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Pienza: The Ideal City

The splendid City of Pienza, in Val d'Orcia (Siena - Tuscany), owes its fame and its beauty to the personage that profoundly shaped its history during the Italian Renaissance. Pope Pius II (Enea Silvio Piccolomini) wished to give life to his dream of the "Ideal City," a place in which man could live in harmony with nature and with himself. Pius's idea was that of realizing a Renaissance city center within the old Medieval borgo of Corsignano, creating the first urban plan in history; he commissioned the master Italian architect Leon Battista Alberti to build it. Pienza, the city of Pius, finds its insignias and emblems in the Cathedral and in Palazzo Piccolomini. And in nearby Siena, in its Duomo lies the Piccolomini Library, where the important events of the life of Pius II are narrated with great mastery, through the frescoes of Pinturicchio.