Pienza Vacation Packages
Pienza is a storybook hill town and a popular place to visit in Tuscany’s Siena province. Originally called Corsignano, it is Italy’s first planned town, born out of the vision of Enea Silvius Piccolomini. After becoming Pope Pius II in 1458, Piccolomini set about creating a Renaissance town with majestic churches, palaces and squares. Today, Pienza is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and its walled old town bears testament to the late pope’s dream.
Start your visit at Piazza Pio II, the historic quarter’s central square. Gaze in awe at the Cathedral of Pienza, home to work by artists from the Sienese School. Explore the regal rooms of Palazzo Piccolomini, built as a summer retreat for the pope and his family. The palace’s manicured garden affords uninterrupted views over the Val d’Orcia valley.
On the square’s east side is the Palazzo Borgia. It houses the Diocesan Museum, which has exhibitions of art and jewelry from the 13th to 19th centuries.
Brick-paved streets radiate from Piazza Pio II and lead to pretty squares, characterized by houses with shuttered windows and flower-filled balconies. Peek inside handicraft stores and watch the world go by from a café terrace. Look for the medieval Church of San Francesco, which predates the town’s urban makeover.
Stroll around the exterior of the town walls and pause at imposing gateways, including Porta al Prato. Go to the Romanesque hillside church, Pieve di Corsignano. Stay a while and admire the olive groves and vineyards of Val d’Orcia.
A fun time to visit Pienza is in early September for the Fiera del Cacio, a celebration of the locally produced pecorino cheese. Don’t miss the Palio del Cacio Fuso, when people compete in a closest-to-the-target cheese-rolling contest. Sample pecorino cheese at the festival’s market stalls or year-round at the town’s osterie (taverns).
Pienza is about a 1-hour drive southwest from Siena. Street parking is available for a fee outside the walled district and there’re designated bicycle parking areas, too. An idyllic daytrip and weekend destination, Pienza is also a great base for visiting Val d’Orcia’s other hill towns such as Montalcino and Monticchiello.
Accommodation in Pienza
Make a booking for one of the 26 Pienza hotels available on Expedia's extensive Pienza hotels guide before you leave.
Top picks include the Tenuta Santo Pietro, which can be found at Localita Santo Pietro 29, and Hotel Corsignano, situated at Via Della Madonnina 11. Alternatively, if you're traveling on a budget, the Piccolo Hotel La Valle, Via Circonvallazione 7, and the Hotel Relais II Chiostro di Pienza, Corso Rossellino 26, could be more your style.