The Piccolomini Palace was built in 1459 by famed architect Bernardo Rossellino, student of Leon Battista Alberti, recent major renovation has restored its utmost splendour, both internally and externally.
The architectural complex is presented as the realisation of Pius II's ambitious humanist project for the ideal city.
The Piccolomini family lived in the Palazzo until 1962 when, by testamentary dispositions, it was transferred to the Ente morale di Siena Società di Esecutori di Pie Disposizioni.
The secrets rooms
The true architectural theme of Palazzo Piccolomini is its relationship with nature and the landscape. From the portico on the rear, unfolds an extraordinary view of the Valdorcia and Monte Amiata. Inserted into this panorama, on the ground floor of the palazzo, a square-shaped garden bound by walls with a well in the middle, is the first hanging garden of the Renaissance.
This situation lends this place a symbolic, architectural and blissful value, one of harmonious life amidst nature (from ?Pienza, city of Pius? by Jan Pieper).
On the ground floor, the inner courtyard and rooms present the architectural structure; several exhibition stations illustrate Pius II's ambitious humanist project for the ideal city. The first floor is the location of the appartamento nobile where the halls open onto the rooms: the dining room, the music room, the study, the weapons room, the library, and several bedrooms, including that of Enea himself. The piano nobile rooms are furnished with antiques of the period, paintings, objets d?art, and many tokens of a past that still remains intact.
Description of the palazzo from the Commentaries by Pius II
In the dead of night, on August 8, 1462, he reached Pienza, following the narrow path that leads to the city square. The austere beauty and dignity of these constructions made him forget his thoughts and disturbance for the exorbitant costs. The palazzo is square, 90 feet high from top to bottom, faced in stone, and finely worked by the stonemason's chisel. There are two rows of windows, remarkable for breadth and design, twenty-three in number for each of the two floors, and equidistant.
Three men at the same time could look out from each window, divided into three parts by svelte columns. An ornamental strip called cornice runs beneath each row of windows and thus crowns the entire palazzo twice. At the corners of the building and between the windows hang stone shields containing the apostolic insignia of the Piccolomini family in gold, silver and other colours. In the middle of the north facade, one admires the splendid, extremely large portal of the main entrance.
On the fourth side, which looks south and towards Monte Amiata, they have built three loggias on stone columns; the first portico, surmounted by a high and austere vault, offers a view of the pleasant landscape and adjoining garden; the second with its beamed ceilings, decorated with brightly coloured paintings, offers the most pleasant sojourns in winter.
Entering the palazzo through the main portal, one finds oneself in a square court, supported by stone columns sixteen feet high, perfectly united to base and capital. Here are the dining rooms for winter, summer and the fair seasons, the royal bedrooms and storerooms. If you turn to the right from this portico or entrance hall, you find a staircase that leads to the second floor rooms.
The piano nobile opens with a gallery with decorated, beamed ceilings, antechambers and halls. There is a white marble fireplace, artistically worked, and coffered ceilings. The building is exposed in such a way that it is suited to every season, sheltered from the heat and excessive cold.
from 16 October to 14 March
Tuesday to Sunday
Hours: 10.00 - 16.30
from 15 March to 15 October
Tuesday to Sunday
Hours: 10.00 - 18.30
25 December and 1 January
Hours: 14.00 - 18.00
Any working Monday
from 14 February to 28 February
from 16 November to 30 November
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