Piccolomini gardens with Monte Amiata visible across the Val d'Orcia
The Piccolomini garden in Pienza was commissioned by Pope Pius II (Enea Silvio Piccolomini) from Bernardo Rossellino and in the second half of the 15 C together with the papal palace, of which it is an integral part. The small terraced area dominates the entire Val d'Orcia and despite recent alterations still displays the typical features of the Renaissance garden. The small hanging garden that occupies the space on the south side of the building, is surrounded on three sides by high ivy-covered walls, while on the side facing the palace it is bordered by a loggia with three tiers of arches. A special drainage system prevents rainwater from seeping into the vaulted spaces below, in which the stables were located. The rectangular flower-beds, surrounded by double, pruned box hedges, line two gravel paths that run at right angles to each other. A fountain stands at the point where these meet, and the four corners of each flower-bed have umbrella-shaped laurel trees. The various rectangular flower-beds along the boundary walls are decorated with fruit trees and flowering shrubs. A large octagonal well adorned with the crescent, keys and tiara of the Piccolomini coat of arms, and a fountain decorated with garlands of fruit are the garden's two sculptural elements - they both date back to the late 15 C. The panoramic view over Val d'Orcia, which can be admired from the three arches in the rear wall, is of primary importance in the design of this garden where architecture and nature come beautifully together, a characteristic central to the concept of the Tuscan villa.
Learn more about the country villa gardens of Tuscany.
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