The Amazing Duomo of Siena!
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.
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.
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.
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).
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 to September . 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.
ALL INCLUSIVE “OPA SI” PASS
(Gate of Heaven tour not included)
The “Opa Si” Pass lets you into the Cathedral, one of the finest cathedrals in the whole of Christendom and a treasure chest containing art treasures by such masters as Nicola Pisano, Michelangelo, Donatello and Bernini. You will also be able to admire the Piccolomini Library frescoed by Pinturicchio and the cathedral’s outstanding marble-inlay floor.
The “Opa Si” Pass also allows you to visit the Baptistry of San Giovanni to admire the splendid Baptismal Font, one of the greatest monuments of Renaissance sculpture, and to explore the Crypt where you can admire a grandiose cycle of frescoes dating as far back as the 13th
You also enjoy free access to the Museo dell’Opera to admire some of the “must-see” treasures of Italian art, including Duccio di Buoninsegna’s Maestà, and wind up your visit by clambering up onto the panoramic terrace atop the Unfinished Façade of the New Cathedral, where you can enjoy the most mesmerising and unforgettable view of the city and the Tuscan countryside.
The “Opa Si” Pass is valid for three days from the date of purchase.
The Gate of Heaven gives you access to the roof of the Cathedral in groups of maximum 18 people accompanied by security staff.
If you are planning to visit Siena, Borgo Grondaie is the ideal location because it is only 2 km away from Siena City Centre. Visit our website to see the best offers ever!
Publiched by Borgo Grondaie