Modern Pienza was created from 1458 – 1464. It was Pope Pius who created the modern street layout of Pienza–making it one of the most beautiful small cities in Tuscany.
The Pope was from Pienza and had great memories of Pienza from his childhood. But, he also had the vision to transform it into a modern city that would be admired by the world. But, because the Pope died in 1464, much of the work on the city was stopped and now we have modern-day Pienza–a much smaller version of the city that Pope Pius envisioned, but never-the-less–a beautiful small hilltop city.
The city is laid out in a grid pattern, but was never finished beyond the few streets there are today.
Pienza is in the heart of the Val d’Orcia. The Val d’Orcia is the valley and land surrounding Pienza. It is known for its rich farmland and natural beauty. It was transformed into the modern area it is today, when in the 11th century, rich merchants traveling from Siena to Rome started buying land here. By transforming the forests and hills into farmlands, the Val d’Orcia was transformed into its modern “natural beauty” of farms and rolling fields and hills.
2 hours north of Rome