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Historic Centre of the City of Pienza
Pienza bears the name of the pope who entrusted its reconstruction to Rossellino: pope Pius II Piccolomini. Pienza stands on what was originally the site of Corsignano castle. In 1459 work began on the town square where the attempt was made to create the ideal town based on the utopian vision of humanistic-renaissance culture. Today, traces of Pienza past remain almost completely intact and Rossellino's creations still covey the idea of that perfection and exceptionality for which they were conceived.
The works of Rossellino include the 14th-century cathedral with carved wooden choir, paintings by Vecchietta, Matteo di Giovanni and Sano di Pietro, and Palazzo Piccolomini, inspired by the forms of Palazzo Rucellai in Florence with its ashlar fašades. On its three floors the mullioned windows are between pilaster strips, whereas the courtyard emphasizes the Florentine matrix with arched portico on Corinthian columns.
Other Palazzi can be seen on the square: the Casa dei Canonici (the vicarage), home of the cathedral museum which contains works from the school of Sodoma, Flemish tapestries of the 15th and16th centuries, 14th-century wooden sculptures and pope Pius II's cope. Then there are the episcopal residence and the town hall. The pensile garden at Palazzo Piccolomini is of interestand fromhere itis possible to view the Val d'Orcia.
An excellent example of romanesque art is Corsignano church, just outside the walls, and then within only a few kilometres of the town one can visit Spedaletto castle in the centre of the valley on the river Orcia and Sant'Anna in Camprena, an Olivetan monastery built on the site of a former Lombard fort.
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