Consecrated around the previous site of a Roman temple at 1179 and constructed over the 13th and 14 th centuries, Siena’s imperial duomo (cathedral) showcases the talents of many amazing medieval and Renaissance architects and artists: Giovanni Pisano designed the complex white, reddish and green marble facade; Nicola Pisano carved the elaborate pulpit; Pinturicchio painted the frescoes in the extraordinary Libreria Piccolomini; also Michelangelo, Donatello and Gian Lorenzo Bernini all sculptures that were created.
Entered via the Palazzo Pubblico’s Cortile del Podestà (Courtyard of the Chief Magistrate)this excellent museum showcases rooms richly frescoed by artists of the Sienese school. Commissioned by the governing body rather than by the Church of the city, a few of the frescoes depict specific subjects — highly unusual. The highlights are two enormous frescoes: Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s Allegories of Good and Bad Government (c 1338–40) along with Simone Martini’s celebrated Maestà (Virgin Mary at Majesty; 13 15 ).
Siena’s recently renovated art gallery, positioned in 14th-century Palazzo Buonsignori as 1932, is home to an outstanding group of Gothic masterpieces from the Sienese school. These include works by Guido da Siena, Duccio (di Buoninsegna), Simone Martini, Niccolò di Segna, Lippo Memmi, Ambrogio and Pietro Lorenzetti, Bartolo di Fredi, Taddeo di Bartolo and Sano di Pietro. The museum’s reopening date is yet to be announced.
Complesso Museale di Santa Maria della Scala
Built like a hospice for pilgrims travelling the Via Francigena, this massive complex opposite the duomo goes from the 13th century. Its highlight is your upstairs Pellegrinaio (Pilgrim’s Hall), featuring vivid 15th-century frescoes by Lorenzo di Pietro (aka Vecchietta), Priamo della Quercia and Domenico di Bartolo. Each of laud the good works of this hospital along with its own patrons; the most amusing is di Bartolo’s Il governo degli infermi (taking care of the Sick; 1440–41), which depicts many activities that happened here.
Cardinal Francesco Todeschini Piccolomini, Arch Bishop of Siena (later Pope Pius III), commissioned the building and decoration with this hall off the north aisle of this duomo from 1492 to accommodate the books of his uncle, Enea Silvio Piccolomini (Pope Pius II). Come not to find the novels (just a run of huge choral tomes remains on display), but to delight in the vividly coloured narrative frescoes (1503– even 08) by Pinturicchio (Bernardino di Betto), that depict events in the life span of Pius II.
Piazza del Campo
Popularly referred to as’Il Campo’, this emerging piazza has been Siena’s social center because being siphoned out by the judgment Consiglio dei Nove (Council of Nine) from the mid-12th century. Built on the site of a Roman marketplace, its own paving is divided into two businesses representing the associates of the consiglio, and those days acts as a carpet which youthful sailors meet and relax. The cafes around its perimeter are definitely the most popular coffee and aperitivo (predinner drinks) spots in the town.
The highlight of the repository of artworks that formerly adorned the duomo is definitely Duccio (di Buoninsegna)’s striking Maestà (1308–1 1 ), which was painted on either side along with a screen for its high altar. Duccio portrays the Virgin surrounded by angels, saints and prominent contemporary Sienese citizens; the back panels (sadly incomplete) reveal scenes from the Passion of Christ. Entrance into the Panorama del Facciatone is contained inside the entrance ticket.
Battistero di San Giovanni
The baptistry is lined with 15th-century frescoes and centres around a hexagonal marble font by Jacopo della Quercia, decorated with bronze panels depicting the life of St John the Baptist by artists for Example Lorenzo Ghiberti (Baptism of Christ; St John in Prison) along with Donatello (The Head of John the Baptist Being Addicted to Herod).
Palazzo Chigi Saracini
Buildings have pedigrees as magnificent as this 13th-century palace. Home of the Piccolomini family (of which Pope Pius II was the most dominant member) during the Renaissance, it had been gained by the influential Saracini family in the 18th century and also inherited a hundred years after by a scion of the wealthy Roman Chigi family. Now it houses the Fondazione Accademia Musicale Chigiana and its own particular art-adorned interiors are a testament to the wealth, erudition and taste of their Saracini along with Chigi families.
Museo delle Tavolette di Biccherne
Housed from the Renaissance-era Palazzo Piccolomini, Siena’s State Archive isn’t a regular stop on the normal tourist destination, however it provides ample reward for all those who opt to see. The small museum took its name by this archive collection’s pride: 10 3 small painted and panels known as the’Tavolette di Biccherna’. Created as covers to its municipal account novels, the biccherne were painted by Sienese artists including Ambogio Lorenzetti and Taddeo di Bartolo.
Basilica Cateriniana di San Domenico
St Catherine was welcomed into the Dominican fold. Indoors , the Cappella di Santa Caterina (halfway down the wall to the Best of the altar) contains frescoes by Giovanni Antonio Bazzi (aka Il Sodoma) and Andrea Vanni depicting events at the saint’s lifespan. Here are 15th century reliquaries containing the head and one of her hands, as well as a chain that she’s said to have flagellated herself of Catherine with.
Built to demonstrate the massive wealth, proud liberty and secular character of Siena, this 14th-century Gothic masterpiece would be that the visual focal point of the Campo, itself that the genuine center of the town. Architecturally clever (see the way its concave facade mirrors that the conflicting convex curve) it has always placed the city’s management and been used as a cultural place. Its distinguishing bell tower, the Torre del Mangia, provides stunning views for those that brave the steep rise to the very top.
Orto Botanico dell’Università
The tranquil terraces with the botanical garden (1856), which is spread over 2.5 hectares of the verdant Sant’Agostino Valley, provide gorgeous views over the valley and also a welcome escape from the tourist audiences. Owned by the University of Siena, which functions this as a centre for education and research, it includes three greenhouses filled with subtropical and tropical species, even also a house and gardens planted with food, medicinal and ornamental plants. Endangered and Indigenous species will also be represented.
Porta del Cielo
To enjoy bird’s-eye views of outside and the inner of Siena’s cathedral, buy a ticket for the’Gate of Heaven’ tour upwards, into and around the roof and do me of the building. Tour classes have been capped at 18 participants and also depart fixed intervals during your day — purchase the ticket by the office at the Complesso Museale di Santa Maria della Scala. Note that you’ll need to arrive at the meeting point at least five full minutes before your yacht time.
Remarkably, this vaulted space below the duomo’s pulpit was totally full of debris from the late 1300s and was only excavated and restored in 1999. Initially working as a palace entry and confessional, it had been adorned with 180 sq metres of richly coloured 13th-century pintura a secco (‘arid’ or mural paintings) covering columns, walls, pilasters, capitals and corbels. These managed to survive their own ignominious therapy. Entrance is included in the OPA SI and Acropoli passes.
Torre del Mangia
This bell tower that is red-brick-and-travertine that is 87m-high commands stunning views from its highest degrees. Its name (The Tower of Eater) stems from Giovanni di Balduccio, nicknamed’Mangiaguadagni’ (Eat the Earnings), who was employed by the municipality between 1347 to 1360 to conquer hours onto its own bell. Bell-beater’s function was performed by means of an automaton, which, in memory of its predecessor, was called Mangia. The remains of this automaton are currently inside the Palazzo Pubblico’s courtyard.
Oratorio di San Bernardino
Nestled in the shadow of the Large Gothic church of San Francesco, this 15th-century oratory is dedicated to St Bernardino and decorated Using Mannerist frescoes from Il Sodoma, Domenico (di Pace) Beccafumi and Girolamo del Pacchia.
Up stairs, the small Museo Diocesano di Arte Sacra has some amazing paintings, for example Madonna del latte (Nursing Madonna; c 1340) by Ambrogio Lorenzetti. Entrance is included in Acropoli passes and also the OPA SI.
Chiesa di San Pietro alla Magione
Beautiful, this Romanesque church utilized by the Knights Templar in the 12th century also was constructed in the 10th century. After the Templar order was rigged it passed to the Knights of Malta. The current facade dates from the 13th century. The interior is austere, with a 15th-century crucifix being one of those adornments. To the church immediate south are hospice buildings at which pilgrims on the Via Francigena formerly rested.
Biblioteca Comunale degli Intronati
Occupying 13th century buildings used at the University of Siena, this aerial library was first created in the 1750s. Its labyrinthine structure reveals the fact that it was cobbled together by building structures across roads. A favorite working space for students, it includes a kids’ zone for readers aged under 10 decades, a lecture hall lined with volumes that are historic and a periodicals room.
Sinagoga di Siena
Sheltering behind an facade, this Ashkenazi synagogue in the former Ghetto of Siena formerly serviced a community of 500. Sadly, the city is now lived from by only 50 Jews. Functioning since 1731, the synagogue’s rococo-style interior having its distinguishing colour strategy looks like an elaborate church and will be visited within an tour in which the real history of this construction and of Jews in Siena is recounted. Tours depart every half an hour.
Chiesa di Santa Maria in Portico a Fontegiusta
This three-aisled 15th-century church was built to the site of all Porta Fontegiusta, certainly one of those original gates in the city walls, to invite the Virgin Mary to its Sienese victory over the Florentines from the Battle of Poggio Imperiale (1479). Inside, to the best of this altar, is Francesco Vanni’s painting The Blessed Ambrogio Sansedoni Asking the Virgin for defense of Siena (1590).
Orto de’ Pecci
Operated by a societal stigma which gives support and employment to people with disabilities or dependency problems, this urban oasis is home to a small vineyard using clones of medieval vines, a combined organic farm that provides the onsite restaurant with fruit and vegetables, plenty of animals (geese, goats, and ducks and donkeys) and a loaf of site-specific contemporary artworks.
Panorama del Facciatone
For a memorable view of Siena’s unique cityscape, head up the 131-step, narrow cork screw stairway to walk beneath the unfinished facade of the Duomo Nuovo (New Cathedral). Entry is included in the Museo dell’Opera ticket and at either the OPA SI and Acropoli passes. The entrance is via the museum’s upstairs floors.
Certainly one of the most medieval structures of the city, that 14th century Gothic-style reinforced palace was assembled for the Salimbeni family merchants that were Ghibelline. It now houses the offices of the Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, one of the oldest banks in the entire whole world, and is closed to people.
This towering Gothic arrangement with dual lancet windows was constructed in stone between 1205–1212 Guelph bankers, for its Tolomei family. It now houses the key community branch of Banca Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze (aka Banca CR Firenze) and was undergoing a significant renovation at that time of research.
Chiesa di San Martino
The church itself is much older, having been assembled in the 12th century, although the facade of this church dates from 1613. Inside are all works by Guido Reni and Domenico Beccafumi. Next to the church would be your Renaissance-style Logge del Papa.
Siena is unusual because unlike most Tuscan cities, it’s not located alongside a watercourse. To pay, it has a unique historical system of underground aqueducts known as bottini. This ingenious 25km system of excavated tunnels carries rainwater from the slopes of Mt Amiata to properties along with above ground fountains round the historical city and has been in daily use until 1914. Recently opened, this new multimedia museum above the Fonti di Pescaia celebrates this engineering achievement.
Casa Santuario di Santa Caterina
St Catherine once dwelt here with her parents and 24 siblings (locals joke her mother must have been a saint too). Presently a pilgrimage site overseen by nuns of the Benedictine order, the home kitchen and area were frescoed and converted into chapels in the 15th century. The more expensive Chiesa del Crocifisso was included in the 17th century. The downstairs Orotorio della Camera involves the saint’s untouched, and not exactly bare cell.
This gate transformed its predecessor, which had been the major entry by Siena’s medieval city walls. The arrangement has. It sports a defense with all the Medici coat of arms on its own outer (northern) facade. The writing with this reads ‘Cor magis tibi sena pandit’ (Siena shows a heart which is larger compared to this particular gate ).
The largest medieval fountain in Siena, Fontebranda was constructed in the 13th century and comprises three-wide Gothic arches, crenellations and water-jets in the shape of stone lions. Much like all the town’s public fountains it originally included three pools: one for drinking water, a second (currently buried) for watering animals and a third to wash clothes. This was fed by water from the underground aqueduct system known as the bottini.
- 1 Duomo
- 2 Museo Civico
- 3 Pinacoteca Nazionale
- 4 Complesso Museale di Santa Maria della Scala
- 5 Libreria Piccolomini
- 6 Piazza del Campo
- 7 Museo dell’Opera
- 8 Battistero di San Giovanni
- 9 Palazzo Chigi Saracini
- 10 Museo delle Tavolette di Biccherne
- 11 Basilica Cateriniana di San Domenico
- 12 Palazzo Pubblico
- 13 Orto Botanico dell’Università
- 14 Porta del Cielo
- 15 Cripta
- 16 Torre del Mangia
- 17 Oratorio di San Bernardino
- 18 Chiesa di San Pietro alla Magione
- 19 Biblioteca Comunale degli Intronati
- 20 Sinagoga di Siena
- 21 Chiesa di Santa Maria in Portico a Fontegiusta
- 22 Orto de’ Pecci
- 23 Panorama del Facciatone
- 24 Palazzo Salimbeni
- 25 Palazzo Tolomei
- 26 Chiesa di San Martino
- 27 Museo dell’Acqua
- 28 Casa Santuario di Santa Caterina
- 29 Porta Camollia
- 30 Fontebranda