Destination: Pienza

C O M U N E   D I   P I E N Z A

Formerly known as Corsignano, Pienza is a comune in the province of Siene, in Central Italy, located between the towns of Montepulciano and Montelcino. Pope Pius II (Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini), born in Corsignano, returned to rebuild the town as an ideal Renaissance town and applied humanist urban planning concepts to its design which later influenced the design of other Italian and European cities.

Getting to Pienza is fairly easy if driving by car. If you are traveling from the north, take the A1 Highway (Firenze-Roma), exit Valdichiana/Bettolle. Then follow indications to Torrita di Siena and then Pienza. If you are traveling from the south, take the A1 Highway (Roma-Firenze), exit Chiusi/Chianciano Terme. Take National Road SS 146 to Chianciano Terme, Montepulciano, Pienza.  From Siena, there are buses, not very often, to Pienza. Go to Train-Spa for bus schedules and one can also look HERE (then scroll down to bus number 112 'Siena FS' is the route that includes Pienza) for the Pienza bus line/route. Always make sure that the bus route is up to date and running on the day you wish to leave. Keep in mind that bus routes sometimes cease to run if there are national strikes, holidays or inclimate weather.

Map of Pienza (click picture to enlarge)

We were very excited  to visit Pienza as we had heard from both friends and family that it was a very beautiful Tuscan town. So we packed our two boys into the car and headed out to check it out for ourselves. When we arrived, we parked just outside of the town in a parking lot 5 minutes walking distance from the town center. 

The main attractions worth visiting in Pienza include the following:
  • Palazzo Piccolomini - One of four buildings that create a piazza designed very much like Piazza Ruccelai (trapezoidal) in Florence opens up to spectacular views of Central Tuscany.
  • The Duomo - The Cathedral in Pienza has German architectural design influences as Pope Pius II spent time in Germany and loved how German design allowed for more light.
  • Palazzao Vescoville - A building built to house the Bishops visiting Pienza to attend to the Pope.
  • Palazzo Comunale - Another building in the main piazza that is very beautiful and was intended as a symbol for humanist urban planning.
  • Piccolomini Gardens - Very beautiful and well taken care of gardens with breathtaking views of Central Italy.

The first thing that we noticed upon entering the town was the beautiful archway entrance which opened up into a very nice small piazza with restaurants and shops. Just to the right of the archway entrance is a public toilette which is very convenient for visitors just arriving after a long drive.

The second thing about Pienza that we noticed were the narrow streets leading away from the piazza that presented breathtaking views of the Tuscan hills below. We had the instant urge to explore the narrow corridors to see what amazing views they might open out to.


As we made our way back to the piazza we continued down the main avenue which was bustling with visitors going in and out of the various shops lining both sides of the avenue. The shopfronts are elegantly designed and it is possible to find many specialty shops that sell aged balsamic vinegars, truffles, oils and, ofcourse, wines. We were particular to a cheese shop (humongous slice of pepper flake cheese on a roll) and the pinnochio shop where we purchased 10 whistles for our relatives back home.

We were taken by the beauty of the town and at how wonderfully maintained every street was. The streets were clean. The restaurants were full and there was just a real pleasantness about the town that made us just want to grab a gelato, sit and people watch for a bit. 

We also loved the architecture of the town and the attention to detail on the doorways, the windows and the street names.The variety of flowers outside of people's windows and in front of their homes was a pleasure to see as well. 


All in all, Pienza lived up to our expectations. Pienza is a beautiful place to go for a day or half-day trip and we would highly recommend anyone looking for a beautiful Tuscan town to visit Pienza.

To view more pictures of our trip to Pienza click HERE
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