Siena is well known as one of Italy’s richest cities, due to its beautiful architecture and rich artistic heritage
Because of this it is often top of lists of peoples’ favourite cities. That fact could also be because of the relaxed and laidback nature of Siena’s locals, which means you’re given a chance to enjoy the sights at your leisure. So if you are looking at Siena Villa Holidays, here are some suggestions as to what you can do while visiting this beautiful city.
The most famous museum in Siena houses was once the centre of municipal power, and is decorated with beautiful art by artists of the Sienese school. Many of the rooms contain frescoed walls and ceilings, which depict more earthly, secular scenes as opposed to the religious themes usually associated with the time.
At the beginning of the museum there is a room completed decorated with scenes of the “Risorgimento”, the late 19th century events which lead to the unification of Italy. As you continue through the museum, there are collections depicting events in the life of Pope Alexander III, who was a native of Siena.
You may also the sculpture of a bronze wolf, notionally the same wolf that suckled Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome. The legend goes that the sons of Remus, Senio and Ascanio fled Rome with the original statue of the wolf. Senio then founded Siena, and kept the wolf as the symbol of the city of Siena.
At the end of your journey through the museum, there are a number of frescoes which have often been claimed as being some of the most important nonspiritual paintings of the Renaissance period, and include the Hall of the World Map (Sala de Mappamondo) and the Allegoria del Buon governo.
The Hall of the Nine (Sala dei Nove) is the final room, and is where the Council of Nine, who governed Siena, were based. This room is decorated with the Allegory of Good Government and the Allegory of Bad Government, which depicts contrasting scenes as the results of good or bad governance, set within the recognisable environments of Siena.
Piazza del Campo
this sloping public square, which is popular known as II Campo (the field), has been a social hub of the city since the mid 12th century.
It was built upon what used to be a Roman marketplace and has been designed to be divided into nine sectors, which represent the number of the members of the council.
In the upper part of the square there is the Fonte Gaia, which translates into the Happy Fountain. The original panels on the fountain are from the early 15th century, and can be found in the museum Complesso Museale Santa Maria della Scala. There are currently reproductions of the originals on display on the fountain.
In the lower section of the square, there is the Palazzo Comunale, which has been named one of the most graceful Gothic buildings in the whole of Italy, and houses the Museo Civico. From the courtyard of the Palazzo springs the Torre del Mangia, a 102m high tower which has breath-taking views at the top of the 500 steps.
Known as the heart of the city, the Campo is most certainly a place to visit during a trip to Siena.
The Duomo or Cathedral of Siena began being constructed in 1215 and was competed in the 14th century. The front of this wonderful building is decorated with white, red and green marble, and was designed by Giovanni Pisano.
Original plans were to expand the building of the cathedral in order to create one of Italy’s biggest churches. However, the plague of 1348 called a halt on these plans. The original plans from 1339 can be found on the eastern side of the cathedral.
The marble floor on the interior of the cathedral is decorated with 56 panels, designed by around 40 different artists. These were completed between the 14th to the 16th centuries, taking nearly 200 years to complete. These panels depict both historical and biblical events. There are older rectangular panels which are graffito designs from unknown artists dated back to the 1370s.
Later, in the 15th century, Alberto Aringhieri and celebrated Sienese artist Domenico Beccafumi created an expansion of the marble floor scheme. These later panels were created in multi-coloured marble, which were each ornamented with hexagon and rhombus frames.
The duomo is also home the Libreria Piccolomini, which was built to house the books of Pope Pius II. The walls of this small hall are decorated with frescoes painted in the early 1500s, which depict life events of Pope Pius II.
These are just some of the beautiful sights you could visit on Siena Villa Holidays, but with so many wonderful places of interest, come and discover Siena for yourself.