Pienza

A superb example of Renaissance architecture, this town was designed and built in the mid-15th century by the Florentine architect Bernardo Rossellino on the orders of Pope Pius II, Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini, who was born there in 1405. Pius II entrusted Rossellino with the experimental project but the grand scheme never progressed beyond the handful of buildings around the Piazza. There are breathtaking views from this pretty hill top. Try Pecorino cheese made from sheep's milk.
 

TIPS

  • It is worth visiting Montepulciano as well as it is only 15 minutes away
  • The route from Pienza to Monte Oliveto runs almost entirely along a high ridge, with great views of the Crete (clay hills). 
  • Leave your car outside the walls to the west near Piazza Dante or in the car park to the north in Via Mencatelli, off Largo Roma. 
  • If you have time, be sure to walk along the ramparts and public gardens west of Piazza Dante. These are outside the village centre, but offer superb views of the surrounding countryside. 
  • To see some of the best countryside head for Sant'Anna in Camprena , an Abbey 8 km north signed off the road for San Quirico. The refectory has frescoes by Sodoma. Generally open daily in the summer.

HOW TO GET THERE

From Siena take the SS2 in direction of Buonconvento and exit at San Quirico d'Orcia