Pienza is the village most renowned and greater artistic importance of the whole of the Val d'Orcia. The city until 1462 was nothing other than a small village named Corsignano. The event which changed the fate was the birth in 1405 of Enea Silvio Piccolomini who 53 years later became Pope Pius II. Just a trip of the Pontiff toward Mantua brought him to cross the place of birth and the degradation that found led him to decide on the construction of a new ideal city above the ancient village, entrusting the renovation project of the architect Bernardo Rossellino: the construction lasted about four years and brought to light a harmonious town and with forms typically 1300s.
Much of the significant historical and artistic heritage of Pienza is concentrated in the evocative square dedicated to Pope Pius II, in which the Palio del Cacio Fuso is held since 1960 in the first week of September.
It still remains one of the most significant examples of rational urban planning in the Italian Renaissance.
The Renaissance Cathedral is immediately isolated and clearly visible, in front of the Palazzo Comunale and next to Palazzo Borgia e Palazzo Piccolomini. The Hermitage is a complex of rooms excavated in the sandstone by monks and hermits is located near Pienza. Curious, in a grotto is the sculpture of the Madonna with six fingers.
In 2003, in the natural reserve of the firefly Beautiful, have resurfaced the fossil remains of a Etruridelphis giulii (marine mammal similar to a dolphin) lived in the area over 4.5 million years ago, in a period in which the current gullies were the backdrop of the Tyrrhenian Sea. The fossil was considered by scholars of great scientific value, because it is the relic to complete more of the species existing in the world.
Pienza, papal city, sits on its noble hill, with the face turned toward the boundless undulations of the Val d'Orcia, dotted with farmhouses and furrowed with ancient streets. Pienza, the renaissance city is a perfect model of urban planning and architecture of humanism, still incorrupt in its structure. Since 1996 for Unesco is a patrimony of humanity.
The merit is of pope Pius II, in the days Enea Silvio Piccolomini, a pope idealistic, born from a noble family and lover of the canons of classical beauty. He tried to make Pienza his "ideal city", leaving to posterity one of the most significant examples of urban design rational of the Italian Renaissance.
The beauty of the town lies primarily in its square, that suddenly opens in the narrow space of the medieval buildings. The project is the work of the architect Bernardo Rossellino, lying at its patron about the huge expenditure that would have been required for its realization, has managed to bring to humanity monuments of priceless value and beauty. Among them the Cathedral, a "crystal temple", enlightened thanks to a wonderful game of light coming from the large windows of the apse.
The square is small, but, thanks to the talent of the perspective opening and the paving of panes, similar to the paintings of Piero della Francesca, appears wide and majestic. At the sides of the Cathedral rises up the papal palace and the Palazzo Vescovile. In front, instead, the Palazzo Pubblico.
The cacio fair in Pienza is one of the most anticipated traditional events for tourists and citizens, in honor of the most renowned product of the area: Pecorino (typical Italian cheese). A whole week with a full program of events, shows, tastings, markets and much more, during which the curious game of Cacio al Fuso is played. The six districts of Pienza compete for the Palio, challenging each other in this popular game, a really curious competition that should not be missed.
The game is played in Piazza Pio II, where it is possible to see a ring of white marble, set in the pavement.
Right at the center of the ring the spindle is positioned and starting from it concentric circumferences, of ever greater radius and lower score. Each of the six teams consists of six members and any reservations. One player at a time must kneel on a rug, which is made available to shooters, and throw a cheese on the floor, trying to get it as close as possible to the spindle, so as to obtain the highest score. Each member has three pitches to make sure that the score of his team is the highest to win the Palio designed by local artists.
Village of Pienza
The Municipality of Pienza
Province of Siena
Altitude center: 491 m a.s.l.
The Municipality is part of:
Città del bio
Città della chianina
the historical center of Pienza - UNESCO site
Orange Flag - Italian Touring Club
Protected natural areas:
Area di interesse locale Val d'Orcia
Riserva naturale Lucciolabella
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