Tuscany’s Best Shopping Streets
Corso Il Rossellino, Pienza.
Words and pictures by Amanda Atkins of Siena House Tuscany.
On a beautiful Saturday afternoon in early September, I headed out to Pienza – looking for a ‘Tuscany shopping street’. Not really a shopper in the standard mold I actually liked best of all Pienza’s wonderful hardware store The reason for my visit was to scout some locations for scenes for a reality show that was filming for a week at our place in October. The request was to find a selection of picturesque Tuscan shops ideally located all in the same street. First stop: Pienza !
In food terms, Pienza is most famous for its sheeps’ cheese, the ‘Pecorino di Pienza’. Naturally there are many shops where you can try and buy and it is served in the restaurants here and all over Tuscany, it’s absolutely one of the stars of the Tuscan Menu. It’s a pretty strong smell when you’re in the main street…and I heard a few negative comments on the smell… however don’t be put off, it’s not unpleasant and anyway you’ll get used to it rapidly !
There are many ‘cheese shops’ selling a wide range of Tuscan food along side their Pecorino selection. Following a couple of tips up and down the streets I settled on F.lli Dezi. (Below) as my personal favourite in visual terms: a really lovely interior with a non touristy look. The owner was charming and approachable. Corso Rossellino 6, Pienza Fratellidezi@outlook.it Tuscany Shopping for cheese lovers.
La Vecchia Bottega (below) lavecchiabottega.it 0578 749519 was also a pretty and friendly store – this time also with some cafe tables inside.
There’s only one independent fruit and vegetable store that I could find: L’Orto di Silvia (Below) 05787 48579 Via Del Leone, 6 Pienza. I walked in and asked for ‘Silva’ – but the sign is original; Silvia is actually the grandmother of Manuela who currently runs the store.
There’s also a fantastic Wine store at Pienza, the Enoteca di Ghino really beautiful & atmospheric – all hand written labels and gorgeous inside…no better place to buy wine for expertise, atmosphere & service. Now this is a special place !
Owner Ghino is a real personality as are his two sons (who also work there) the enoteca offers tastings and stocks the top Tuscan wines plus Champagne and some special spirits. Enoteca di Ghino Via del Leone, 16, 53026 Pienza SI, Italy +39 0578 748057 Tuscany Shopping for wine lovers.
Other interesting/stylish stores with selling their own/unique/artisan products :
Ferro Battuto Biagiotti (below) Corso il Rossellino, 67, 0578 748478 not easy to bring an iron chandelier in your suitcase for sure … but well worth a look and maybe you can find something smaller and equally evocative ! Tuscany Shopping for wrought iron lovers.
Profumeria Bolgherello, (below) Via Rossellino, 93, authors of the ‘Aqua di Bagno Vignone’ fragrance (and many more) all their own production scents and very difficult to choose. I picked out a room scent for the house and a hemp and pink peppercorn perfume for Scarlet, favourite of the owner… scents are wonderful for reminding us of special moments and places, she commented. Tuscany shopping for artisan perfume lovers.
Baba Cippa (below) is a very unusual ‘shop’ in truth more of a studio or gallery, the owner / maker quietly works in the shop all day… beautiful lampshades and other hand made items for ladies… Via del Giglio 4 (just off the main street by 10 metres) 0039 3474189837 Tuscany Shopping for craft lovers.
Baba Cippa is on a little side street metres from the Corso Rossellino.
Also… Torrita di Siena’s traditional ceramics are on sale in Pienza on the main street..
I did not get the number of this place but the actual production is only a few minutes from the Siena House, which can also be visited and needs a trip of it’s own to check it out!
Finally, no trip to Pienza is complete without a glass of something on the view at Paolo’s bar ‘Il Casello’, only a stone’s throw from Corso Rossellino.
Il Casello is right on the view, unmissable !
Bar Il Casello, Via del Casello, 3, Pienza +39 0578 749105 (but you don’t need a reservation)
About Siena House
Siena House is a very different place to stay in Tuscany. A truly boutique hotel in a great touring location, perfectly positioned for Southern Tuscany’s most wanted wines, landscapes and hilltowns – or for doing nothing at all. Peaceful and private, this is a gated property with large saltwater pool, beautiful rooms and views run by a British couple.