Posted by: Debra Kolkka | April 1, 2023

Art in Siena

I have been to Siena several times. I love the city.

Of course we visited the usual places. The Duomo is my favourite in Italy. The exterior and interior are magnificent.


I particularly like the Piccolomini library. The frescoes were painted by Pinturicchio, the little painter.

Pinturicchio featured himself and his friend Raffaello (in the red tights) in one of the scenes.

I spotted a couple of signs for the contrade, areas, that make up the city. There are 17.

Here is the snail.

And the tortoise.

Each contrada has a fountain. The tortoise fountain is particularly lovely.

The  shell shaped Piazza del Campo is one of the loveliest and most impressive piazzas in all of Italy. It appears quite suddenly between buildings. The Palazzo Pubblico and the Torre del Mangia dominate the piazza.

The fountain in the Campo, Fonte Gaia, is a copy. The original was designed by Jacopo della Quercia. The contract was signed in 1409 and some fragments of the original drawings have survived. The fountain took some time to be built, these things happen. The marble proved to be fragile and a new fountain was built in the mid 19th century. The design is not exactly the same as the original and the new fountain was placed in a more central position in the Campo.

The new fountain is fenced, so pigeons are the ones who enjoy the flowing water.

At the opposite side of the piazza from the fountain is a small grill. I am happy to see the tiny figures still hiding there.


In the early 1300s Siena had a population of around 50,000. The Palazzo Pubblico in the Campo was begun in 1297 and work continued until the middle of the 1300s. It was the largest Gothic style civic building in Italy and beyond at the time.

For the first time I visited the Museo Civico in the Palazzo Pubblico. The museum is full of stunning frescoes dating from the 1300s. I felt quite small and insignificant standing in front of some of them.

The first room entered is the Risorgimento room, obviously the most recently decorated. It was opened in 1890.

I walked from room to room trying to take it all in. This needs more than one visit.

Apart from anything else, I find it astounding that many of these work have survived since the 1300s.

We stayed at a great little apartment beside the Torre del Mangia. It was called Il Nido del Mangia. I think I could live in it!

Here are other posts I have written on Siena.

Siena again

Siena revisited

The best view in Siena?

The magnificent Siena Duomo

The Piccolomini Library – Siena



  1. Don’t miss the frescos of good and of bad government. They,alone, are worth a visit!

    • Yes, I saw those. I spent quite a lot of time wandering in those rooms. I will definitely go back several times, it is overwhelming.

      • Magnificent photos Debra. You say Siena requires more than one visit but your Post also requires many viewings as so much to take in. It brought back memories.
        The Museo Civico was breathtaking & agree astounding not only surviving but the Artists who created these works.

  2. It is indeed a gorgeous city and as usual your photos are stunning

    • I love Siena more each time I go there.

  3. I love your breathtaking photos Debra. Warmest hugs from Buenos Aires, Argentina.

  4. What a stellar visit and your photographs, Debra! Thanks for sharing!

    • Visiting Siena is always excellent.

  5. Very impressive look at Sienna through your photos Deb. It is such a lovely place and it appears you have visited when it wasn’t too busy.

    • It wasn’t busy. I was keen to get there before Easter. That seems to be the start of the busy season.

  6. Great photos of the Duomo

  7. A wonderful city to visit. I also love that little apartment!

    • We were only in Siena for one night, so didn’t really need an apartment, but I wanted to check it out for future, longer visits. I love it!

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