What to See and Do
The tourist information office
is on Corso il Rossellino (tel. 0578 74 99 05) housed in the Museo Diocesano.
The town´s main square
is Pio II
(Picture 2) and dominated by Renaissance buildings which were built in the mid-15th century. Bernardino Rossellino was commissioned by Pio II to design part of town and the result was this stunning Piazza Pio II and the other buildings around it. It is clearly Renaissance in style and follows the principles of Leon Battista Alberti
Where the cathedral
(Picture 3) is now located was originally the site of the Romanesque Church of Saint Mary. The cathedral’s façade was also designed following Alberti´s principles of perspective.
Its interior a combination of Gothic
and Renaissance design has remained unchanged since the 15th century as modifications were prohibited by papal order. Highlights are its altarpieces decorated by Sienese artists and Rossellino’s marble tabernacle.
Part of the cathedral was erected unstable ground, which has meant that parts of the walls and floor have unfortunately cracked, especially in the transept and apse.
The Palazzo Piccolomini
(Picture 1) (tel. 0578 74 85 03) also designed by Rossellino is regarded among his best works. The pope used to stay in the palazzo which was built along with other buildings belonging to the family. Visits to the museum allow you to see the courtyard and the apartment where the pope stayed which is filled with period furniture, artwork and a multi level gallery overlooking the Val d’Orcia.
The Palazzo Borgia
or Palazzo Vescovile
was commissioned by the man would later become Alexander VI. It houses the Museo Diocesano
(tel.0578 74 99 05; Corso il Rossellino 30) which art pieces of all different styles, texts and illustrations, tapestries and miniatures.
From Easter to November Pieve di Corsignano
is open to visitors. This Romanesque 10th century church´s main attraction is its tower. To get here, leave Pienza and continue along Via Fonti.
A nice outing during your stay in Pienza is to two nearby beauties in the area: San Lorenzo Nuovo
. Depart from the northern gate, and follow the signs along the secondary road. It sweeps through valleys and grown fields. Cross over the bridge and follow the signs to Monticchiello. There is a car park so you don´t have to worry about your car but can explore on foot.
If you can organize your trip to see a performance, your trip would be even better than perfect. The Teatro Povero
in this town, puts on plays themed on the peasants´lives in the surrounding are. The interactive theatre museum is also worth a visit.