Pienze, Italy is famous for being one of Tuscany’s most romantic hilltop towns. 20 Pienza Italy Photos that show why this UNESCO World Heritage Site should be on your list.
Pienza, Italy is famous for its romantic beauty, being the birthplace of Pope Pius II, near-perfect urban planning, and above all Pecorino di Pienza (cheese!)
Pienza is Nicknamed “the ideal city” and the ‘Renaissance miracle’ because it represents near-perfect Renaissance town planning. What makes Pienza a town to admire? In short, Pope Pius II.
Pienza is the birthplace of Enea Silvio Piccolomini who later became Pope Pius II. In 1458 Pope Pius II ordered his childhood hometown be transformed into the ultimate symbol of the Italian Renaissance. Over the next three years, Pienza witnessed a rebirth.
Evolving from the village formerly known as Corsignano into the ideal Italian Renaissance city of Pienza. The ancient village square was renamed Piazza Pio II and was changed to a trapezoid shape paved with angular bricks seen in the photos above.
Several notable buildings were added during the renovation including Piccolomini Palace, The Borgia Palace, and Cattedrale dell’Assunta.
All of these are seen in the opening scenes of ‘Romeo and Juliet.’ Something any film lover will appreciate while wandering the cobblestone streets and almost 40 buildings inside the walled city.
Pienza became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.
Pienza Italy Photos
The well pictured above has had more than its 15 minutes of fame thanks to an appearance in both ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and ‘The English Patient’. If you know of another movie I’m missing, please let me know in the comments below! Without further ado, our top 20 pictures of Pienza, Italy.
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Last winter, Paolo and I made our way to Pienza, Italy. A hilltop town in Tuscany not far from Siena. Unbeknownst to us, there was a small exhibit in town celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Franco Zeffirelli’s ‘Romeo and Juliet.’
The movie’s score has been etched in my heart since studying ‘Romeo and Juliet’ in film class many, many years ago.
Walking across Palazzo Piccolomini, I heard a familiar tune, softly spilling into the square. Isn’t that the theme song from ‘Romeo and Juliet’ I wondered. Curious I followed the music through an open doorway.
As my eyes adjusted to the light, I looked up only to realize I was standing in the middle of one of my favorite movie sets. There in the window was Juliet. Or rather a life-sized poster of Olivia Hussey the young actress who played Juliet. The song met its crescendo and I couldn’t help it, I started crying! Franco Zeffirelli’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is one of the most beautiful, romantic tributes to young love ever filmed. The exhibit and the emotion it triggered caught me completely by surprise. Just then Paolo snapped the photo of me below.
Paolo scored major husband points that day. While the exhibit might be gone, Pienza will forever remain one of Tuscany’s most romantic hilltop towns.
Is Pienza Worth Visiting?
Pienza is an unforgettable city because of its near-perfect urban planning, graceful buildings, and charming streets. As with all of our favorite Italian destinations, there is a perfect balance between preservation and the appreciation of time. The patina Italy is known and loved for.
While it’s a small hamlet compared to Florence or Siena, Pienza is a town full of life. Laundry hangs from window lines, cheese shops are inviting and local townspeople stop and talk while crossing the piazza. Because here in Italy, there is always time to say “Buongiorno, come va?”
Furthermore, Pienza is one the best examples of what entices tourists to dream of one day retiring in Italy. I mean, can you imagine perching in a window with your morning cup as church bells ring across this view every day?
I’ll never forget our trip to Pienza, Italy because of my Romeo, Paolo. Thank you for unintentionally bringing me to the heart of one of my favorite movies Amore!
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Wow so beautiful
Thank you. Have you been?
Girl! I could sooooo be better but I’m not complaining though! How have you been? 🙂
Pienza looks stunning, I love the smaller towns that aren’t as full of tourists! Also, that view is just breathtaking!
We visited Pienza just before moving to Italy. It had that kind of impact. I could just imagine opening the windows to that view with a cup of coffee every morning. PS I just jumped over to your blog and saw you’ve seen Porto! I loved our time there. Have you ever fallen in love with a place the minute you started walking around and said to yourself “You know I think I have to live here now!”
That happens to me in so many places 😂
Me too! Paris, Venice, Spain… Italy. Well that last one came true!
I love our visit in Italy!
I’m happy to hear it. Where all did you go in Italy?
Venice, 4 yrs ago. Then just last November. We went to Rome,Pisa, Florence, Genoa! We had a great time!
So many amazing places in Italy to see!
indeed great photos! I’ve been to Pienza, it’s lovely
It’s super charming! I’m hoping to get back later this year pending how things are going with COVID. When you went did you do get to try the famous pecorino?
Yes we did
Wow! So incredibly beautiful!
We can’t claim credit for the beauty.
Anywhere that’s a convenient, day trip ride train ride from Rome would top my list for new places to visit in Italy. Any unique ideas?
I’m actually a fan of TheRomanGuy when it comes to day trips from Rome. Here’s a great list. https://theromanguy.com/italy-travel-blog/day-trips-from-rome-by-train/
I just want to let my fingers run over the marble carvings in these photos!
I just want to run my fingers of the marble in these photos!!!
It’s a beautiful place. Maybe one day you can touch it and it can touch your heart.
Love these trips you take us on !!!
Thank you! Not everyone can be here but at least we can share the journey.
It’s a dream of a place!