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What to visit in Pienza and surroundings

Pienza is a small village with less than three thousand inhabitants, located in the Val d'Orcia, in Tuscany, in the province of Siena. The territory that surrounds it is a typical hilly landscape, rich in vineyards and olive groves. The artistic part of this village is located in the main square. The Cathedral is in Renaissance style with some details that recall the Gothic churches. The Town Hall has been restored at the beginning of '900, and inside you can admire a fresco of the Sienese school of '400. Pienza is an example of an ideal Renaissance-style city, born from the restructuring of the village of Corsignano at the behest of Pope Pius II Piccolomini.
Other buildings include the Church of San Francesco dating back to the thirteenth century, the Church of San Giovanni which preserves a baptismal font from the Renaissance and several bas-reliefs depicting biblical scenes, the Abbey of San Pietro in Campo of 1300 in Romanesque style and the Monastery of Sant'Anna in Camprena of 1517 with a characteristic pipe organ. Palazzo Piccolomini, also known as the Pontifical Palace, has Renaissance architecture and inside a garden with fruit trees and flowers of all kinds. Also worth a visit is Palazzo Borgia, seat of the Diocesan Museum; it is a museum that collects works of sacred art, including the Madonna di Montichiello, by Lorenzetti, and the Polyptych with the Madonna del Bambino, San Giovanni Battista and San Giovanni Evangelista by Niccolò di Segna.

Nature lovers will be fascinated by the Nature Reserve of Lucciola Bella, a protected area with the typical landscape of the Val d'Orcia. In this area fossils of a dolphin-like mammal dating back over four million years have been found. Tourists love to go horseback riding inside the reserve to admire its beauties and spend a day in the middle of the nature of this enchanted place.
During a stay in Pienza it is a must to visit the city of Siena to admire its beauty. The city is known throughout the world for its great artistic heritage; in fact, the historic center is an asset protected by UNESCO. Inside the Cathedral Museum you can admire paintings by Duccio di Boninsegna, one of which is an authentic masterpiece, the Majesty. The famous Piazza del Campo is the place where the Palio takes place, an ancient competition between the districts and where you can admire the Palazzo Comunale and the famous Torre del Mangia, as well as Palazzo d'Elci and the Loggia della Mercanzia, the latter richly decorated in marble.