Monday, October 30, 2006


Pienza is regarded as a unique example of a city designed and constructed according to the canons of the Italian Renaissance. The town has preserved its unique characteristics throughout the centuries.

Its idea originated with the humanist Pope, Pius II (otherwise Enea Sylvio Piccolomini).He was born in the town in 1405. The town was then called Corsignano.

In February 1459, when Pope, he visited his birthplace. He was struck by the misery of the inhabitants. He decided that he would reconstruct the town and make it his Summer Court.

He instructed the architect Bernardo Rossellini to design and construct the new town. Rossellino had been ingegnere di palazzo to Pope Nicholas V in Rome. Rossellino began work on the project in 1459.

Around the Central Square stands the Cathedral, the Piccolomini Palace and the Episcopal Palace. Palaces of the various Cardinals stand adjacent. The hospital and the inn were also built on the orders of Pius. Rossellino also planned the overall layout of the town.