Surrounded by the magnificent and captivating hills of Tuscan Crete are the rooftops and towers of Pienza, a small town with 2,500 inhabitants. The town’s history is indelibly associated with Pope Pius II, who had a unique and resounding influence on what was also his birthplace. The head of the Roman Catholic Church decided to transform his home village into a perfect town of the Renaissance.
The cathedral’s interior walls are covered with several beautiful paintings created by numerous master artists of Siena, one of whom was Lorenzo di Pietro, who is also known as ‘Il Vecchietta’. In order to intensify the light within the cathedral and following the wishes of the Pope, the walls were originally bereft of paintings.
Despite numerous renovations instigated by Pius II, the character of the majority of the town’s houses, streets and old alleyways has been retained to the present day.
The 'Street of Love', VIA DELL AMORE or 'The Road of Kisses', contains more than a little romance. Unfortunately, little remains of the old castle of Corsignano that, prior to the Pope’s construction program, was once located in the centre of the town. The death of Pius II in August 1464 brought with it the sudden end of Pienza's golden years.
Although the Pope's architectural ideals for the town were never fully realized, he successfully transformed his home town forever.
Global Treasures - History's Most Protected Monuments - Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa's Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world's heritage. Join us as we explore one of these protected monuments.