Things to do in Siena

PALAZZO PUBBLICO (CITY HALL) OF SIENA

facciata palazzo pubblico imgzoom PALAZZO PUBBLICO (CITY HALL) OF SIENA

Hotel Siena Borgo Grondaie continues the study of the history of Sienatalking about Palazzo Pubblico, whose development is closely linked to that of the Campo Square(Piazza del Campo).
The space of the square was used for fairs and markets until 1270 with the “Government of Twenty-Four Delegates”, but dropped this; the next “Government of the Nine” (1287-1355) began to think of a neutral location for the city government because until then the Council met inside churches or palaces of noble families. With the construction of the new building, the palace became the heart of any business and the big space that the building removed from the valley became the most important public place for all most significant events.
The original core of the building, consisting of a simple stone façade on one floor and with four breaches, was completed in 1284 and already included the Customs (oil and salt) and the Mint.
In 1297 it began the construction of the real central part of the building not so much different from what it is today and that is the ground floor in stone with four lancet openings, the first, the second and the last floor made of bricks with mullioned windows. The Guelph battlement is composed by nine merlons in memory of the glorious “Government of the Nine”. In this period the City issued a lot of laws (that are considered the earliest city plan of our time) in order to respect and standardize esthetic rules for anyone who intended to build a new building.
The main building dates back to 1305 and the extension of the same with the addition of two wings was completed in 1310 (during which the Government of Nine settled there), although the second floor of both wings was built in 1680 in the middle of the baroque era.
It ‘duty to mention an extension of the building carried on the right wing in 1325; thanks to this extension it was possible to use basements as prisons and provide a larger room for the Grand Council, later, in 1560, this room was transformed into a theater which still exists (Rinnovati Theater) after repeated repairs because of damage caused by numerous fires and earthquakes. The restructuring in 1325 allowed to give space to the storehouse for the salt (a very important substance at that time because the only one for food preservation and whose trade was of vital importance to the economy ofSiena). Today, these rooms are used for temporary art exhibitions.
Also in 1325 Siena began the construction of the Torre Del Mangia…. but that’s another story.

See you next time!

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PIAZZA DEL CAMPO (CAMPO SQUARE) IN SIENA

piazza del campo siena PIAZZA DEL CAMPO (CAMPO SQUARE) IN SIENA

HotelSienaBorgo Grondaie is glad to share with you a little history of our beautifulSiena. Through a series of posts we will discover the origins of the most important places of the city. Let’s start with the heart ofSiena, Piazza del Campo (Campo Square).

Conceived as a center of civic and collective life of the medieval city, Piazza del Campo still has a configuration like that one of the fourteenth century. It ‘a closed urban structure that communicates with the outside through a series of cleverly masked gates and arches and ends with the magnificent background of the Palazzo Pubblico  and Torre del Mangia.
The skyline and the structure of the Piazza del Campo are not born by chance, but during the years of its construction, the government of Siena has gradually enacted laws in order to standardize the architectural style and align the profile of the perimeter and space, an example is the demolition of  the church dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul (located between the existing  St. Peter and St. Paul alleys) because too protruding from the perimeter that the surrounding buildings were defining. The area that would become the square of today, was originally a reclaimed land to allow rain water running off and while the central part of the city was higher in the Castelvecchio area, the future”Campo” was an area for the markets close to the main roads.
The first document which mentions the placement of the Campo Square dates back to 1169; the Square is cited as “Campus Sancti Pauli” and refers to the entire valley, which also includes the current Piazza del Mercato. The news of the subdivision there was in 1193, when the Square is called “Campus Fori” (acting as livestock, poultry and wheat market) and there was the construction of a dividing wall perhaps placed as a barrier because of the soil erosion. In this way the “Campo” acquires the appearance of a half shell while around the wall and on it the government starts the construction of a nucleus of buildings containing the Customs offices ( for oil and salt) and the so-called Bolgano i.e. the place for the minting of coins.

The floor was much later, in fact, the construction started in 1327 and ended in 1349. Even today the centre of the square is paved with handmade bricks laid edge on.The floor is divided into nine strips of travertine in memory of the “Government of the Nine” (1285-1355). The current travertine balusters date back to 1800.

The development of Piazza del Campo is closely linked to the construction of the City Hall (Palazzo Pubblico) ……. but we’ll talk about next time!

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THE MARKET IN THE CAMPO SQUARE (Piazza del Campo). December, 15TH and 16th 2012. SIENA.

 THE MARKET IN THE CAMPO SQUARE (Piazza del Campo). December, 15TH and 16th 2012. SIENA. 

On December, 15th and 16th  in Siena and more precisely in the heart of the city, in the beautiful Piazza del Campo, an extraordinary event will come back: “the market in the Campo Square,” a real modern market that, both in terms of products or the arrangement of the sales counters (which will be a copy of those of the past), will propose an image of what the city market at the time of the Republic of Siena was. Two whole days to admire and taste the tradition of Siena with the quality of today.

 

 

In the thirteenth century, the “big market”, which took place once a week in the square, was the main source of supply but also a place of social relations and important area of trade. The small farmers from the countryside and craftsmen were so numerous that at some point it became necessary to reorganize the market to make it less chaotic adopting a specific placement that will be reproduced during the event, in fact there will be a food area (once the queen of the market was the “treccola” , she who sold fruits and vegetables, legumes as well as milk and cheese, poultry and game) and another area dedicated to crafts (among the most known craftsmen were tanners, baskets makers, cobblers, sellers of barrels). In today’s market it will be possible to find other excellence of the territory as producers of wine, saffron, bakers, goldsmiths, bookbinders and many others. Some craftsmen will perform live their creations and, as once part of the square was reserved for entertainment, games and activities will be organized to involve also the children.
On the occasion of the event it will be possible take guided tours at a cost of € 5.00 (free for children up to 11 years) to discover places of taste which ,over time, have distinguished Siena. Departure for the visits is scheduled at 11a.m. and 4p.m. from the information desk.

 

Some restaurants in the city will take part in the event offering typical food:

 

- ALL’ORTO DE PECCI (“pici” with garlic) pici, gnocchi and pappardelle are typical kind of pasta  

- CASATO ENORISTORANTE ( “polenta” with wild boar) polenta  is cornmeal mush

- FONTE GAIA ( red gnocchi with potatoes and beetroot served with black cabbage and sausage)

- FORI PORTA (sausages and beans with” polenta” and mushrooms)

- GROTTA DEL GALLO NERO (“pici “with wild boar and wild boar stew)

- BAGOGA (pork stew)

- IL RIALTO (braised beef cooked with chianti wine with mashed potatoes)

- IL BANDIERINO (“pici” with cheese and pepper)

- LA BIRRERIA (pasta with “cinta senese” pig sauce)

- LA BUCA DI SAN PIETRO ( “pici” with black cabbage, crumbs and pecorino cheese)

- LA CHIACCHIERA ( stew with potatoes)

- LA FINESTRA ( wild boar with grape and apples)

- LA MOSSA (“senese” tripe)

- LA SPERANZA (wild boar)

- MILLEVINI (braised beef with “polenta” pie)

- MUGOLONE (chicken with “sangiovese” grapes or wild boar in “ dolce forte” sauce)

- OSTERIA BABAZUF ( vegetable soup with meat balls)

- TRATTORIA DELL’OSTE MEZZO AL GIUGGIOLO ( “pappardelle” with wild boar sauce).

 

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ALLEGORY AND EFFECTS OF THE GOOD AND THE BAD GOVERNMENT. PALAZZO PUBBLICO. SIENA.

400px Lorenzetti ambrogio bad govern. det ALLEGORY AND EFFECTS OF THE GOOD AND THE BAD GOVERNMENT. PALAZZO PUBBLICO. SIENA.buongoverno ALLEGORY AND EFFECTS OF THE GOOD AND THE BAD GOVERNMENT. PALAZZO PUBBLICO. SIENA.

Who knows what would the great Ambrogio Lorenzetti have thought if he had miraculously come back to visit us nowadays, even if just for  one day? Surely he would have seen  that we had tried hard not to realize the idea of just and peaceful  society represented  in his fresco cycle “ Allegory and Effects of Good and Bad Government”.

To see this wonderful  Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s work, dated  1337/1340, you have to come to Siena and visit Palazzo Pubblico in the beautiful  Piazza del Campo (Campo Square). The cycle of frescoes, that had to inspire the city rulers, is located in a rectangular hall known as the” Peace” or the” Council of Nine “ Room; in fact, the work was ordered by the Government of Siena that was , at that time, ruled by 9 residents who remained in office just for a short period to leave the place with nine other people.Observing the Allegory Of Good Government and the benefits that this brings to the city life and the  surrounding countryside, it’s inferred that the common good should inspire all the governors’ actions and that where order and justice are there are peace, employment, welfare, too. The Allegory of Good Government  is on the bottom of the room. On the left of the painting , there is “Justice”,  holding in balance the scales supported by “ Divine Wisdom” which is holding a book. On the scales there are two angels: one, on the left, represents “ Distributive Justice” who gives goods and penalties and the second one, on the right, represents “ Commutative Justice” that governs trade. From balance two strings hang down ,they ‘re-collected by ”Harmony” (Concordia) who has in her lap a plane (symbol of  equality of all citizens). The same strings are taken up by the 24 governors (the old government before the Nine) that deliver the rope to the “City of Siena” represented by an old man dressed in black and white (colors the represent the town of  Siena). The City is protected and inspired by three  winged theological ” Virtues”: Faith”, “Hope” and “Charity” . On the sides of the Old Man the ”Four Cardinal Virtues”: “Justice” (with the sword, the crown and a severed head), “Temperance” (with the hourglass, a symbol of wise use of time), “Prudence” ( represented with a mirror to interpret the past, read the present and tell the future),and “Force”( with the mace and shield). In addition there are two unconventional Virtues : “Peace” (comfortably lying on a pile of weapons and with an olive branch in her hand) and  “Magnanimity” (dispensing crowns and diamonds). The effects of good government can be seen in the city populated by hard-working people, builders, students, artisans, dancers and even a young girl (on horseback ) getting ready for her marriage. In a just society the countryside is essential to the  city and here you can see the beneficial effects , in fact the country , over which the personification of “ Security” flies free, is rich and full of life: farmers who sow and hoe, young hunters among vineyards and olive trees ( and……if you are keen observers……you will see a nice Cinta Senese Pig).

On the left side wall of the room is the Allegory of Bad Government  where sitting on the throne you see the personification of  “Tyranny” , a demonic monster above which three winged “Vices” fly, namely “Greed” (with a long hook to spear riches), “Pride” (with a sword and a yoke) and “Vainglory”(with a mirror to admire her beauty and a dry branch,  symbol  of volubility). At the sides of “Tyranny “there are “Cruelty” ( intent to show a snake to a baby),” Betrayal ” (with a little lamb having a scorpion’s tale), “Fraud” (with wings and clawed feet) ,“Fury”(with boar’s head, human trunk and horse’s body, symbol of beastly wrath), “Division” (with a sow) and the ”War” ( with sword, shield and black robe). Under “Tyranny” , “Justice” lies chained and despised. Obviously the effect of Bad Government are devastating the city and the country where citizens destroy rather than build, places where murders and  injustice reign and all activities are miserable. The countryside is on fire and the armies are marching towards the walls. Grimm “ Terror ” flies in the sky.

This paintings , so far away from us in time but so contemporary in contents, have an incomparable charm…not to be missed!

 

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Pinacoteca Nazionale di Siena (National Art Gallery of Siena)

 Pinacoteca Nazionale di Siena (National Art Gallery of Siena)sodoma(1) Pinacoteca Nazionale di Siena (National Art Gallery of Siena) Pinacoteca Nazionale di Siena (National Art Gallery of Siena)

The Museum was inaugurated inside Buonsignori Brigidi Palace  in 1932 with the  scientific sort of  Cesare Brandi, who published the catalog in 1933.  The original nucleus of the gallery came to the passionate work of two sienese abbots,  Giuseppe Ciaccheri and Luigi de Angelis.They were able to collect  the most significant paintings of the Sienese painters between 1750 and 1810. The National Art Gallery of Siena is one of the most important Italian museums especially for its collection of paintings of  senese fourteenth and fifteenth centuries  The great art of Siena from Duccio to Lorenzetti, Simone Martini to Sassetta, from Francesco di Giorgio to Matteo di Giovanni toward Sodoma and Beccafumi,  find among this museums walls a  chronological development nearly complete, from the thirteenth to the seventeenth century.

The museum begins on the second floor where the paintings are exhibited by the beginnings of Sienese painting until the second half of the fifteenth century: Duccio, Simone Martini, Pietro and Ambrogio Lorenzetti (fourteenth century), Sano di Pietro, Giovanni di Paolo, Sassetta, Matteo Giovanni and Francesco di Giorgio (fifteenth century),  only to name the most famous. The first floor houses the works of the sixteenth century, Sodoma and Beccafumi, the most important exponents of Sienese Mannerism . A recent development shows the collection of works by Sienese artists active between the end of the 500 and the following century (Francesco Vanni, Alessandro Casolari, Rutilio Manetti, Bernardino Mei).

Where: via San Pietro,29 SIENA

Opening times: Monday, Sunday and holidays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m./ from Tuesday to Saturday from 8.15 a.m. to 7.15 p.m.

For information and reservation contact: +39 0577 286143

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Marilyn Monroe in Florence

 Marilyn Monroe in Florence

An exhibition dedicated to the most celebrated and beloved star of Holliwood: Marilyn Monroe who was not only an actress but an unforgettable icon of style. The exhibition wants to suggest it again thanks to shoes and costumes of her most well-known movies, to photos and works of art which portray her.

The exhibition will take place in Florence, very close to Siena, till January 28th, 2013 at the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum and it was this important fashion designer, Ferragamo, who created for her, through the diva’s most famous period, the 14 pairs of shoes displayed at the exhibition.

Openings times: from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (closed on Tuesday)

Tickets: € 6,00

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Halloween at Meleto Castle

meleto3 Halloween at Meleto Castle225px Jack o Lantern 2003 10 31 Halloween at Meleto Castle

Come and experience the unsetting atmosphere in a real castle to attend a dinner on the main floor of the Castle of Meleto only by candlelight and to follow … a SURPRISE for all ages visitors.

For more information http://www.castellomeleto.it

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NINTH NATIONAL DAY OF URBAN TREKKING – SATURDAY, OCTOBER 27TH, 2012 – SIENA

 NINTH NATIONAL DAY OF URBAN TREKKING – SATURDAY, OCTOBER 27TH, 2012 – SIENA

On Saturday, October 27th, the ninth day of the national urban trekking will be held in Siena, a guided tour to learn about and discover this beautiful town.
This year the theme is ” common stories of uncommon people” a path dedicated to uncommon characters but often not enough known that have gone through the history of Siena at different times, the protagonists of stories of faith, passion and talent.

Walking time: 2 hours and a half
Length: about 3 km
Starting point: Piazza del Campo (Siena)
Departure time of the guided tours: at 5.00 p.m. –  5.15 p.m.  -  5.30 p.m. – 5.45 p.m.-  6.00p. m. – 6.15 p.m. – 6.30 p.m.

For further information:  Tourist and Economic Development Office  tel +39 0577 292128/78    Or visit www.trekkingurbano.info

 
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“EXPLORING THE MONTAGNOLA SENESE”

 “EXPLORING THE MONTAGNOLA SENESE”

On Sunday, October 14th: Walk Tour through churches and castles with medieval entertainment and a falconry show.

On the occasion of  the ” 1st National Walking Day”, Monteriggioni, a very nice medieval village near Siena, will organize a walking tour that will lead you to some of the most important places of Monteriggioni’s territory like the Chiocciola Castle and the Colle Ciupi’s Church.

Along the way characters in medieval cloths will entertain you; the event will go on with a falconry demonstration.

Length of the itinerary: about 6.5 km

Duration: about 2 hours and a half

Price 5 € per person

Reservation is required within October, 12th

Itinerary suitable for children over 8 years old.

For Info and Reservation : www.monteriggioniturismo.it

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“VOLTERRAGUSTO” 2012, XV EXHIBITION OF WHITE TRUFFLE. OCTOBER 20TH /21ST – 27TH /28TH – 31ST AND NOVEMBER 1ST. VOLTERRA (PI).

 “VOLTERRAGUSTO” 2012, XV EXHIBITION OF WHITE TRUFFLE. OCTOBER 20TH /21ST – 27TH /28TH – 31ST AND NOVEMBER 1ST. VOLTERRA (PI).

Volterra, a few kilometers from Siena, will host “Volterragusto”, an event that celebrates food and wine, especially local white truffles and other local products such as wine, cheese, olive oil, and chocolate.

Ancient courts and historic buildings will be open to visitors for the occasion and will be the natural setting for the numerous initiatives and tasting events.
The appointment will be on  October : Saturday 20th ; Sunday  21st ; Saturday 27th ; Sunday  28th ; Wednesday 31st  and on November Thursday, 1st.
Among the many initiatives to report definitely “The Cheese race” (Sunday, October 21st  at 3 p.m.), a race in which the districts of Volterra will compete by rolling along the city route their cheeses.
Tastings, meetings, historical parades and many other occasions not to be missed!
For the detailed program please visit www.volterragusto.co

 
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