We were off to another Tuscan village, this time Pienza. My friend had a guide book by Rick Steves-doesn’t everyone?-and he was sort of “meh” about Pienza. I guess it’s too clean and tidy and not really lived in but I liked it. Pienza once had another name but it was changed when a resident became a pope, Pope Pius II. He and an architect redesigned the village in the Renaissance style and it has a wonderful ambience. The main street was lined with shops with very nice things for sale. I especially liked the gourmet food shops and bought a mix of dried beans and spices for an Italian soup back home and some spices for spaghetti.

An alley leading off the main street. The village was one of the few flat ones that we walked in although it was up on a hill.

This area is the home of pecorino cheese. I never got that fond of it unless I ate something sweet with it like honey or fig jam.

The crest of the family of the Pope. Their symbol is the half moon and we saw it all over Pienza and in many places in Tuscany.

The castle belonging to the Pope and his family. The last descendent died in WWII so it now belongs to Italy. We took a tour with a girl of the castle who had incredibly bad English. It was hard to understand her but we did get to see some of the interior of the castle.

Yet another view of the Tuscan countryside from the back of the castle. I just thought it was so beautiful.

8 thoughts to “Pienza”

  1. Isn’t it lovely to go back to your memories, days, weeks, months, even years after the actual travel 🙂

    We are about to leave the paris flat now. Have had a perfect time here.

  2. I love all of Tuscany…I keep asking my husband if he coulodn’t get transferred there…not much chance on that one.
    We stayed in San Gimignano last June in an agritourismo on the edge of town…wonderful!

  3. Love the view from the back of the castle. A re-designed village rates lower, does it? What about all of Paris when it was torn down and rebuilt? Still love it. It’s not as if Pienza was Disney-fied. People actually live and work there. It looks charming. Of course, why am I defending it? I’ve never been. Sigh.

  4. Other people’s taste, even a professional traveler’s, isn’t always reliable is it? Pienza had great views, shops, food and was easy to walk around- that should please most people.

  5. Oh gosh, I absolutely love your latest Tuscany tales! What a beautiful region! All the history and culture… Gosh, definitely a wonderful for an architecture student like me to visit!

    How’s Tuscany compared to Provence? Which do you like best? 😀

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