The city until 1462 was nothing but a small hamlet called Corsignano. The event that changed the tide was the birth in 1405 of Enea Silvio Piccolomini, who 53 years later became Pope Pius II. Just a trip of the Pope to Mantua led him to cross the birthplace and degradation he found led him to decide to build a new city on the ancient village, entrusting the project to the architect Bernardo Rossellino: the construction lasted about four years and brought to light a 15th-century town harmonious and typical forms. The premature death of Pope Pius II closed even the history of the new town, which has since undergone limited changes.
Pienza is among the cities decorated for bravery for the war of liberation, because it has been awarded the silver medal for military valour for the sacrifices of its people and for its activity in the partisan fight during World War II.
For the beauty of its historical centre in 1996 Pienza has become part of the UNESCO world natural heritage, artistic, cultural, followed in 2004 by the same Valley area where it stands: the Val d’Orcia.