Duomo di Santa Maria Assunta
Siena Cathedral (Duomo di Santa Maria Assunta) is one of the most important and magnificent Romanesque-Gothic churches in Italy.
It’s divided into two halves: a lower in Romanesque-Gothic style by Giovanni Pisano, and a higher in Florentine Gothic style that includes a beautiful rose window.
It’s dominated by a colour dichotomy of black and white, the colours of Siena’s coat of arms.
The Cathedral’s inside is a real treasure trove of artistic masterpieces, from Nicola Pisano’s pulpit (1265-68), one of the most important sculpted pieces of the Italian 13th century, to Piccolomini’s altar, with four sculptures by the young Michelangelo: Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Saint Pious and Saint Augustine.
Just after the altar one finds the Piccolomini Library. Its inside was decorated with frescoes from Pinturicchio, while in the chapel on the left one can admire Donatello’s famous San Giovanni Battista (St. John the Baptist), dating back to 1455.
Above of the choir there’s a copy of the famous stained-glass window of Duccio di Buoninsegna, completed in 1288, the oldest known stained glass of Italian manufacture.
The opus sectile marble floor
It’s a very unique piece of Italian art for its inventiveness, sheer scale and the importance of its collaborators. Marble floor is divided into 56 cells. The oldest cells date to the 2nd half of the 14th century, and the most recent to the 19th. Among those who worked on it through the centuries, we may find the names of Francesco di Giorgio, Pinturicchio, Il Sassetta, Neroccio di Bartolomeo de’ Landi, Antonio Federighi, Urbano da Cortona and, most of all, Domenico Beccafumi.
Where to stay – accomodation in Siena’s surroundings