Pienza Virtual Tour (2005)

Pienza is a small town near Siena immersed in the Val d'Orcia, overlooking the hills of Chianti and near the lakes of Montepulciano, Chiusi and Trasimeno and the Mount Amiata.
It was built in only three years with a project inspired by Enea Silvio Piccolomini (born in Corsignano in 1405) when he became Pope in 1458 with the name of Pius II. During his Papacy he reconstructed the ancient Castello of Corsignano in a Renaissance Style with the supervision of the architect Bernardo Gambarelli (known as Bernardo Rossellino) who may have worked with the humanist and architect Leon Battista Alberti, though there are no documents to prove it for sure.

The new name of the town was Pienza from “Pius”. It represents one of the best Renaissance towns and for this reason is called "Ideal City".

In 1996, UNESCO declared the town a World Heritage Site, and in 2004 the entire valley, the Val d'Orcia, was included in the list of UNESCO's World Cultural Landscapes.

Siena 360°: Pienza (2005) VR Panoramas


duomo square in pienza

Duomo Square with the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta

The Cathedral is one of the masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance. The travertine facade was designed by Bernardo Rossellino with four pilasters that divide it into three zones that correspond to the inner aisles. On the gable we find the coat of arms Piccolomini. In the side elevation and in the apse there are Gothic windows.

cloister of palazzo piccolomini

Piccolomini Palace - CLOISTER

The Palazzo Piccolomini was commissioned to Bernardo Rossellino by Pope Pius II (Enea Piccolomini) in the project of reconstruction of Pienza as an Ideal City. Rossellino for the project was inspired by the Palazzo Rucellai in Florence designed by his teacher Leon Battista Alberti. The back of the palace, to the south, is defined by loggias on all three floors that overlook an enclosed giardino all'Italiana and spectacular views into the distant landscape of the Val d'Orcia.

interior of the cathedral of pienza

Inside the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta

The interior of the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta is divided into three aisles by pillars. The aisles have the same height of the central nave. The Cathedral was built by Bernardo Rossellino between 1459 and 1462.

corso rossellino

Duomo Square: view from Corso Rossellino, the Architect of Pius II

The trapezoidal-shaped Piazza Duomo is defined by the Palazzo Piccolomini, the Duomo, the Town Hall, the Bishop Palace and by a fine Well. Pienza was rebuilt from a village called Corsignano which was the birthplace of Pope Pius II.

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pienza on google maps

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