Pienza (419 m.) used to be called Corsignano. Until the 15th century, it was a nondescript village but then Pope Pius II, who was born in the village, decided that his place of birth should be reshaped and expanded to become an "ideal" town in accordance with the urban planning model used during the Renaissance. He appointed Bernardo Rossellino to implement this ambitious plan. What the Pope, who was himself involved in the drawing up of the building plans, had in mind for Pienza (since this was the towns new name, derived from Pius) was never fully realised. Nevertheless, the work on the town centre was completed and a very harmonious group of buildings was constructed which included the cathedral (Santa Maria Assunta) and the Palazzo Piccolomini. The street scene, especially on the long main street "Corso Rossellino", is dominated by the wine and cheese shops. The "Piazza Pio II" square has an intimate and cosy feel to it. At the end is the imposing cathedral and to the right is the "Palazzo Piccolomini" with, in front, a fountain which is also the work of Rossellino. Opposite the church is the Palazzo Comunale.