UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Pienza - World Cultural Heritage Site
The historical centre of Pienza was declared a “World Cultural Heritage” by UNESCO
in 1996. Originally named "Corsignano", it was the birthplace of Aenas Silvius Piccolomini, son of an exiled Sienese family who later became pope Pius II. Once elected pope, Pius II changed the name of his village in Pienza and started to transform it following the tradition of classical town-planning and according to the Renaissance criterions of an ideal town. He created a first example of humanistic town-planning, copied in other Italian towns and across the whole of Europe.
Val d'Orcia - World Cultural Heritage Landscape
The whole landscape of the Val d'Orcia, valley of the river of the same name, was declared a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO
in 2004. During the 14th and 15th centuries the region was a Sienese dominion and the city-state cultivated and redesigned the landscape according to the ideals of beauty and aesthetics during the Renaissance period in order to create an example of good government. The particular aesthetics of the landscape with its flat plains and almost conical hills has inspired many artists. Their paintings show the beauty of agricultural landscape during the Renaissance period.