Pope Pius II had his birthplace remodelled into a 'Utopian' town by Bernardo Rossellino during the Renaissance and The Luxury Travel Bible rather likes how it turned out. With just enough wends and narrow corridors to keep things interesting, it's the residents who keep their Juliet-style balconies filled with plants and their shutters and doors painted in cute colours that add volumes of sweetness to its present-day picturesque. In the main piazza, explore the duomo and rooms in Palazzo Piccolomini where descendents of Pope Pius II lived until 1968. The gardens are a carefully laid-out verdant maze, but one of the best (and most famous) views comes with the short stroll down Via dell'Amore. Here you can sit on a bench or lean over the wall and gaze out over hills that undulate in tidy green humps that resemble a row of people sleeping in bed. In spring the valley becomes coloured with poppies, in summer it is golden with sunflowers and wheat.
The proliferation of cheese shops with tastings. Pienza is famous for its sheep's milk cheese - try Pecorino di Pienza Gran Riserve.