Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Pienza delle Piante

Pienza is a beautiful Tuscan town remodelled in the Renaissance by Pope Pius II of the Piccolomini family. The town used to be called Corsignano before it was renamed Pienza in honor of the pope. When I read this, I wasn't overly impressed and not very interested in visiting. But, it was on our Chianti Country wine tour itinerary so I would have to tolerate it. Our guide said he thought there was a festival happening on this particular day but I think he meant fiera or market. What a surprise we were in for! The town was covered in flowers, plants and landscaping for sale. Imagine a flower show, but in a 15th century town! I wandered around clicking away with the camera but this was one of the "camera malfunction" days! These are the best photos I have and just don't do this town or fiera justice! This is the landscaping in front of the church but flowers, trees, cactus, succulents, herbs, shrubbery, annuals and perennials for sale lined all the streets. The lovely but different smell of peccorino cheese also wafted through the town!

The entire town was decked out in its best as well not to be upstaged by the vendors!

I just love potted plants and old walls.
This was a nice old doorway.
This is just the front of someone's house!
Che bella!
Pienza was a delight to visit and made all the more beautiful by a fiera di piante. I wished we had had more time to enjoy the sights and definitely plan to return there for another visit. The fiera took place last year on the second weekend of May. (Why, just about a year ago!) Later in the trip,when we returned to Florence, I bought a tube of Bottega Verde Crema Viso Effetto Lifting face cream from a 1 euro bin in an underpass shop at the Santa Maria Novella train station. When I read the ingredients on the back of the tube, I saw that the cream was made in Pienza. So on the days when I put it on, it smells wonderfully organic (and not at all like the very tasty peccorino cheese pannini I ate there) and I remember the beautiful town of Pienza!


Anil P said...

The old walls and the potted plants look wonderfully lived in, and alive.

I like such texture, a sense that the alleys have seen footfalls span centuries adds that feel of the mysterious.

homebody at heart said...

Well said anil! I feel the same way about them as well. There is something about the combination that is so pleasing that it brings not only beauty to the eye but peace and tranquility to my mind.