Spring has arrived, with her the Easter and all the other festivities of April and May. It's the ideal season to plan a vacation in Tuscany, choosing Siena as a central stop on your journey. According to the tradition, in these beautiful days to spend with your family, as a couple or with friends, we dedicate out time in museums and cultural activities. In this article we will do a virtual tour in the museums and churches of the historic center of Siena. You will find that a stay of at least 3 nights is essential to fully enjoy the wonders of this beautiful medieval Tuscan town. The location of the Hotel Palazzetto Rosso will allow you to easily access all the sites of interest. We are in fact just a few meters from the main street of Siena, right in the heart of the city.
In the famous Piazza del Campo, inside the gorgeous Palazzo Pubblico, are preserved some of the most precious treasures of Sienese Gothic art, very important masterpieces in the history of pre-Renaissance Italian art, but not only. The two most famous and admired operas are the frescoes of La Maestà by Simone Martini (begun around 1312) - a striking example of civic religious devotion and of the allegory and the effects of the good and bad government by Ambrogio Lorenzetti (1337-1339 ca.). Anyway, it would be a shame to dwell only on these two wonderful works, since the visit to the museum allows you to admire as many masterpieces that tell the story of a rich and powerful Siena, later subjected to the Florentine supremacy and finally among the promoting centers Unity of Italy.
From the Palazzo Comunale is logical to continue along Via di Città towards the Museal Complex of the Duomo of Siena, but before arriving, do not miss Palazzo Chigi Saracini, one of the most important noble palaces built in the golden age of Siena, it is really worth a visit. Here is the Chigiana Music Academy, also an amazing museum that contains the collection of paintings, sculptures, precious objects and musical instruments of the Chigi Saracini counts. The museum itinerary winds its way through the luxurious rooms of the building, and allows you to immerse yourself in an all-round cultural richness.
Once in Piazza del Duomo, with a single ticket it will be possible to visit:
- the Cathedral, with its priceless works of art signed by the most famous Sienese artists of all ages, but also by the most great painters and sculptors of all times such as Nicola Pisano, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Carlo Maratta or Gianlorenzo Bernini, without forget the beautiful Piccolomini Library frescoed by Pinturicchio, which at the time had among its help the most famous Raffaello Sanzio ...
- the Baptistery, which was adorned between 1417 and 1430 with the baptismal font signed by the most fashionable artists at the time, such as Jacopo della Quercia, Lorenzo Giberti and Donatello.
- The "Crypt", only discovered in 1999, whose frescoes, dating from around 1270-1280, still retain the brilliant colors of the period in which they were painted.
- The Museo of the Opera del Duomo in which, in a breathtaking scenery, it is possible to admire the glass window designed by Duccio di Buoninsegna and the original statues of the façade of the Duomo sculpted by Giovanni Pisano. At the end of museum’s itinerary, in which you will be amazed by the altarpiece that Duccio di Buoninsegna finished painting in 1311 on commission of the entire Sienese citizenship, it is possible to climb the "facciatone", the one that was to become the facade of the "Duomo Nuovo ”, and discover the enchanting view over the roofs of the city and its beautiful surroundings.
- The Santa Maria della Scala, the ancient hospital of Siena that offered assistance to the less well-off but not only, now transformed into a large museum with lots of impromptu events permanent collections within it (such as the original statues of Fonte Gaia di Jacopo della Quercia, the Archaeological Museum with Etruscan artifacts found in the city, objects of sacred jewelery, works of art and magnificent frescoes).
The Santa Maria della Scala also houses the Oratory of Santa Caterina della Notte, which became a sacred museum because it was there that the Sienese Saint went to rest after taking care of the poor of the city. If you want to follow the places dedicated to this character of national historical importance (he was the one who ended the so-called "Avignon captivity" of the popes, bringing the papal seat back to Rome), you should not miss the museum called Santuario di Santa Caterina from Siena, located near the Basilica of San Domenico. In this church, there is, among other things, a finely frescoed chapel by the mannerist Antonio Bazzi known as the Sodoma, where the head of St. Catherine is also preserved.
In the churches of Siena, many other treasures of Sienese art can be discovered: between the 15th and 17th centuries the city had two popes among its fellow citizens, and this meant that the works of major artists were commissioned for the city operating in Rome.
But the museums of Siena are not just art: you can discover a lot in the innovative educational path in the Water Museum and learn about the legend of the hidden river Diana, or the nineteenth-century Natural History Museum of the Academy of Fisiocritici, one of the most important and ancient scientific museums in the whole of Tuscany, located next to the Botanical Garden of the University of Siena, whose origins date back to the 16th century.
Nelle Chiese di Siena si possono scoprire altrettanti tesori dell’arte senese e non solo: nel XV e ne XVII secolo la città ha avuto due papi tra i suoi concittadini, e questo ha fatto sì che siano state commissionate per la città opere dei maggiori artisti operanti a Roma.
the museums of Siena are not just art: you can discover a lot in the innovative educational path in the Water Museum and learn about the legend of the hidden river Diana, or the nineteenth-century Natural History Museum of the Fisiocritici Academy , among the most important and ancient scientific museums in the whole of Tuscany, located next to the Botanical Garden of the University of Siena, whose origins date back to the 16th century.
If you are not yet satisfied with this huge cultural immersion, you can also have the privilege of discovering some of the 17 Contrada Museums of the Palio of Siena, which tell secular stories and jealously preserve precious places and objects of great historical, artistic and cultural interest. But be careful: only through direct contacts it will be possible to access these private places, being guided by enthusiasts members of the Contrada.
If you choose to stay at Hotel Palazzetto Rosso, your vacation in Siena will be truly unforgettable: you will sleep in a boutique hotel in a thirteenth century building, you can reach any point of the historic center on foot thanks to our very central location, you will be pampered by a staff ready to fulfill your every wish. Furthermore, you will have no worries if you arrive by car thanks to our parking and valet service. We are waiting for you for a spring 2019 in the name of art and culture!