Some say that being surrounded by beauty affects our thoughts, desires, and lives — and I agree.
My passions for art, wine, and music have long been part of my life, but the spark that led to new ideas and projects was always lit by the places where I made them happen. It doesn’t matter if I just brushed up against them at first; what matters is how they touch me, inspire me to observe, think, and then to change and come back.
Val d’Orcia and Pienza are my landscape. To take it all in a single glance, just walk along the walls that go behind the town’s cathedral, and you’ll see that my words are true. Any time of day, any season of the year, you’ll see something that goes beyond time. Maybe because time has stopped here — the hills, vineyards, the clay, gullies, oak and cypress trees, and then the fortresses and towers, are unchanged in their beauty, appearing just like in Simone Martini’s 14th-century paintings.
Under the town hall’s open loggia there is a plaque celebrating Pienza as the “the city born from an idea of love, a dream of beauty” — which is to say most auspiciously. Pienza is surrounded by equally noble “younger sisters,” like Montalcino, San Quirico, Monticchiello, Vignoni, Radicofani, and many other villages. It’s a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, and more importantly, it bears repeating, these are places that touch those who live here and those just passing through, doing so in different ways for each person and always welcome them all. This is precisely why I want to share its stories, anecdotes, curiosities, characters, and traditions.