- Validity: 1 day
- Priority access
- Photos allowed
- Audioguide available
What to expect
- See one of the first exemple of Renaissance architecture
- Admire the garden and its beautiful view over the Val d'Orcia and the Mount Amiata
- Once entered, spend inside the palace all the time you want
The summer residence of Enea Silvio Piccolomini, Pope Pius II, Piccolomini Palace in Pienza is one of the first examples of Renaissance architecture.
Built in 1459 by the famous architect Bernardo Rossellino, student of Leon Battista Alberti, has been recently restored, bringing back to light its former 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 Palace until 1962 when, by testamentary dispositions, it was transferred to the Ente morale di Siena Società di Esecutori di Pie Disposizioni.
The Secret Rooms and the Garden
Inspired by the Palazzo Rucellai in Florence designed by Leon Battista Alberti, the building in ashlar has a square plan and develops in 3 floors, with two orders of windows modulated by pilaster strips. Inside there is a rectangular courtyard with a portico supported by stone columns.
The secret rooms on the first floor (dining room, library, bedrooms) show the papal apartments furnished with antique furniture, paintings and precious art works. But the real peculiarity lies in the relationship between architecture and landscape, as set out by the small typical Renaissance garden, surrounded by walls with a central octagonal well bearing the family crest; from here you can enjoy a beautiful view over the Val d'Orcia and the Mount Amiata.
"At dead of night, on August 8th 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 palace 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, we admire the splendid, extremely large portal of the main entrance. On the fourth side, which looks south and towards Mount 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 sojourn in winter. Entering the palazzo through the main portal, we find ourselves 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 noble floor 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 suitable to every season, sheltered from the heat and excessive cold".
What is included
- Entrance with priority access
- Full-time entrance and you stay how long you want
- Reservation fees
- Access to temporary exhibitions
- Audioguide available in Italian, English, French, German and Spanish
What is not included
- Guided tour
- Groups (from a minimum of 15 to a maximum of 25 people)
- Italian students
Free Ticket (it is still required to pay the presale to skip the line) :
- Kids up to 5 years (valid identity document needed at the entrance)
- Any handicapped person accompanied by the certificate of disability and the escort
The ticket is valid all day until closing time of the Palace starting from entrance time.
The entrance time written on the tickets may be subject to small changes depending on the actual availability of the Palace.
For a satisfying experience it is recommended to reserve at least 1 hour and half to visit the Palace.
The tickets will be sent via email within 24-48 hours after purchase (on weekdays) with instructions on how to get there and what to do to enter.
We inform you that, once booked, the date and time selected are binding. Please pick up your ticket at least 15 minutes before the reserved entrance. Who does not respect the time booked will not enter. To pick up the audio guide, you need a valid ID.
- The Palace has a maximum capacity of people, in some periods of the year or special days you may experience short delays or waits not dependent on the Palace or Italy Tickets.