It was in Pienza, a little village in southern Tuscany that Renaissance town-planning concepts were first put into practice after Pope Pius II decided, in 1459, to transform the look of his birthplace. He chose the architect Bernardo Rossellino, who applied the principles of his mentor, Leon Battista Alberti. This new vision of urban space was realized in the superb square known as Piazza Pio II and the buildings around it: the Piccolomini Palace, the Borgia Palace and the cathedral with its pure Renaissance exterior and an interior in the late Gothic style of south German churches.

Updated on November 26th 2020

Visiting Pienza



Pienza owes its beauty and fame to Enea Silvio Piccolomini born in Corsignano on 18 October 1405 and elevated to Pope in 1458 taking the name Pius II. His family lived here, where they had some properties, after being exiled from Siena in 1385, for political reasons. During the course of his Papacy, he changed the ancient Castello di Corsignano (first mentioned in 828) into a Papal residence in the Renaissance style, planned and constructed under the supervision Rossellino, a student of Leon Battista Alberti, the village being renamed Pienza ("Pius") to praise honour upon the well liked “humanist” Pope.

Pius II was an outstanding Italian humanist and astute politician.
Pius II was an outstanding Italian humanist and astute politician.

Visiting Pienza


Pienza 53026 Province of Siena Italy

About Peter Kilby

Peter Kilby is an artist, writer, story-teller, journalist and avid traveller who lived and worked in Italy from 1987 to 2018. He created Perfect Traveller to bring the world of Italian art and history closer to you and in a way that is entertaining and informative; together with great travel tips. Getting off the beaten track in Italy is always an adventure and he invites you to join him in discovering an Italy that will surprise and amaze you.

V 1.7.1 Updated on Tuesday, September 26th 2023, 12:03:47 pm from LIVE datasource
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