Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
1459 and 1462, they are arranged according to the urban design of Bernardo Rossellino,
who applied the principles of Renaissance town planning devised by his mentor, Leon
Battista Alberti.
The space available to Rossellino was limited, so to increase the sense of perspective
and dignity of the great edifices that he had been commissioned to design, he set them off
at angles to the cathedral around a magnificently paved piazza. It was a true masterstroke.
» Palazzo Piccolomini
( ; 30min guided tours adult/reduced €7/5; 10am-6pm Tue-Sun mid-
Mar-mid-Oct, to 4pm mid-Oct-mid-Mar) This magnificent palace was the pope's residence and
is considered Rossellino's masterpiece. Located to your right as you face the duomo, it
was built on the site of former Piccolomini family houses and features a fine courtyard,
handsome staircase and the former papal apartments, which are filled with an assortment
of period furnishings, minor art and the like. To the rear, a three-level loggia offers a spec-
tacular panorama over the Val d'Orcia below. There are guided tours of the 1st floor every
30 minutes, but you can peek into the courtyard for free.
» Duomo
(Piazza Pio II; 8.30am-1pm & 2.15-6.30pm) The piazza's focal point, this cathedral was built
on the site of the Romanesque Chiesa di Santa Maria, of which little remains. The Renais-
sance facade, in travertine stone, is of clear Albertian inspiration. The interior of the build-
ing, a strange mix of Gothic and Renaissance, contains a collection of five altarpieces
painted by Sienese artists of the period, as well as a superb marble tabernacle by Ros-
sellino containing a relic of St Andrew the Apostle, Pienza's patron saint. The papal bull
of 1462 forbade any changes to the church, so revel in the thought that its appearance is
virtually the same now as it was in the Middle Ages.
» Palazzo Vescovile
(Piazza Pio II) To the left as you face the duomo is this palazzo , modified and enlarged in
1492 by Roderigo Borgia, the future Pope Alexander VI. It and the adjoining Palazzo Bor-
gia e Jouffrey are now home to the Museo Diocesano ( 0578 74 99 05; Corso Rossellino 30; adult/
reduced €4.50/3; 10am-1pm & 2-5pm Wed-Mon mid-Mar-Oct, 10am-4pm Sat & Sun Nov-mid-Mar) ,
as well as the tourist office (enter via the courtyard onto Corso Rossellino). Tucked in be-
hind Palazzo Vescovile, next to the duomo , is the Casa dei Canonici (House of the Church
Pieve di Corsignano
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