How my family and I did not visit the village of Pienza last year when we were in southern Tuscany we don’t know – but this completely charming Italian hillside town epitomizes Tuscan beauty and was just what we needed after a busy city stay in Rome.
We had returned, once again, to the Cortona area in Tuscany for a one week stay. One of our local Italian friends told us to go, saying that it is her favorite town in the region – and after a visit we could see why! Built into the hillside as a long ago fortress, this renaissance town has panoramic views of the valley and countryside below. A walking path takes you around the outer part of the village, so no matter where you are, you can walk out of the town center for a view.
Small cobblestone streets weave in and around, with a main street full of boutique and design shops, wine stores, restaurants and gelaterias. We ate lunch at the exquisite La Terrazza e La Corte del Chiosto, a hotel and restaurant overlooking the rolling hills and farm land below. We thought it might be too upscale to take the kids, but after seeing other children there and a courtyard for them to run around, we sat down and promptly ordered a bottle of wine. With a view like this, wine was in order. The food was excellent, one of the best meals of the trip, but it took a long time to come. Clearly they were understaffed…yet the setting was so beautiful and relaxing it was hard to complain. Better yet, upon leaving, they gave us a free bottle of wine and apologized about the wait. My kind of place.
We walked around after lunch, noting that every turn we took was a postcard picture (it really is one of those sort of towns), and did our due diligence by going to the town’s Duomo. It was fine enough, but we particularly liked the square it was situated in. With huge sculptures of human faces, it was quite dramatic of a space. We mainly walked around and dipped into shops, and spent some time at the most amazing gourmet food and wine store called Marusco e Maria.
To keep the kids busy we made sure to buy them some gelato and souvenirs, as well as take them down all the “secret passageways” we could find, of which there were many. It was one of our more relaxing days, just strolling around the town and taking in the views. If you are in Southern Tuscany, Pienza is a must visit!
I want to go to Pienza after reading your blog and looking at the fantastic photos !
You need to go – you guys would absolutely love it!
Love the street photos… any place that gives you a bottle of wine you certainly can’t complain about!
Yup, so true!!
We have cycled here and agreed just absolutely fabulous!
Cycling around the Pienza area sounds incredible – jealous!
Wow, been to Tuscany a number of times but never here. Looks just perfect and those sculptures are incredible.
I know – aren’t the sculptures amazing. One of my favorite parts of the town.
Looks like a wonderful place. I would love getting lost in those narrow streets. I’ve only visited Tuscany once, and thats a very long time ago, but seeing your pictures really makes me want to go back:)
I could go to Tuscany again and again, and unfortunately that’s prob the last time we’ll be there for a while. But we did get two years in a row not to sound like a brat..
Corey, it sounds just wonderful. A peaceful day is always a treat!
You would have loved it Jean.
Thanks – it really was.
wow, so beautiful!
Thanks – could live there!
So lovely, your pictures are absolutely stunning!
Thanks – the scenery automatically lends itself to nice photos, no matter who is taking them!
Oh my, Pienza looks like just the place where I could live! I love Italy – and this is a place I am adding to my list of places to visit!
It’s quite stunning! I know I could live there too..think we all could..
Your pictures are stunning! Looks like we should have tried to squeeze Tuscany in our packed Euro-trip. 🙂
Thank you twobrownfeet! Impossible to do everything..
So beautiful! This is the image of a picturesque and charming place 🙂
Thanks Marcella! It really was.