On Friday afternoon the school arranged a trip to Pienza and San Quirico Val D’Orcia, two lovely little tuscan towns.
Pienza was the home of Enea Silvio Piccolomini (1400’s) who later became Pope Pius II. After he became Pope he had Pienza rebuilt by a Florentine architect as a retreat from Rome and the town is considered to be the first application of humanist urban planning.
It is a delightful little town! I was quite taken by it! It is also know for its Pecorino cheese, especially the version ‘sotto cenere’ or ‘under ashes’ and as soon as you enter the walls of the town the smell of cheese is amazing! Naturally I bought some, and the shops vacuum pack and all that but my bag now smells of cheese (but I’m good with that!).
Pienza and the entire Val D’Orcia are UNESCO World Heritage sites.
We continued on to San Quirico Val D’Orcia, first passing the infamous little capella in the countryside seen on thousands of post cards and calendars after being made famous in “The English Patient”.
Pope Pius II seems to have been a cool dude, culturally anyway (I have no idea what he was like as a Pope!). Pienza and the Piccolomini library in the Duomo in Siena have been two of my favorite visits so far.