Until 1462 the town was nothing more than a small village called Corsignano. The event that changed its fate was the birth in 1405 of Enea Silvio Piccolomini who 53 years later became Pope Pius II. Just a trip of the pontiff towards Mantua led him to cross the place of birth and the degradation he found led him to decide the construction of a new ideal city over the ancient village, entrusting the renovation project to the architect Bernardo Rossellino: the construction lasted about four years and brought to light a harmonious town with typical fifteenth-century shapes. The premature death of Pope Pius II also closed the history of the new town, which has undergone limited modifications since then.
Because of the beauty of its Renaissance historical centre, in 1996 Pienza became part of the natural, artistic and cultural heritage of UNESCO, followed in 2004 by the same valley area in which it is located: the Val d'Orcia.