Pienza
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Pienza, Tuscany,Italy


 

Pienza, is a lovely town near Siena in a panoramic position overlooking the Orcia Valley, It is a jewel of art originated from the transformation of the old castle of Corsignano for the pleasure of Pope Enea Silvio Piccolomini in 1558, who was born there. It was built by Rossellino (1459 - 62 ).  It is a rare example of Renaissance town building. Thanks to its position, Pienza was of great importance during the Middle Ages.

Around the central square of Pienza are the most important buildings: the Cathedral, "Palazzo Piccolomini", "Palazzo Borgia" and "Palazzo dei Priori".

  • The Duomo of Pienza stands in the central Piazza. It has single nave and lateral aisles and a travertine facade which is a splendid specimen of the architecture of the transiction from the Gothic to the Renaissance.
    It contains several masterpieces by the most famous Sienese painters:
    Giovanni di Paolo: Madonna and child with Saints.
    Matteo di Giovanni: Madonna on the throne with child and Saints.
    Lorenzo di Pietro (nicknamed Vecchietta): Assumption.
    Sano di Pietro: Madonna with child and Saints.
    Matteo di Giovanni: Madonna on the throne with child and Saints.
    Of note is the beautiful altar attributed to the architect and sculptor "Rossellino", as well as the nice baptismal font.
     

  • Palazzo Piccolomini: rensembles somewhat Palazzo Rucellai in Florence, it once was the Pope's residence. Nowadays, it hosts and preserves many objects of the Piccolomini Family. The courtyard has fine composite coulumns on which rests the internal facade with three loggias all around, one above the other and a roof-garden from where a very pretty view can be admired. Inside the Palace are the somptuos Hall of Arms,  the library, the studio and the bedroom of PIO II. In the piazza there is the beautiful travertine well by the Florentine school.
     

  • Palazzo Borgia: The Palace is the seat of the "Museo Diocesano", one of the most important museums in the province of Siena for the artistic treasures and numerous pieces on display. It preserves, in its 11 rooms, many works of the Sienese school, by P.Lorenzetti, Bartolo di Fredi, Vecchietta and Luca Signorelli. It also exhibits illuminated manuscripts by Sano di Pietro, Flemish tapestries, silverware and finally the cape of PIO II, an extraordinary sample of quality and richness of particulars.
     

  • Palazzo Comunale: ( Town Hall)
    Built in 1462, characterised by an ample portico with travertine Ionic colums, today it is the seat of the local government.
     

  • The Church of San Francesco:
    It is one of the most ancient Franciscan buildings in Italy, dating back to the XIII century.
    On the walls is the story of St. Francis of Assisi. Notable works of art by Luca Signorelli and of other Sienese painters.

    The streets are filled with craft shops, restaurants serving typical Tuscan fare, shops selling “pecorino di Pienza”  sheep’s milk cheese and wine, of course.

    In the surrounding area:

    Pieve di Corsignano:
    Outside of the historical center  of Pienza, is the Romanesque parish church, characterised by a cylindric tower and a decorated fortress with mythological and fantastic themes.

    The Castle of Spedaletto:
    Just 9 km. from Pienza. This medieval fortress is an important example of a many towered and fortified castle. Inside there is a small church with gothic portal and a nice rose window .

     

    Pienza events and festivals  :

    May = Passing of "Mille Miglia" historical car race.

    July = Teatro Povero di Monticchiello; theatre spectacle, ideated, written and produced by the people of the village of Monticchiello.

    September = Festa del Cacio (Pecorin sheep-cheese feast); Gastronomic festival. It is possible to taste the famous "Pecorino" cheese of Pienza and other local products.
     

The Duomo of Pienza


 

 

 

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