Pienza, a town in the province of Siena, in the Val d’Orcia in Tuscany, between the towns of Montepulciano and Montalcino, is the “touchstone of Renaissance urbanism”.
In 1996, UNESCO declared the town a World Heritage Site, and in 2004 the entire valley, the Val d’Orcia, was included on the list of UNESCO’s World Cultural Landscapes.
A Renaissance jewel in the heart of Italian Tuscany, the town of Pienza was the first “ideal city” ever built, and five centuries on, its human-scale urban planning is still attracting new fans.
Pecorino di Pienza is considered the best pecorino produced in the Crete Senesi, a specific area within the province of Siena. Sheep were probably being raised in Tuscany since before the Etruscans and Pliny the Elder documented their presence during the Roman Age. Pecorino di Pienza, a favorite of Lorenzo il Magnifico, is a cooked-milk cheese made with whole, raw milk from sheep of the sarda breed (or possibly appenninica or sopravvissana). The sheep are raised out in the open and graze exclusively on the local flora. The aromas of rare plants that grow in the clay soil of the Crete Senesi (wormwood, meadow salsify, juniper, broom, burnet …) can be sensed in the sheep’s milk.