MONUMENTS in SIENA
Siena, with its uniquely preserved medieval architecture, satisfies every art lover and many others as well. From tiny piazzas shared by you and a couple of pigeons to stately 14th and 15th century buildings, there is always something to notice and admire. Limited traffic within the city centre enhances your experience and adds to the feeling of stepping back in time into a medieval world. The following are a few of the sights that are worth spending time visiting.
At the heart of Siena is the Piazza del Campo, famous for its shell-shape, and still the focus of city life. Within the square in the Fonte Gaia, a fountain unique in its quadrangular form and beautiful figures around the edges. The original by Jacopo della Quercia is now in Santa Maria della Scala, but a copy by Tito Sarrocchi gives an accurate account of this remarkable water feature for the visitors today.
PALAZZO PUBBLICO - TORRE DEL MANGIA
The famous Torre del Mangia and the Palazzo Pubblico form one of the sides of Piazza del Campo. The tower, built in 1848 and 102 metres high, gives excellent views over Siena and the surrounding countryside. Palazzo Pubblico, built between 1297 and 1342 is an example of classic Gothic architecture in Tuscany, and houses an amazing array of frescoes by artists such as Vecchietta, Simone Martini and Sodoma.
The Duomo or cathedral is a beautiful building, a mix of Gothic and Romanesque architecture with dark green and white marble in the facade. It contains works by many artists, including Donatello, Pisano and Arnolfo di Cambio. One of its main attractions is the marble-inlaid floor, to which many artists contributed. The museum of the Duomo, in the same piazza, contains some original statues by Pisano moved for conservation and many artworks, including the famous "Maesta" by Duccio di Buoninsegna. In the same piazza as the Duomo is the hospital of Santa Maria della Scala, which now houses a museum complex, exhibiting frescoes, works of art, temporary shows and treasures collected during its millenial history.
CHURCH OF SAN DOMENICO
Inside a fresco by Andrea Vanni representing Saint Catherine is conserved. On the left side of the church a chapel with a wonderful marble altar hosts the head of the saint. The crypt preserves another fine work, a golden cross painted by Sano di Pietro.
CHURCH OF SAN AGOSTINO
It hosts many works of art, by Vanni and Manetti. In the 15th-century
chapel called the Bichi chapel, there are many frescoes by Martini
and Signorelli. The Piccolomini chapel has a fresco by Lorenzetti.
Address: Prato S.Agostino, 1
Phone: 0577 226785 / Fax: 0577 206 794
Website - More info: http://www.sienaviva.it
Three important buildings mark the piazza of Salimbeni, but the Palazzo Salimbeni is the most important, marking the headquarters of the Sienese bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena, founded more than 500 years ago. Inside the palace is a rich collection of paintings and works of art, which are possible to see by appointment.