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.
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.