Top choice in Val d'Orcia

Pienza's duomo was built on the site of the Romanesque Chiesa di Santa Maria, of which little remains. The Renaissance church with its handsome travertine facade was commissioned by Pius II, who was so proud of the building that he issued a papal bull in 1462 forbidding any changes to it. The interior is a strange mix of Gothic and Renaissance styles and contains a superb marble tabernacle by Rossellino housing a relic of St Andrew the Apostle, Pienza's patron saint.

There's a small museum in the subterranean baptistry (open 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 6pm mid-March to November, to 5pm Saturday and Sunday December to mid-March, adult/student €2/1).

At the time of research there was talk of introducing an entrance fee to the duomo.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Val d'Orcia attractions

1. Piazza Pio II

0.02 MILES

Stand in this magnificent square and spin 360 degrees. You've just taken in an overview of Pienza's major monuments. Gems of the Renaissance constructed…

2. Palazzo Borgia

0.03 MILES

The future Pope Alexander VI, then just Cardinal Roderigo Borgia, was gifted this palace by Pius II and subsequently modified and enlarged it in 1492. It…

3. Palazzo Piccolomini

0.03 MILES

This magnificent palace was the residence of Pope Pius II, and is considered Bernardo Rossellino's masterpiece. Built on the site of the pope's family…

4. Museo Diocesano

0.03 MILES

Set in the Palazzo Borgia, this museum displays an intriguing miscellany of artworks, illuminated manuscripts, tapestries and miniatures. Highlights…

5. Pieve di Corsignano

0.35 MILES

Look out for this Romanesque church at the western edge of Pienza. It dates from the 10th century, when Pienza was called Corsignano, and boasts a strange…

6. Chiesa di San Biagio

4.99 MILES

Designed by Antonio da Sangallo (Sangallo il Vecchio) and constructed in the late-16th century, this splendid Renaissance church in the valley below the…

7. Duomo


Montepulciano's 16th-century duomo is striking, largely because its unfinished facade gives the building a stern, heavily weathered look. Inside, don't…

8. Palazzo Comunale


Built in the 14th century in Gothic style and remodelled in the 15th century by Michelozzo, the Palazzo Comunale still functions as Montepulciano's town…