|Comune di Pienza|
|Frazioni||Cosona, La Foce, Monticchiello, Palazzo Massaini, Spadaletto|
|• Mayor||Manolo Garosi|
|• Total||122.96 km2 (47.48 sq mi)|
|Elevation||491 m (1,611 ft)|
|• Density||17/km2 (44/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
|Patron saint||St. Andrew the Apostle|
|Saint day||November 30|
|Official name||Historic Centre of the City of Pienza|
|Inscription||1996 (20th session)|
|Area||4.41 ha (10.9 acres)|
Pienza (Italian pronunciation: [piˈɛntsa] ) is a town and comune in the province of Siena, Tuscany, in the historical region of Val d'Orcia. Situated between the towns of Montepulciano and Montalcino, it is considered the "touchstone of Renaissance urbanism".
In 1996, UNESCO declared the town a World Heritage Site, and in 2004 the entire valley, the Val d'Orcia, was included on the list of UNESCO's World Cultural Landscapes.
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 received the fief of Montertari in Val d'Orcia from the emperor Frederick II in 1220. In the 13th century Franciscans settled down in Corsignano.
In 1405 Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini (Italian: Enea Silvio Piccolomini) was born in Corsignano, 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 which mean "city of Pius". 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.
The trapezoidal piazza is defined by four buildings. The principal residence, Palazzo Piccolomini, is on the west side. It has three stories, articulated by pilasters and entablature courses, with a twin-lighted cross window set within each bay. This structure is similar to Alberti's Palazzo Rucellai in Florence and other later palaces. Noteworthy is the internal court of the palazzo. The back of the palace, to the south, is defined by loggia on all three floors that overlook an enclosed Italian Renaissance garden with Giardino all'italiana era modifications, and views into the distant landscape of the Val d'Orcia and Pope Pius's beloved Mount Amiata beyond. Below this garden is a vaulted stable that had stalls for 100 horses.
The Duomo (Cathedral), which dominates the center of the piazza, has a facade that is one of the earliest designed in the Renaissance manner. Though the tripartite division is conventional, the use of pilasters and of columns, standing on high dados and linked by arches, was novel for the time. The bell tower, however, has a Germanic flavor as is the layout of the Hallenkirche plan, a "triple-nave" plan where the side aisles are almost as tall as the nave; Pius, before he became pope, served many years in Germany and praised the effects of light admitted into the German hall churches in his Commentari.Works of art in the duomo include five altar paintings from the Sienese School, by Sano di Pietro, Matteo di Giovanni, Vecchietta and Giovanni di Paolo. The Baptistry, dedicated as usual to San Giovanni , is located next to the apse of the church.
Pius encouraged cardinals to build palazzi to complete the city. Palazzo Vescovile, on the third side of the piazza, was built to house the bishops who would travel to Pienza to attend the pope. Its construction was financed by Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia (the future Pope Alexander VI but, at the time, Vatican Vice-Chancellor). It may represent a remodeling of the old town hall of Corsignano. It is now home to the Diocesan Museum,and the Museo della Cattedrale. The collection includes local textile work as well as religious artifacts. Paintings include a 12th-century painted crucifix from the Abbey of San Pietro in Vollore, 14th century works by Pietro Lorenzetti (Madonna with Child) and Bartolo di Fredi (Madonna della Misericordia). There are also important works from the 14th and 15th centuries, including a Madonna attributed to Luca Signorelli.
Across from the church is the town hall, or Palazzo Comunale. When Corsigniano was given the status of an official city, a Palazzo was required that would be in keeping with the "city's" new urban position, though it was certainly more for show than anything else. It has a three-arched loggia on the ground floor facing the Cathedral and above it is the council chamber. It also has a brick bell tower that is shorter than its counterpart at the cathedral, to symbolize the superior power of the church. The set-back addition to the tower dates from 1599. It is likely that Bernardo Rossellino designed the Palazzo Comunale to be a free standing civic mediator between the religious space before the cathedral and secular market square to its rear.
The travertine well in the Piazza carries the Piccolomini family crest, and was widely copied in Tuscany during the following century. The well-head resembles a fluted, shallow Etruscan Bowl. The flanking Corinthian support a classical entablature columns whose decorations are clearly based upon actual source materials.
Other buildings in Pienza dating from the era of Pius II include the Ammannati Palace, named for Cardinal Jacopo Piccolomini-Ammannati, a "curial row" of three palaces (the Palazzo Jouffroy or Atrebatense belonging to Cardinal Jean Jouffroy, the Palazzo Buonconti, belonging to Vatican Treasurer Giliforte dei Buonconti, and the Palazzo Lolli constructed by apostolic secretary and papal relative Gregorio Lolli) arranged along the street behind the Bishops Palace. In the northeastern corner of Pienza is a series of twelve row houses constructed at the orders of the pope by the Sienese building contractor Pietro Paolo da Porrina.
About fifty meters west of the Cathedral Piazza is the church of San Francesco , with a gabled facade and Gothic portal. Among the buildings that survived from the old Corsignano, it is built on a pre-existing church that dated from the 8th century. The interior contains frescoes depicting the life of Saint Francis, those on the walls having been painted by Cristofano di Bindoccio and Meo di Pero, 14th-century artists of the Sienese School.
The Romanesque Pieve of Corsignano is located in the neighbourhood. The monastery of Sant'Anna in Camprena was founded in 1332-1334 by Bernardo Tolomei as a hermitage for the Benedictines; it was remade in the late 15th-early 16th century, and several times in the following centuries. The refectory houses frescoes by il Sodoma (1502–1503).
The frazione of Monticchiello is home to a characteristic Romitorio, a series of grottoes carved in the rock by hermit monks. In the same locality is the pieve of Santi Leonardo e Cristoforo, rebuilt in the 13th century in Gothic style. The interior has frescoes from a 14th-century Sienese painter, a cyborium in the shape of a small Gothic portal and an alte 15th-century Crucifix. At San Pietro in Campo are the remains of the eponymous abbey.
Monticchiello is the subject of the documentary Spettacolo.
Leon Battista Alberti was an Italian Renaissance humanist author, artist, architect, poet, priest, linguist, philosopher and cryptographer; he epitomised the Renaissance Man. Although he is often characterized exclusively as an architect, as James Beck has observed, "to single out one of Leon Battista's 'fields' over others as somehow functionally independent and self-sufficient is of no help at all to any effort to characterize Alberti's extensive explorations in the fine arts." Although Alberti is known mostly for being an artist, he was also a mathematician of many sorts and made great advances to this field during the 15th century. Alberti's life was described in Giorgio Vasari's Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects. His two most important buildings are the churches of S. Sebastiano (1460) and S. Andrea, both in Mantua.
Montalcino is a hill town and comune in the province of Siena, Tuscany, central Italy. It is known for its Brunello di Montalcino wine.
Pope Pius II, born Enea Silvio Bartolomeo Piccolomini was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 19 August 1458 to his death. He was born at Corsignano in the Sienese territory of a noble but impoverished family. His longest and most enduring work is the story of his life, the Commentaries, which is the only revealed autobiography ever to have been written by a reigning pope.
Pope Pius III, born Francesco Todeschini, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 22 September 1503 to his death. He had one of the shortest pontificates in papal history.
Viterbo is an ancient city and comune in the Lazio region of central Italy, the capital of the province of Viterbo.
Lorenzo di Pietro, known as Vecchietta, was an Italian Sienese School painter, sculptor, goldsmith and architect of the Renaissance. He is among the artists profiled in Vasari's Le Vite delle più eccellenti pittori, scultori, ed architettori.
Bernardo di Matteo del Borra Gamberelli, better known as Bernardo Rossellino, was an Italian sculptor and architect, the elder brother of the sculptor Antonio Rossellino. As a member of the second generation of Renaissance artists, he helped to further define and popularize the revolution in artistic approach that characterized the new age.
Siena Cathedral is a medieval church in Siena, Italy, dedicated from its earliest days as a Roman Catholic Marian church, and now dedicated to the Assumption of Mary.
Palazzo Rucellai is a palatial fifteenth-century townhouse on the Via della Vigna Nuova in Florence, Italy. The Rucellai Palace is believed by most scholars to have been designed for Giovanni di Paolo Rucellai by Leon Battista Alberti between 1446 and 1451 and executed, at least in part, by Bernardo Rossellino. Its splendid facade was one of the first to proclaim the new ideas of Renaissance architecture based on the use of pilasters and entablatures in proportional relationship to each other. The Rucellai Palace demonstrates the impact of the antique revival but does so in a manner which is full of Renaissance originality.
Piccolomini is the name of an Italian noble family, which was prominent in Siena from the beginning of the 13th century until the 18th century.
The Palazzo Venezia, formerly Palace of St. Mark, is a palazzo (palace) in central Rome, Italy, just north of the Capitoline Hill. The original structure of this great architectural complex consisted of a modest medieval house intended as the residence of the cardinals appointed to the church of San Marco. In 1469 it became a residential papal palace, having undergone a massive extension, and in 1564, Pope Pius IV, to win the sympathies of the Republic of Venice, gave the mansion to the Venetian embassy to Rome on the terms that part of the building would be kept as a residence for the cardinals, the Apartment Cibo, and that the republic would provide for the building's maintenance and future restoration. The palace faces Piazza Venezia and Via del Plebiscito. It currently houses the National Museum of the Palazzo Venezia.
San Michele in Isola is a Roman Catholic church, located on the Isola di San Michele, a small islet sited between Venice and Murano, which once sheltered a Camaldolese monastery, but now houses the main cemetery of the city. The monastery was mostly demolished in the 19th century, but the church remains, originally rebuilt starting in 1469. The church is dedicated to Saint Michael, the holder of the scales on Judgement Day, a fit guardian of the sleep of the faithful dead. The island cemetery now includes the land of the formerly separate island of San Cristoforo. This church is sometimes referred to as San Michele di Murano, although this islet is separate from islands comprising that town.
The Val d'Orcia or Valdorcia is a region of Tuscany, central Italy, which extends from the hills south of Siena to Monte Amiata. Its gentle, cultivated hills are occasionally broken by gullies and by picturesque towns and villages such as Pienza, Radicofani and Montalcino. Its landscape has been depicted in works of art from Renaissance painting to modern photography.
Montalcino Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Montalcino in the province of Siena, Italy. Formerly the seat of the bishops of Montalcino, since 1986 it has been a co-cathedral in the Archdiocese of Siena-Colle di Val d'Elsa-Montalcino. It is dedicated to the Holy Saviour.
Siena is a city in Tuscany, Italy. It is the capital of the province of Siena.
Piccolomini is the name of an Italian noble family, prominent in Siena from the beginning of the 13th century.
The Palazzo Spannocchi is a Renaissance style urban palace located on the Piazza Salimbeni, just off Via Banchi di Sopra in the Terzo di Camollia of the city of Siena, region of Tuscany, Italy. The building was associated with an ancient mercantile family of Siena.
The Palazzo Piccolomini, also known as the Palazzo Todeschini Piccolomini is a Renaissance-style palace in the city of Siena, region of Tuscany, Italy. It is located on the Banchi di Sotto, at the corner with Via Rinaldini; uphill and west of the church of San Martino, the Loggia del Papa, and the Palazzo delle Papesse, which also built by a Piccolomini family member.
The Diocese of Montalcino was a Roman Catholic diocese located in the town of Montalcino to the west of Pienza, close to the Crete Senesi in Val d'Orcia in Tuscany, Italy. In 1986, it was suppressed and united with the Diocese of Colle di Val d'Elsa and the Archdiocese of Siena to form the Archdiocese of Siena-Colle di Val d'Elsa-Montalcino.
The Diocese of Pienza was a Roman Catholic diocese located in the town of Pienza in the province of Siena, in the Val d'Orcia in Tuscany between the towns of Montepulciano and Montalcino. Until 1462, the town was known as Corsignano. It took the name Pienza from its most famous native son, Pope Pius II, who elevated the town to the status of a city (civitas), and established the new diocese. The diocese existed as an independent entity from 1462 to 1772, directly subject to the Holy See (Papacy).
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