Heading to Pienza Italy this summer or planning a trip to Tuscany? Wondering what to do while visiting this small Tuscan town? We have put a list of the best things to do in Pienza, Italy.
1. Visit the Duomo di Pienza
The church isn’t level anymore, but with a view like that who cares. In the mid-1400’s Architect Rossellino rebuilt the entire city of Pienza for Pope Pius II. The Duomo is one of the main attractions in the village and is worth a visit for the architectural value and the beautiful stained glass windows.
2. Explore the homes and shops on top of the tufa
Perched on the top of the tufa we visited a 4th generation Ceramic shop set atop the tufa which is compressed volcanic ash. Holes were dug underground between buildings in the soft stone. Some say the tunnels were a secret escape route for the pope when he lived there. While other say it was a secret tunnel between the pope and his lovers besides his two wives.
3. Drink a glass of Brunello
At the fringes of town, you can find several bars with stunning views of the rolling Tuscan hills. Grab a glass of the locally produced Brunello and settle into the slower pace of life in Pienza, Italy.
4. Stay in a Tuscan Villa
What better place to sleep than in a 500-year old Tuscan Villa? Find a list of Italy vacation rentals to book a stay in one of these uniquely Tuscan villas.
5. Visit a local farm for lunch
The first course was a salad served with ricotta and roasted vegetables. The second course was a course pesto served with penne noodles along with the basil base the sauce had pine nuts, walnuts, and other herbs. Between course was a sampling of cheeses from the farm. 7 in total ranging from fresh soft cheeses all the way through molded blues cheese. To accompany the cheese was a pear and cinnamon marmalade, honey, and a lemon based jam. All were to be paired with different cheeses. Also at the farm where a few miniature pigs that laid under our feet as we ate.
6. Taste wine at one of the many vineyards
Try some wine grown in the valleys below Pienza from the source. The wine style is protected by the EU and wines produced outside of the region cannot be called Brunello. Grapes cultivated elsewhere in the world will have different soils, climates, and not the same proximity to the sea and will taste different. That is the argument of the European group that protects the heritage of foods, it is basically their way of copyrighting food. We tried 2011, 2009, 2007 each spent 3 years in one of the massive barrels, they are then aged for at least 1 year in the bottle.
7. Try some Pecorino
A popular local specialty is the artisan made sheep’s milk sheep call Pecorino. We finally found a cheese Hannah liked. A 66-monthaged sheep’s milk cheese that was drier in texture and had similar characteristics to really good Parmesan.
8. Wander the narrow cobblestone streets
The best way to see Pienza is by foot. Get lost exploring the small town’s winding streets. No matter how long you wonder you won’t get too lost the town is small. Take time to find the specialty shops and enjoy the pace of life in the small Tuscan town.