PIENZA AND THE PECORINO CHEESE
Pienza is a small village in southern Tuscany that you should visit! Is the most renowned town of the famous Val d’Orcia, known all over the world for its art, landscape and Pecorino cheese. Pienza is the town of Pecorino, a very tasty cheese made from sheep’s milk, more or less aged, very well known and very delicious. Pecorino di Pienza is also the pride of our farm Podere il Casale where you can participate in guided tours and tastings of Pecorino Cheese in a unique location. You can easily reach Pienza from our farm in a few minutes by car, or on foot with a nice walk through the hills. Here are our tips on what to see in this beautiful city.
Pienza is known around the world as the “ideal” city of the italian Renaissance, built by Enea Silvio Piccolomini who became Pope Pius II. Pope Pius II was born in the small village of Corsignano (the ancient Pienza) and wanted to transform his own village into a “utopian” city embodying the principles and philosophy of the classical age and the Italian Renaissance. So under the direction of Rossellino and Leon Battista Alberti it has become the city we know today: a complex of beautiful and harmonious buildings, the beautiful Piazza Pio II, the Cathedral, the papal residence, its picturesque alleys and suggestive views. Pienza is divided in half by Corso Rossellino that starts at Porta al Prato and runs through the city from north to south to Porta al Ciglio. At the center of the course there is the beautiful Piazza Pio II and from the course start a series of picturesque streets full of shops selling local produce and crafts.
PIAZZA PIO II
Piazza Pio II was the center of Pienza, the heart of the city, has a harmonious and solemn form that
enhances the beautiful buildings made of stone and travertine. Here stands the Duomo or Cattedrale dell’Assunta, the monument that best represents the Renaissance ideal, you should visit the Cathedral and the crypt where works of great value are preserved.
To the right of the Cathedral there is Palazzo Piccolomini, the former papal residence, also this one to visit with its beautiful loggia and a beautiful garden overlooking on the Val d’Orcia landscapes.
On the other side of the square there is the Episcopal Palace with the Diocesan Museum and in front of the Cathedral the Town Hall with the papal coat of arms that adorn the facade and the beautiful clock tower.
VIA DEL CASELLO
Continuing from the central square to the Porta del Ciglio we suggest you turn right and visit the romantic and panoramic Via del Casello. Via del Casello is the best viewpoint of Pienza on the Tuscan hills and has four very picturesque streets that connect to the course: Via della Fortuna (Luck Street), Via dell’Amore (Love Street), Via del Bacio (Kiss Street) and Via Buia (Dark Street), a photo here is a must.
PIEVE DI CORSIGNANO
Visit the Pieve di Corsignano, less than 1 Km from Pienza, reachable on foot. An old Romanesque church that dates back to the twelfth century. If you walk towards the last column on the left and take a look you will see a curious sculpture: the Serpente Regolo, a pagan deity of which are very few representations.
When you visit Pienza you have to taste Pecorino Cheese, the most famous typical product of the area. We can give you some suggestion also about Pecorino: at our farm Podere il Casale you can learn all the secrets of Pecorino di Pienza, taste it and see how it is produced. Our farm is in the countryside a few kilometers from Pienza and using the milk of our 150 sheep and 30 goats we produce Pecorino di Pienza in our dairy. The milk used comes from the Podere’s livestock and production is carried out without pasteurization and cheese ripening varies in length and mode.
At Podere il Casale you can join a guide tour with Ulisse, our experienced dairy man and co-founder of Il Casale, will guide you through the entire production process from milking to ageing, stopping along the way to thoughtfully answer your questions.
You can also stop at the farm’s restaurant with its panoramic terrace and dishes created with fresh ingredients of our production including of course the Pecorino di Pienza and local products from nearby organic producers.
You are welcome to Podere Il Casale