Pienza in Tuscany/Italy on top of the hill

Pienza stands out in Val d'Orcia
A man of God realized his dream

Pienza, Tuscany/Italy (2017) – If UNESCO calls something a World Heritage Site, you just know it
must be a big deal. More than 20 years ago – in 1996 – UNESCO declared the Tuscan city
Pienza a World Heritage Site, eight years before in 2004 the entire valley, the Val d'Orcia,
received the same award. Only a few moments after you entered this picturesque town,
located between Montepulciano and Montalcino and separated from these cities only by
gorgeous rolling hills and typical Tuscan landscape, you understand why Pienza was rewarded
with this great honor. The city is like a folded picture postcard book. Every street is a beautiful postcard, every alley a breathtaking painting. Nowhere else you can walk in the streets of "Kiss, Love and Luck" (Via del Bacio, Via dell' Amore and Via Della Fortuna).
You just have to sit down once in a while to take it all in, this amazing fineness, this loveliness,
this incredible breathtaking city. No wonder Pienza shines like that, after all, it is the
realization of a dream, a dream a man of God once had.
Pope Pius II. created the Pienza from today almost 600 years ago
It was the Renaissance humanist Enea Silvio Piccolomini, a son of the city and later Catholic Pope Pius II. who created the Pienza of today. He realized this dream to build an ideal Renaissance town, a Utopian city. Once he was Pope in 1458, he had the money and the influence necessary to transform his birthplace, the entire village Corsignano into the city of today. Pope Pius II. not only gave his birthplace a new look and a new future, but he also gave the city its new name, the city of Pius – Pienza. The construction of Pienza had started around 1459 and only four years later a harmonious fifteenth-century town took shape. The sudden death of Pope Pius II in 1464 put a stop to the construction but enough was finished to give Pienza the look it has today.

Pienza is famous for its Pecorino cheese
While the neighboring towns Montepulciano and Montalcino are famous for their wines, Pienza made itself a name with its Pecorino cheese. Pienza is also known as the city of "cacio" (cheese). Strolling through the shops shows how serious the descendants of Pius II. are with their high-quality cheese. Pecorino is a cheese made out of sheep's milk and can range from delicate taste to sharp and spicy. There are many different Pecorinos to buy and standing in front of a shelf full of cheese can become confusing. But like a local store owner said: "As long it's Pecorino di Pienza you can't go wrong."

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