One of the Tuscan renaissance symbols, many of the noble families from the Medici court had their summer residences here.
Time seems to have stood still, so as not to spoil the splendour of the town. It has many elegant palaces, powerful churches, and lovely alleys, as we climb up the hill to Piazza Grande, the main square.
Here we admire the Duomo, with the works of Taddeo di Bartolo, the Town Hall, programmed by Michelangelo, the large Palazzo Cantucci, by Sangallo and the old city Well “dei Grifi e dei Leoni”.
Just outside the city walls is the San Bagio church which was constructed by Sangallo and considered one of his most important renaissance works.
Walking in the town we also find some of the historic wine cantinas (almost all underground) , artisan shops and small boutiques. It’s worth stopping at one of the cantinas to sample some of the Montepulciano Vino Nobile, the famous wine in this area. The wine was prized by the nobility in the area (hence the name), it was declared by Francesco Redi in the 17th Century as being the king of Tuscan wines.
L’architetto che la progettò in anni rinascimentali la voleva la “città ideale”: Pienza è un piccolo gioiello… reale.
Deve il suo nome al Papa Pio II e nel centro di questo piccolo e tranquillo paese c’è proprio il suo palazzo, accanto al Duomo.
E dietro il Duomo, magnificamente visibile passeggiando lungo Santa Caterina o fermandosi al Casello, la Val d’Orcia con i suoi paesi e di fronte l’imponente monte Amiata.
Recita una canzone del luogo: “…distesa su dolce collina/ti fanno i cipressi corona/armigeri di una regina/dalla struggente beltà…”.
Situated on the west side of the Val d’Orcia , the town is built on a hill, it held a strategic historical point, with a large fortress holding impressive views. The fortress, walls and towers, are fascinating and give an air of past times.
Don’t forget the Olives and local wine here – the Brunello. It is said by those who know their wines to be like the Ferrari of the automobiles!
This was one of the 12 most important Etruscan confederation cities, which now has come fine renaissance and medieval palaces. In the Etruscan Museum there are many lovely works including the Cortona lamp, and the “Musa Polimnia dating from the roman times. In the Dioscean Museum there are works of the Cortonan painter Luca Signorelli, and the lovely “Annunciazioni” of Beato Angelico. The most important churches are San Francesco and San Domenico, there is the medieval Palazzi Casali, the the renaissance churches of S. Maria Nuova and S. Niccolò. The Celle convent was founded by San Franceso and is one of the impressive places of the town.
Chiusi had its period of maximum splendour during the reign of Porsenna. There are some important archaeological sites in the area and there is the National Etruscan Museum. In front of this is the 12th century Duomo, which was re-structured in 1585. At the side of the Duomo is the Museum Cattedrale with precious religious relics.
Around the Chiusi area were found some of the most important Etruscan tombs, such as the Scimmia, del Leone, Pellegrina etc. From the beginning of Christianity there are also the catacombs of Santa Mustiola and Santa Caterina in the area, along with the labyrinths which, underground, brought water to the cistern of the city in the lst century AD.
Abbazia di Monte Oliveto Maggiore
The Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore is located in the province of Siena. Built in 1319 by John (Bernard) Ptolemies, by Patrizio Patrizi and Ambrogio Piccolomini, has occupied the Benedictine Congregation Olivetana. One of the oldest abbey was that of hospitalization. The Via Francigena, which passed close to the Abbey, which was crossed by travelers could stop and find shelter, comfort, couch, dining and even cure diseases and purchase of medicines.