In the 15th century, Pope Pius II had big aspirations for Pienza, resulting in some fine buildings, but ultimately, not a great deal of population expansion. The result is a small vil- lage with some unexpectedly fine architecture. The views over the countryside, particularly from the south side in town, are stunning. The Piazza Pio II is the village hub, and dominated by the Duomo. Palazzo Piccolomini, which housed the Pope, also comes off the Piazza.

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