Looking over the valley

Val d’Orcia vista

One more look from Pienza!  I just couldn’t resist to process one of the images today (between work assignments) and share this one with you.

Mid-way between Montalcino and Montepulciano, Pienza has a marvelous view of Val d’Orcia.

20170525-Pienza_DSF1779_80_81_Italia
Valley View

Sitting well above the valley floor, Pienza presents some amazing vistas, such as this one.

A Walk through Pienza – pt. 2

More alleys, and food!

I may have pulled up lame during the relay race at work today due to tearing my hamstring, but there will be more images from Italy!  Reduced mobility will keep me in the house more and with less to distract me, such as those great long runs, my time will be spent on photo editing and music!

Both will be the better of it, I hope.

Pecorino de Pienza

Pienza is also the city of cacio, which means cheese! The Pecorino of Pienza is a tasty cheese made from sheep’s milk, renowned worldwide and delicious, which can go from a delicate flavor to a decisive one based on how aged it is.

The town streets are full of small charming shops selling a large quantity of various types of pecorino, from fresh to aged pecorico, that you can taste together with a number of other typical local products, such as fine wines, spices, pici (handmade pasta) and so on. We recommend stopping and tasting!  Best of both worlds is mixing the pici with the cheese in the famous dish: pici con cacio e pepe.

Cheese shops are on just about every street and alley, and can be tasted in the great restaurants.  Our choice of restaurant was La Buca di Enea on Via della Buca; this small restaurant was phenomenal with excellent food (great cheese), a friendly proprietor, who was nice enough to offer us a free digestif at the end of our meal.

A Walk through Pienza – pt. 1

A renaissance experiment

In the continuing quest to edit my photographs from our trip to Italy, I decided to let my interests in the image follow a meandering path that had me stopping by the town of Pienza this past weekend.  As I got about half of my images edited, I thought I’d share them today in a first installment.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

History

Before the village was renamed to Pienza its name was Corsignano. It is first mentioned in documents from the 9th century. Around 1300 parts of the village became property of the Piccolomini family. after Enghelberto d’Ugo Piccolomini had been enfeoffed with the fief of Montertari in Val d’Orcia by the emperor Frederick II in 1220. In the 13th century Franciscans settled down in Corsignano.

1405 Corsignano was the birthplace of Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini (Italian: Enea Silvio Piccolomini), a Renaissance humanist born into an exiled Sienese family, who later became Pope Pius II. Once he became Pope, Piccolomini had the entire village rebuilt as an ideal Renaissance town and renamed it after himself to Pienza. Intended as a retreat from Rome, it represents the first application of humanist urban planning concepts, creating an impetus for planning that was adopted in other Italian towns and cities and eventually spread to other European centers.

The rebuilding was done by Florentine architect Bernardo Gambarelli (known as Bernardo Rossellino) who may have worked with the humanist and architect Leon Battista Alberti, though there are no documents to prove it for sure. Alberti was in the employ of the Papal Curia at the time and served as an advisor to Pius. Construction started about 1459. Pope Pius II consecrated the Duomo on August 29, 1462, during his long summer visit. He included a detailed description of the structures in his Commentaries, written during the last two years of his life.