 things to do in Tuscany
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Crown Point, Indiana, United States
Level Contributor
102 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“The Pope Slept Here”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

Pienza is one of Tuscany's Renaissance treasures. Located in the breathtakingly beautiful Val d'Orcia (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), Pienza overlooks Monte Amita, the highest mountain in Tuscany with volcanic origins that go back millions of years. Orginally named Corsignano, Pienza was reconstructed and renamed under the Piccolomini Pope Pius II who sought to transform his birthplace into the "ideal" Renaissance city (Italy's 15th century version of Renovation Nation).

It is a wonderful city to visit for the stunning location and causal combination of old and new, Pienza is one of my favorite towns. I spent an afternoon there visting the Piccolomini Palace (Palazzo Piccolomini). The elegant open courtyard, the halls of period furniture and memorabilia and the gardens that overlook the valley below were well worth the cost of admission. Il biglietto d'ingresso interno was 7EU and for that price I got to see where the Pope slept!

Pienza is also know for some of the best pecorino in Italy.

Visited October 2012
2 Thank Pamela M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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394 reviews from our community

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English first
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“The only renaissance town...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2012

I have visited this pearl many,many times, and I will return: Pienza, south of Siena in Tuscany, is a small village, but has everything an Italian village should have: History, romantic streets, art, small shops, enotecas, good restaurants.... and a fantastic view over the Val d'Orcia. Both Pienza and Val d'Orcia are on the UNESCO's World Heritage List. Pienza is very small, so you can reach everything without getting tired.
Pope Pio II (Aeneas Silvio Piccolomini) decided to reorganize this village,called Corsignano, in which he had grown up, and engaged the architect Rosselino to construct a town built after the ideal principles of the renaissance. This was in 1449, 9 years before the pope was elected. Today you can visit Palazzo Piccolomini, the Duomo, and other historic buildings. But walking slowly in the narrow streets, where every buildings have flowers outside, and the names of the streets are so romantic and special, is probably the best for me. And buy some of the famous Pienza peccorino cheese, local salumi, wines from the area,- the brunellos, the vino nobiles, the chianti classicos...and just enjoy a nice meal at one of the restaurants, it is the good life!

Visited October 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zuid Scharwoude
Level Contributor
94 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“Pienza: diamond in the Val d'Orcia”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2012

Once we ''discovered'' Pienza more than 10 years ago we were lost. We were overwhelmed by the charm of this tiny little town in the centre of the marvellous Val d'Orcia. The town once was built by pope Piccolomino, under the condition that nothing would be changed ever. Which they respected, as a result of which we are blessed with this magnificent place. For us no discovery trips to Africa or China, no Disney World, no cruises around the world. We stick to Pienza. It feels more like living there than like holiday, and that is exectly what we desire. So we stay 6, 8, 10 weeks per year in Pienza and we love it. The little shops, artists, ristorante, bars, the narrow streets, the views, the people, the old buildings; it's great to stay here. Don't spread the news though: it's full!

Visited October 2012
2 Thank BartMuur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Worcester, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Very Charming!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2012

This little town is so charming, even thought there is not so much to do there, I'd love to spend a day there. The shops add to the experience, the cheese is fantastic and the views are amazing.

Visited October 2012
Thank apepplow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Piegaro, Italy
Level Contributor
140 reviews
68 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 144 helpful votes
“Bellina! A beautiful little jewel!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2012

I prefer this little Renaissance jewel above all the other hill towns in the Val d'Orcia and there are many. Pope Pius II, of the powerful Piccolomini family had the dream to turn his home town into a perfect city with funds from the Vatican. I'm glad they stopped building when they did and the result is not a city spreading across the Tuscan hills, but a perfect little jewel. Stand in the main Piazza Pio and admire the perfect symmetry of the Duomo, the Palazzo Piccolomini and the Town Hall. Be sure to walk along the ramparts for the amazing views over the Val d'Orcia and to see the large crack in the Duomo; visit it before it slides downhill, for no one can figure out how to shore it up. I have been here often, but visited the Palazzo Piccolomini for the first time with a friend and took the necessary tour with audio guide. Well worth the price of 7 Euro, walking from room to room with complete description of what amounted to the history of this illustrious family who had two Popes. Wander the small streets and sample the famous Pecorino cheese which wafts out of the little shops. Several outstanding restaurants with the local fare of pici pasta, ribolitta soup, and heavenly crespelle. Even the house red wine is sublime. I prefer this town over the famous Montepulciano by far. It has a special place in my heart in any season! Luckily I live just an hour away and I'll be back in the spring to see the little flower pots stuffed with blooms.

Visited October 2012
5 Thank ColleeninPiegaro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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