Our proposals for Pienza and the Val d'Orcia
Once upon a time Corsignano... then Pienza
Once upon a time there was Corsignano, a small fortified village where was born Enea Silvio Piccolomini. The "Pious Aeneas", who became Pope Pius II, decided to transform Corsignano in Pienza, the "ideal city" of the Renaissance, entrusting the development of the project to the architect Rossellino.
The heart of the city is the square around which are arranged the Cathedral, Palazzo Piccolomini, the Town Hall and the Bishop's Palace. For high-value urban and monumental, Pienza has been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1996.
In the footsteps of the pilgrims: San Quirico d'Orcia and Bagno Vignoni
Of Etruscan origin, San Quirico grew in relation to the transition and consolidation of the Via Francigena, becoming one of the steps already described in 990 AD in the travelogue wrote by Sigerico, Archbishop of Canterbury. The tour winds along the main axis of the Via Francigena, along which there are the most important monuments:
Collegiata, Palazzo Chigi, the Horti Leonini and the churches of San Francesco and Santa Maria Assunta. The journey continues in the direction of the small charming thermal village of Bagno Vignoni with its characteristic "square of water".
For villages and castles: Castiglione d'Orcia and Monticchiello
Situated on top of a hill, in a panoramic position, Castiglione d'Orcia is, as its name suggests, an old castle dominated by the imposing ruins of the fortress of Aldobrandeschi’s family. Facing as bulwark to control the area stands the strong and impregnable fortress of Tentennano.
The village is characterized by steep, narrow streets that lead to the charming Piazza Vecchietta. The tour continues to the church of Santo Stefano e Degna, containing a valuable panel by Pietro Lorenzetti. The medieval village of Monticchiello preserves walls and towers that surround the town. In the heart of the village is the medieval church of San Leonardo e Cristoforo. Inside there are frescoes of the Sienese school of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries. The country is famous for the “Teatro Povero” (“poor theater"), a play that takes place every year, written and performed by the inhabitants of Monticchiello.
The land of Ghino di Tacco “the Robin Hood of Val d’Orcia”: Radicofani
The village expands along a roadway that goes parallel to the castle, linking the two gateways. The medieval structure is pointed out by the steep alleyways interrupted by courts and squares. Nice places to visit are the churches of San Pietro and Sant’Agata which contain marvelous terracotta pieces by Della Robbia. The mighty fortress above the town of Ghino di Tacco (aka “the Robin Hood of Val d’Orcia”) dominates the whole territory set between the Mount Cetona, Val d'Orcia and Mount Amiata.
Downstream to the hill passes the Via Francigena which led to the birth and development of Radicofani, an obligatory stop for travelers and pilgrims.