On my way through the south-east of Tuscany to the ‘other side’ of the region and Galgano I passed this little Renaissance jewel in the beautiful Val d’Orcia.
It is still in the province of Siena and a World Heritage Site and the valley even a UNESCO World Cultural Landscape. Wow!
History says that it’s the birthplace of Pope Pius II, Enea Silvio Piccolomini, a Renaissance humanist as well. At that time the village was called Corsignano and only as a Pope he rebuilt the entire village as a perfect Renaissance town. His urban planning concept was used later in other Italian cities and in whole Europe as well. The time of the building was from 1459 and only three years later the dome was consecrated.
The first building I visited was the Palazzo Piccolomini with a noteworthy inner court. There is a restaurant today I would say because I saw a lot of photos. Should be a perfect romantic place for dinner… what do you think?
The cathedral with its high columns and a beautiful decorated ceiling says all about the gusto of the Pope: simple but impressive. Curious: the bell tower has a Germanic layout with side aisles almost tall as the nave itself. That comes from the time Pius served in Germany before becoming Pope and he was amazed bu the light in German churches.
I had a side look on the bell tower and a breathtaking view on the surrounding landscape. The most beautiful cities and monasteries are always built in the most beautiful landscapes. Well, at that time the world still had a lot of amazing places to offer for building…
The streets are like in all medieval cities, giving a cozy feeling, narrow and often empty as no one is in out of their houses.
But sometimes there are some modern means of transportation like this bicycle I have seen very often in Tuscany. Especially elder people are many times on the roads with an old bike going to do their shopping (women mainly).
Something typical to buy in this region seems to bee cheese, goat cheese to be more accurate. I see it everywhere, often they offer a piece to try. Unfortunately I don’t eat any cheese anymore (no diary since half a year and no migraine at all anymore). I would not risk but I think it’s a great gift for some friends. Have you noticed the blue one on the photo?
Another great gift would be some ceramic. They are so colorful here and seem to have caught the sun and the flowers on their surface. I really like them just to see. Would you buy these plates for your home or as a gift for a friend?
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