In 2003, close by in the natural reserve of Lucciola Bella, fossil remains of a marine mammal (Etruridelphis giulii), that lived more than 4.5 million years ago, re-emerged. The clay formations of this area were once the Tirreno Sea bed. The fossils are of great scientific value, as they are the most complete of all the extinct specimens found in the world.


Pienza is a rare example of urban Renaissance brought to fulfillment. Originally a small hamlet called Corsignano, from 1459 by the will of Pope Pio II it was redesigned giving birth to an “ideal town that still today is such for travellers.

History tells us that on one of the occasions of Pope Pio II’s travels where he journeyed to his hometown, he was sorry to see the neglected conditions and he decided to commission reconstruction. He gave this task to Bernardo Gambarelli, known as IL Rossellino, an apprentice of Leon Battista Alberti. The work lasted around three years and in 1462, Pope Pio II consecrated the Cathedral and inaugurated the new town. From then on there weren’t any particular events that disturbed the sacred peace of this jewel set in the Val d’Orcia. From 1996, Pienza has been declared part of the Natural, Artistic and Cultural heritage of UNESCO.



 The core of Pienza, the ideal city of Pope Pio II, was fulfilled in only three and a half years; before the Pope had revolutionized his destiny forever, Pienza was not any different from a frontier hamlet, very neglected, known by the name of Corsignano.