The Duomo of Siena never stop to surprise! The Duomo of Siena represents one of the most important examples of Italian Romanesque-Gothic cathedral. According to tradition, the current one replaces the first church dedicated to Mary, built around the ninth century on the site where there was a temple dedicated to the goddess Minerva. We know that the building was consecrated in 1179 in the presence of Pope Alexander III Bandinelli of Siena.

Siena Cathedral

One of the major attractions that you can see inside the Duomo are the beautiful floors. Just this year, on the occasion of Expo Milan 2015, the Opera della Metropolitana of Siena presents the floors totally uncovered from 1st to 31 of July. It is an extraordinary opening, without precedent, in addition to the usual opening on 18th August, after the Palio of the Assumption, until 27 October.

Cathedral floors

Generally the precious marble floor is protected from trampling of tourists and faithful, but every year it is “discovered” in order to be admired by visitors that come to Siena. This is the floor “the most beautiful, big and magnificent” that had never been done, according to the famous definition of Vasari.

Cathedral floors

It is the result of a complex iconographic program made through the centuries, from the fourteenth to the nineteenth century. The technique used is that of the graffiti and made with marble from the local area such as brocade yellow, gray marble and the green one coming from Montagnola Crevole. The visit of the floor can be carried out with the audiovideoguide, media tablets that allow listening to the text-guide. In addition to the floor you can also visit the Opera Museum where you can find the Hall of Statues and lots of mosaics containing the symbols of the allied cities of Siena. In the Hall of Sketch realized on carton, (the entrance is near to the the entrance to “Maestà” by Duccio Buoninsegna), you can see the famous map of the floor of the cathedral drawn by Giovanni Paciarelli in 1884. From here you can also access to the Crypt, under the floor and Baptistry.

At the same time, for those who want to see the floor from above with a guided tour, you can book the itinerary Opa Pass Plus. In this way you can have the chance to access the museum and visit the famous and so-called “Gate of sky ” (Porta del Cielo).

“The gate of Sky”

After long renovations, starting from 1st March of the last year and until 31 October 2015, it is possible to admire the “heaven” of the Duomo, a series of rooms never open to the public. The magnificent facade of the cathedral is flanked by two massive towers that lead to the “heaven” of the Duomo. It is possible to walk on the sacred temple and enjoy the spectacular panoramic views in and out of the cathedral. Looking out the left aisle you can admire spectacular views of San Domenico Church, the Fortress, the whole dome of San Giovanni Battista chapel and the surrounding landscape up to the Montagnola Senese.

In addition to this there is also a new initiative, the so-called “Divine Beauty: Discovering Siena”. It will take place in Piazza Jacopo della Quercia in Siena from July 24th to September 30th 2015. For this occasion the Municipality of Siena and the Opera Metro Siena, in collaboration with Filmmaster Events and Opera Group Civita, have decided to organize this initiative in order to promote the Duomo of Siena complex. You will be able to watch a video mapping which will tell the story of the city and of the Duomo of Siena. It is a visual experience in five acts that will tell the history of a unique place in the world. It is a worldwide trend: to bring to life the historical monuments and talk about their identities. A mix of visual poetry and narrative thought for a Italian and foreign public. The event will take place every day of the week, in multiple languages, from July to September, with two projections for the evening, after sunset.

“Divine Beauty: Discovering Siena”

Cathedral + Piccolomini’s Library inside the Cathedral € 4,00
from 11/01 to 12/24 and from 01/07 to 02/28 free entrance for Cathedral and € 2,00 for Library

Cathedral (Uncovering Floor Period) + Piccolomini’s Library inside the Cathedral € 7,00
Museum and Panorama € 7,00
Crypt € 6,00 (€ 8,00 in the case of extraordinary events)
Baptistery € 4,00

Opa Si Pass all inclusive (not including the tour Gate of Heaven)
€ 12,00 from 03/01 to 10/31,
€ 8.00 from 11/01 to 12/24 and from 01/07 to 02/28,
€ 10,00 from 12/26 to 01/06.

Gate of Heaven, visit to the roof of the Duomo, Cathedral and Piccolomini’s Library
(Segue gli stessi orari di apertura al pubblico della Cattedrale)

Gate of Heaven € 15,00

Opa si Pass + Gate of Heaven
€ 20,00 01/03 – 31/10,
€ 15,00 26/12 – 01/06

Booking € 1,00 for person


Museum for schools € 3,00 – € 6,00 groups of 15 pax
Baptistery for schools € 1,50 – € 2,50 groups of 15 pax
Crypt for schools € 3,00 – € 5,00 groups of 15 pax
Cathedral € 2,00 (parish groups with a letter of the pastor to show when booking)
Cathedral (Uncovering Floor Period) € 5,00 schools and groups of 15 pax; € 4,00 (parish groups with a letter of the pastor to show when booking)
Cathedral, Library, Museum, Panorama, Crypt, Baptistery
1 march – 2 november 10:30 – 19:00 / Cathedral Festive 13:30 – 18:00
3 november – 28 february 10:30 – 17:30 / Cathedral Festive 13:30 – 17:30
26 december – 6 january 10:30 – 18:00 / Cathedral Festive 13:30 – 17:30
Uncovering Floor Period Cathedral Festive 9:30 – 18.00
Cathedral Sunday opening only for the month of March: 13:30 – 17:30.

From 1 to 31 July, the Cathedral on holidays close at 19.00.

Last admission half an hour before the closing time of the Museum.


Publiched by Borgo Grondaie

Chianti Festival. Borgo Grondaie has decided today  to speak about an event that will be appreciated by music, dance and theater lovers. It’s Chianti Festival that will take place in Castelnuovo Berardenga, Gaiole in Chianti and Castellina in Chianti with 6 great events. The famous Chianti area needs no introduction. Official spokesman of its name is in fact the wine, one of the most famous in Italy and abroad. An unmissable event that is good for both, your eyes your ears!

Chianti Festival

On Monday July 6th there will be the show with the participation of Peppe Servillo as voice, Javier Girotto who plays sax and Natalio Mangalavite who palys the piano. It will be held in Gaiole in Chianti in Piazza Ricasoli. They are all  three unique and versatile artists coming from different cultures and styles; they will mix jazz and tango to create a unique spectacle.

On Wednesday, July 8th , it will be the turn instead of the dance show “Circhio Lume”, a project directed by Federica Tardito and Aldo Rendina and with Bach, Mozart, Satie and Madonna music.

On Friday, July 10th you can watch the “Naked Music” show with the duo Magoni-Spinetti in Castelnuovo Berardenga at the park of Villa Chigi Saracini.

On Monday, July 13th “Raiz & Fausto Mesolella” show is  recommended to rock, soul, blues and reggae music lovers. It will take place in Castellina in Chianti.

Finally, the last event will be held on Wednesday July 15th  in Gaiole in Chianti. You  will be able to hear “Orchestra of Tuscany, brass quintet and percussion ORT. They will play the most beautiful films soundtraks. You can listen to music by Morricone, Williams, Zimmer and others.

In Castelnuovo Berardenga you will find  theater animations for babies and youngs. The first event  will take place on Wednesday, July 1st  at 18:00 in Villa a Sesta and the second one on Tuesday, July 7th in Vagliagli. Free entrance.

For all the other performances tickets cost 10.00 Euros / 8.00 Euro reduced.  Discounts for children under 14 and for over 65.

For further information you can contact the Tourist Office of Castelnuovo Berardenga tel. 0577.351345 or the Tuscany Foundation Entertainment tel. 055. 219851

Taking advantage of the Chianti Festival you  can visit this beautiful area of ​​Tuscany characterized by a succession of vineyards, olive groves, fortified villages, castles and picturesque villages that dominate the landscape. If you have even one day available we recommend a specific route in order to enjoy this area of ​​Tuscany.


Florence is linked to Chianti by the SS222, also called Chiantigiana Road. Starting from Florence you arrive in Greve in Chianti, which can be considered to be the gateway of Chianti. The Etruscans inhabited this fertile land that gave birth to the navigator Giovanni da Verrazzano, celebrated with the big statue of him in Piazza Matteotti, also called the “Mercantale”.

Don’t miss Santa Croce Church, where you can find lots of artistic works by some artists like Andrea della Robbia. For wine lovers we recommended a visit the Wine Museum, which offers more than 100 different types of wine and where you can enjoy a fantastic tasting!

The next step is the village of Panzano in Chianti. It has been become famous in recent years for the Antica Macelleria Cecchini, where people cut the beefsteak singing the Divine Comedy.

Just outside the village you find the charming San Leolino Church of the 12th century. Then continuing along the Chiantigiana you get to Castellina in Chianti.  With its etruscan origin, it played an important role in the struggles between Siena and Florence. The big fortress and walls are symbols of its important past. Do not miss the walk in Via delle Volte which offers a breathtaking view and the Archaeological Museum of Chianti Senese. Right here in 1924t the Chianti Classico Consorzio has been founded and since 1984 the mark DOC and DOCG Guaranteed has been obtained.

Chianti wine

A tip: don’t leave Castellina without tasting the ” bread with grapes” that you can find from late September to October, a real delight!

Unlike Castellina, Radda in Chianti has a landscape more defined but no less fascinating. Ancient capital of the League of Chianti, Radda still manifests its importance. Taking the Chiantigiana you arrive after  in Gaiole in Chianti, a modern village where in the centre you can find San Bartolomeo Church. You can also visit the Romanesque church of Spaltenna and the San Lorenzo Abbey in Coltibuono. All around the landscape is rich in villages and castles like Brolio, Meleto and Castagnoli.

Brolio Castle

Obviously these are just some advices from Borgo Grondaie if you want to spend a beautiful day in Chianti. But along the way and with a good map, you will find lots of villages that you can visit or photograph!

Have a good visit!!!!


Pubblicato da Hotel Borgo Grondaie

Monteriggioni is crowned with towers: 25 years of medieval festival. Borgo Grondaie has decided to speak about a unique event that will take place in the beautiful medieval village of Monteriggioni from June 27 to July 12: the medieval festival, a true historical reenactment on its 25th edition.

Monteriggioni Medieval Festival

Located south of Chianti area, Monteriggioni is especially characterized of its charming village of thirteenth century, which represents the heart in which there will be held the famous medieval festival. From here you can easily reach Siena, San Gimignano, Volterra and others small villages of Chianti area through a lot of scenic roads. For nature lovers Borgo Grondaie suggests exploring this territory through the paths of the Montagnola Senese, a large green area classified as a Community Site Interest (SCI). It is an area to explore and enjoy on foot, bike or horse in order to discover secular oaks forests, vineyards and the charming Via Francigena.

Photo credit by

Monteriggioni Castle

And within Monteriggioni Castle, in occasion of the medieval festival, you can revive the magic of the Middle Ages through a show characterized by lots of characters, fire juggling, torches, warriors, artisans and poets that you will find along the streets of the town. Everything will be accompanied by re-enactments and music, as well as stories of life, of death, of love but also of spirituality, happiness and hatred in order to achieve a large popular representation that can revive the magic and life of that period .

Monteriggioni Medieval Festival

The main symbol of the festival will be of course the famous castle, founded around 1220 by the Republic of Siena with the aim of creating a defensive bulwark against rival Florence. For centuries the castle played exactly this function rejecting attacks and sieges. From the middle of the sixteenth century its military function fails when the whole state of Siena was annexed to the Florentine. In general Monteriggioni still maintain the majority of the structures of the XXIII century and it is considered a unique place among all the medieval towns in Tuscany.

There will be three dates for the festival. The opening event of June 27-28 will be held in the spaces of the “historical field” with the “Carousel of Monteriggioni“. The medieval festival “Sacred and Profane” will take place instead in the Castle (July 3 to 5 and 10 to 12 July). Among the most important shows there are the concert of Angelo Branduardi ( a famous Italian singer) on 10 July, the show of the Society of the White on 27 and 28 June and that of Thierry Jonglerie Nadalini and the Theatre of Ramino. Among the most interesting news of this edition there is the participation of a European country, France, and of an Italian region, Puglia, that will support the artistic direction of the festival.

This year the festival direction has decided to focus on the participation of families and children; in fact a space for them has been created. The aim is to teach and show them what are the roots and traditions of this land. The streets of the Castle will thus become the quarters of old crafts, blacksmiths, potters, carpenters, carvers, dyers, cooks, correggiai, apothecaries. Their function is to create objects directly on site according to the traditional methods.

Monteriggioni Medieval Festival

In particular, on June 27 and 28 you can watch the “Carousel”. It is a clash between two knights dressed with armors and armed with spears. The aim is to hit each other in certain parts of the body in order to obtain a certain score. Moreover the “Carousel” you can enjoy other activities including horse games or battles between soldiers and knights. These two days will finish then with the commemoration of the battle fought in 1269 between the troops in Monteriggioni between Siena and Florence with the help of the French. And finally you can see beautiful fireworks!

Monteriggioni Medieval Festival

Since July it will be possible to participate at the Festival at the Castle “Sacred and Profane”. The first weekend will be dedicated to the theme of the sacred with specific references to spirituality and music. In the streets of Monteriggioni you will find luthiers, painters of holy pictures, poets and singers.

Let you get involved by the magic of this unique festival! And you can live the emotion of being catapulted into a past rich in history and traditions!

For anyone interested in or for further information please contact the Tourist Office of Monteriggioni tel. +39 0577 304834/0577 573213.


Published by Borgo Grondaie.

Arthurian splendours at San Galgano. The British legend of King Arthur and his famous Sword in the Stone are known all over the world. But few people know that you can find the same grandeur of Matter in the British in the province of Siena, to be more precise in Chiusdino. Right here, surrounded by Valley of Merse river, there are the ancient Cistercian Abbey of San Galgano and the chapel, which houses the famous sword that Saint Galgan dug into the rock as a sign of abandonment of worldly life to devote himself to prayer and meditation.
The story of San Galgano is shrouded in mystery and it has been the subject of several rewrites. The most accepted story is that of a young man named Galgano Guidotti, born into an aristocratic family of Chiusdino. After a dissolute youth dedicated to luxury, Galgano converted himself after seeing the Archangel Michael in a dream that predicted his conversion. The hermit built a hermitage in Monte Siepi where he lived until his death at the age of thirty-three years. The chapel, which houses the tomb of San Galgano, is also called La Rotonda ( the Rotunda) because of its circular shape and the presence of a hemispherical dome in alternating bands of color. Inside visitors remain fascinated by the alternation of concentric circles of bricks and travertine and the precious frescos of Ambrogio Lorenzetti.



Chapel of Saint Galgano in Monte Siepi

Chapel of Saint Galgano in Monte Siepi



Here it is kept the famous sword embedded in a rock which forms a cross with the stump outside. Several historical reconstructions have found that the sword is from twelfth century. It was also found that the rock was not hollow inside to allow the easy insertion of the sword, but the blade seems to have perfectly past the stone.



Stone in the Stone of San Galgano

Sword in the Stone of San Galgano



Near the chapel there is the Cistercian Abbey of San Galgano, of Romanesque style with Latin cross. It was built around 1218 and after a period of splendor, was abandoned by the few monks who lived there because of the plague of the sixteenth century. He was later robbed and fell into disrepair. Today it is lacking of the floor and the roof, and it is located in a charming and mysterious area.


San Galgano Abbey

San Galgano Abbey

San Galgano Abbey

San Galgano Abbey




However the Abbey of San Galgano is a tourist and cultural destination as well as a place of leisure. Every year is held in the month of July, the Festival of San Galgano, a series of classical and light music. This year Festival 2015 will be held from July 3rd to 26th, and will provide for light music (New Trolls and Black Tunes Martina Salsedo with Ricky Portera. The two evenings will be preceded by performances of some bands, ethnic music (Celtic Night with music and dances), Opera (The Barber of Seville and Rigoletto and the Gran Gala ‘of opera), classical music (with the two concerts of the plan and the performance of Soai Youth Orchestra, Osaka) and, finally operetta (The Widow Allegra).


Locandina Festival  di San Galgano 2015



A meeting that opens the new summer season : Siena Ultramarathon 2014. For those not involved in running an Ultramarathon is a race that exceeds the mandatory distance of 42,195 km of a marathon. Siena Ultramarathon will develops its 50,200 km route through some of the most beautiful Tuscan landscapes, with positive altitude of 600 meters. 15.600 km will be of dirt road with  breathtaking views . The departure will be from San Gimignano and the arrival in the Piazza del Campo in Siena .
The route of 50 km is dedicated to those who are trained for marathons or trial . The path will unfold in part on the ancient Via Francigena and will include 10 drinks’ point. .
For non-marathon runners , it will be also organized two shorter paths: one  of 32 km. starting from Colle di Val d’Elsa and one of 18 km starting from Monteriggioni .
A bus from Piazza del Campo is also organized to lead you at any departure points.
The occasion will be to live a day of sport surrounded by beautiful nature as those of  Sienese countryside and the arrival in Piazza del Campo, UNESCO World Heritage Site , will be thrilling .
It will be a race to remember!

I want to dedicate this post to a friend of Borgo Grondaie who like me loves running and has a special love for Siena… Wayne … what do you think about a run overseas?

For more information please check

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For two days, Sarteano, a nice village near Siena (about an hour by car), will be transformed into a wonderful show of colors, art and fragrances. All this thanks to “Artinfiore”, the first festival of flowers and creativity.

Located in the historical center of Sarteano you’ll admire different art installations inspired by the “greenery” theme. It will be also possible to visit the trade show dedicated to flowers , uncommon plants and crafts related to gardening.
The event will also provide children’s workshops and classes for all ages to learn something new about the world of flowers.
You can find more information on :
Source: Siena News

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Hello everybody from Hotel Borgo Grondaie!

Springtime still doesn’t arrive …. so….let’s go looking for it !!!
Where and when? Just near Siena (about 1 hour by car), in Cetona, on April 24th and 25th, there will be an appointment with ” Cetona in Fiore”( in Bloom), a very nice trade show dedicated to plants, flowers and garden tools.
The show, now in its eighteenth edition, shall take the following opening hours: form 9 8 p.m

Do not miss the chance to take part of this colorful and scented event !

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From April 12th to 14th, the town of Lastra a Signa (about 1 hour drive from Siena) will host an event not to be missed. The monumental park of Villa Bellosguardo, whose owner was the great tenor Enrico Caruso, will host the 3rd trade show dedicated to rare and ancient plants and the 2nd show of Italian saffron.
Over the three days it will also be possible to visit the park, the museum and the exhibition dedicated to  master Caruso.
The event will end with a concert by the pianist Marlene Fuochi.

Opening hours:
-Friday 3 p.m./8 p.m.

– Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m./8 p.m.
Admission € 3.00 (except Fridays. Free Admission)

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sottotetto duomo

It took months of work but on  April the 6th the Cathedral of Siena opens its attics that were never opened to the public.
With an experienced guide you walk  spiral staircases almost hidden from visitors’ view and  in small groups you are taken over the vaulted stars of the right aisle. From there it begins a journey where view range from inside to outside the cathedral. You can visit Ulisse De Matteis windows with the representation of the Apostles and the gallery where you can admire the view on the main altar. From the left aisle  visitors can admire a breathtaking view of the Basilica of San Domenico, the Medici Fortress and the entire cupola of St. John the Baptist.
Much more is to discover if you decide to  participate in an event of historical and emotional impact like no other, organized by Opera – Civita Group
For information

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Hotel Siena Borgo Grondaie suggests an opportunity not to be missed!
In Florence, few miles from Siena, more precisely in Riccardi Palace, the exhibition “The Dali Universe” was recently inaugurated, thanks to which you can admire more than 100 works by the  most famous surrealist artist Salvador Dali.
The exhibition, dedicated to the Spanish master and open to the public until May 25th, is mainly focused on the theme of time and femininity, but thanks to this show some new artist’s features come to light as the man fond of literature who reinterprets contemporary   works in a surrealist way but also great classical masterpieces as the Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri or Boccaccio’s Decameron.
Another  part of the exhibition is dedicated to the exploration of  the three-dimensional work that materializes in bronze sculptures, objects in glass and surrealist furniture.
Openings hours: all day from 9am to 7pm
Source: 1) Firenze Turismo  – 2) Vogue
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