|The countryside of Pienza (grazie a Haruko)|
|Piles of pecorino|
|Outside the B&B|
|The greenery adds so much to the ambiance of the village.|
|Piazza Pio II|
|Another scenic street.|
One of the reasons we came to Pienza was to see the Val d'Orcia, which extends south of Siena to Monte Amiata. It has gentle, carefully cultivated hills, dotted here and there with trees, and picturesque towns and villages. It is a landscape which has become familiar through works of art that show the landscape, from Renaissance paintings to modern photographs. HOWEVER, I was surprised to learn that this landscape was not natural, but man made.
|The Val D'Orcia landscape before sunset|
To be honest, I was disappointed to learn that the landscape was not natural, as I had assumed that the rolling hills punctuated by cypress trees were magical because of their natural beauty. Now I know that the trees were planted just so, for artistic effect. But I have to admit, the fact that the land was worked to create this effect in the 1500s is a miracle in itself.
|Tramonto a Pienza (sunset in Pienza)|
Now that we've seen what Val d'Orcia is like in September, we'd like to return some spring, when the landscape is totally green.