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Pienza is a town and comune in the province of Siena, in the Val d'Orcia in Tuscany between the towns of Montepulciano and Montalcino. In 1996, UNESCO declared the town a World Heritage Site, and in 2004 the entire valley, the Val d'Orcia, was included on the list of UNESCO's World Cultural Landscapes.

Pienza was rebuilt from a village called Corsignano, which was the birthplace (1405) of Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini, a Renaissance humanist born into an exiled Sienese family, who later became Pope Pius II. Once he became Pope, Piccolomini had the entire village rebuilt as an ideal Renaissance town. Intended as a retreat from Rome, it represents the first application of humanist urban planning concepts, creating an impetus for planning that was adopted in other Italian towns and cities and eventually spread to other European centers.

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Additional Photos by Alexander Pasternak (pasternak) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1343 W: 179 N: 3375] (15177)
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