A DAY IN SIENA
A DAY IN SIENA
Highlights of this tour:
The Duomo & its Museum
Piazza del Palio
Ambrogio Lorenzetti ‘Allegories’
A stroll off the beaten track
A complete historical background
An unexpectedly full and lively picture of medieval life in central Italy can be gained from a visit to Siena, since the town retains much of its medieval appearance.
It is still entirely surrounded by walls, and its narrow, winding streets are lined mainly with buildings of the 14th and 15th centuries, when the city enjoyed poliical freedom and great commercial prosperity – then in 1555 it became part of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.
The good government of 14th century Siena is movingly recorded by Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s frescoes in the Civic Museum.
Siena is rich in works of art – the brilliantly colored Duomo, with its extraordinary floor, and Duccio’s Maesta’ in the cathedral museum mark one of the great turning points in Italian art.
The font in the baptistry is a remarkable team work of the most fmous Renaissance sculptors.
The Campo, Siena’s historic center, and the site of the Palio and many other historical ceremonies, is certainly one of the loveliest squares in all Italy.
Your private guide will wait for you at the train station.
Soon you’ll find yourself in the heart of town, where we will visit first of all the extraordinary Duomo.
Completed around 1215, it epitomizes Siena’s desire not to be second to any other city, and, of course, its rivalry with Florence!
The quality of the sculptures enshrined is absolutely impressive. Just to quote some name: Nicola Pisano and Arnolfo di Cambio signed the pulpit, Michelangelo was the author of four statues, Donatello contributed with some bronze works.
But the paintings too, they are really breathtaking! In particular, Pinturicchio ‘divine’ frescoes in the Piccolomini Library will surprise you with their lively beauty and vibrant colors.
After this, Duccio da Boninsegna’s Maesta’ will wait for us at the Opera del Duomo Museum.
This famous painting was for long the most expensive art work of its time, a veritable superstar of Sienese figurative arts, still magnificent notwithstanding it was partly dismembered at the end of the 19th century.
The third, not to be missed, stop, is at the 14th century Public Palace overlooking Piazza del Campo. Masterpieces like the Equestrian Portrait of Guidoriccio d Fogliano and Simone Martini ‘Maesta’ will introduce us to Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s unforgettable work, the celebrated ‘Allegory of the Good Government’.
Painted around 1338-39, it is a veritable ‘reportage’, done with colors and brushes rather than with cameras and video recorders!
Merchants and artisans at work, people dancing, a wedding procession, students musing on their books, mastermasons at work, hectic shops, busy housewifes and more…
Right on the opposite wall, vivid as nightmare, the’ Allegory of the Bad Government’, appears as a terrible warning.
After this you we will have some time to explore some quiet and off the beaten track areas of this picturesque town, where your guide will tell about the different ‘contrade’ or historical quarters, about the Palio and the other tradtional ceremonies.
The tour will end with some insight about tradional local cuisine and with some recommendations about lunch and food & wine shopping.
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The visit to Siena can be combined with an excursion in the Chianti region, with stops at Monteriggioni, San Gimignano and some wine & food tastings.
In this case we can arrange round trip private transportation from Florence with professional English speaking driver/guide.
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