Unearth the magic of Tuscany’s hidden gem and discover the 10 most magical things to do in Pienza, Italy.
Pienza is a small village of only 2,000 inhabitants located in Tuscany’s most lust-worthy valley called Val d’Orcia. The valley of Val d’Orcia is what you see when you Google Tuscany and search for inspirational photos complete with rolling hills, rows of Cypress trees, and breathtaking natural landscapes.
Pienza is the charming village that sits in the middle of this valley that is often referred to as the “ideal city of the Renaissance”. The city oozes culture and history, in fact, the historic center of Pienza is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Head to Pienza for the ultimate Tuscany experience and fall in love with the magic this tiny yet powerful village holds.
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10 Best Things to do in Pienza, Italy
Walk Around Piazza Pio II
Piazza Pio II is the main square in Pienza’s old town and a must-see while touring the village. Within this square, you will find some of the most important and historic buildings in Pienza like the Pienza Cathedral, city hall, papal palace, and bishop’s palace. Walking around Piazza Pio II feels like you’ve been transported back into the Renaissance Era!
Explore Pienza Cathedral
Pienza Cathedral is located in the heart of Pienza’s old town and is a highlight of the village. Walking here to view the exterior and interior is one of the top things to do in Pienza. This Roman Catholic cathedral is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and is one of the village’s top attractions and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Join a Tour
Joining a group tour is one of the best ways to see and learn as much as possible about Pienza and the surrounding Tuscany area. With a guided tour you can let someone else take the lead and sit back and relax and simply enjoy the magic of Tuscany.
Admire The Old Town
The old town of Pienza is a beautiful maze of little lanes, charming corners, and local shops. As one of Tuscany’s most charming old towns, walking around and admiring the historic center is one of the top things to do in Pienza! Be sure to look to take a few wrong turns and get lost in the beauty of Pienza.
Venture to the Gladiator Viewpoint
The very famous Gladiator Viewpoint is located just a short walk from Pienza’s old town. In case you are unfamiliar, the Gladiator Viewpoint is a very famous spot where a scene from the award-winning movie “The Gladiator” was filmed. Head here to take a photo in the same spot as taking in the scene and feel transported to a fictional world.
Walk the Panoramic Path “Camminata Panoramica”
One of the most special things to do in Pienza is walk the Panoramic Path – also known as Camminata Panoramica. This path brings you along the edges of the old historic town along the steep cliffs that the city is built upon. Not only do you get to walk along the old cobblestone and admire Pienza’s stunning architecture, but you also get to admire the breathtaking views of the rolling hills of Tuscany.
Admire the Chapel of the Madonna di Vitaleta
The Chapel of the Madonna di Vitaleta is a secluded and strikingly beautiful chapel located in Val d’Orcia between San Quirico and Pienza. The chapel is framed by Cypress trees and the rolling hills of Tuscany making it all the more enticing to see and admire. Take a short journey from Pienza and venture here to admire this stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Take a Day Trip
Pienza is conveniently located close to many other beautiful sites and cities in Tuscany which makes going on a day trip extremely attractive. Rent a car or scooter and head off into the hills of Tuscany to admire the rolling hills and cypress trees, or visit one of the nearby towns like:
You can also opt for a guided tour if you don’t want to drive yourself (more below).
Visit Palazzo Piccolomini
Palazzo Piccolomini is one of Pienza’s most beautiful pieces of architecture. This Renaissance palace is located in Pienza’s main square and is protected as a UNESCO Heritage Site. Visiting this is one of the best things to do in Pienza for an artistic touch to your visit.
Taste Pecorino di Pienza
Pienza is not just a beautiful village in Tuscany, but also home to one of Italy’s most loved cheeses – Pecorino di Pienza. This is a sheep cheese that is said to be one of the oldest types of cheese in the world. It is so historic in the fact that it is said the Etruscans, produced and consumed Pecorino.
In addition to the unique history of this cheese, it is also delicious and unique. This is due to the fact that it is seasoned for up to 2 months before eating to give it the distinctive flavour it is known for.
Where to Stay in Pienza
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Pienza will charm you from start to finish. There are so many things to do in Pienza from art to history to modern entertainment, that there is something for everybody!
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