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Val D\'Orcia

31 PIENZA The town conceived by Pope Pius II was built on top of the medieval castle of Corsignano, which marked the border between the possessions of Siena, Florence and Orvieto. It has been designated as part of the “world-wide heritage of humanity” by UNESCO. In 1458 Enea Silvio Piccolomini decided to transform his childhood home into a symbol of the Italian Renaissance. In three years, from 1459 to 1462, the town reborn as Pienza witnessed the birth of several landmark works of architecture. Its luminous cathedral, Cattedrale dell’Assunta, houses panel paintings by the most renowned Sienese artists of the period. Next door, the imposing family residence Palazzo Piccolomini is graced with a loggia offering a fabulous panorama over Val d’Orcia. The town hall and the Palazzo Vescovile (Bishop’s quarters) with its museum display homogeneity of style. Instead, the church dedicated to San Francesco (13th century), the city walls and the austere Pieve di Corsignano, first documented in 714, all date back to the medieval ages. To the south, the road rises and falls amidst the hills and leads to Monticchiello, where various medieval constructions may be admired, including the fortress with its extensive walls and the 13th-century church dedicated to Santi Leonardo e Cristoforo with its fascinating, if damaged, frescoes. Theatrical productions by the “Teatro Povero”(literally, the Poor Man’s Theatre), began in 1967 and have become an annual event of international importance. TE.PO.TRA.TOS Museo del Teatro Tradizionale Popolare Toscano Monticchiello The museum houses ample documentation of the town’s famous “Teatro Povero” and of other traditional forms of local rural entertainment. Museo Palazzo Piccolomini Piazza Pio II, 2 This elegant Renaissance structure was commissioned by Pope Pius II. The courtyard leads to the fabulous hanging gardens. Museo Diocesano Corso Rossellino 30 This museum displays artworks by the Sienese school, and in particular renowned works from the 14th century. The precious cope donated to the cathedral by Pope Pius II may be admired. VALDORCIA_INT_ING 30-07-2009 18:49 Pagina 31

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