In Siena the architecture soars, and could well lift your soul. Effectively a giant, open-air museum to the Gothic, its spiritual and secular medieval monuments still sit in harmony, many filled with collections of Sienese art. Add vibrant streets where every third door (literally) opens into a restaurant, enoteca or deli, and you’re in for a very fine time indeed. Because this is Italy before the Renaissance, magically transported to the modern day.
Siena is a delightful little shrine of art, one of the best preserved and unspoilt towns in Italy.
It fits like a pearl on the rose “shell” of the Campo Square.
The city is rather small and its highlights can be seen in a 3 to 5 hour tour. The tour includes: the church of S. Domenico with its beautiful frescoes and St. Catherine’s holy relic; then we go through the heart of the city, to see Piazza del Campo with its stunning XIV Cent. City Hall (Palazzo Pubblico) and the world famous frescoes by Martini and Lorenzetti.
These frescoes are a lively representation of what everyday life in Siena and its countryside used to be like in 1340. The result is the first panoramic city/countryscape since antiquity and the first expansive portrait that we have of an actual city… a real time-machine that allows us to feel the local history vivid and alive!
We would then wind through ancient alleys to the Cathedral: a milestone of European art with masterpieces by Michelangelo, Pinturicchio, Donatello, Bernini and the largest existingbmedieval painting: the glorious “Maestà” by Duccio di Boninsegna.
We will enjoy a stroll in the endless labyrinth of winding narrow streets, soak up the evocative medieval atmosphere and marvel at the beautiful fan-shaped square “il Campo”, lined with ancient palaces, cafès and shops.
During our wandering we will also stop by the medieval palaces of the Sienese aristocracy and sample the delights of Ricciarelli or Panforte, mouthwatering almond paste cookies typical of Siena.
Siena is also the best preserved Gothic medieval city in Italy, cradle of the Italian Gothic style and your local guide will be happy to share with you her passion for and attachment to the city she loves.