Guided tour of Siena with the Duomo and the hystory of the Palio

Siena, the gothic dream

Siena is a city of pure poetry. In the sense that as soon as you cross the medieval walls it appears almost intact, fairytale-like in its ancient red brick buildings.

The steep slopes of the land multiply the foreshortenings and panoramas, all of which are formidable.

One day is enough for a guided tour of Siena to get to know the main monuments of Siena, its art and traditions!

Starting from San Domenico, the famous Gothic church dear to Saint Catherine of Siena who frequented it and who was born in the nearby Fontebranda district, a quick glance at the Medici Fortress and then walk along Via de’ Banchi di Sopra among the magnificent palaces of the families Sienese with high-sounding names: Tolomei, Piccolomini, Salimbeni. We reach the fifteenth-century Loggia della Mercanzia and then the extraordinary Piazza del Campo, for centuries the natural theater of civil, economic and social life in Siena. The Palazzo Pubblico, the Fonte Gaia, the Torre del Mangia on the square form the backdrop twice a year to the ancient Palio hirse race, with the horses ridden bareback by the jockeys of the districts, a unique event in the world about which we will give you extensive information .

The Cathedral of Siena and its magnificent marble floor

With a walk on via di Città we would have the opportunity to stop and talk about other noble Sienese residences such as Palazzo Chigi Saracini and Palazzo delle Papesse. The refinement of Siena can also be seen in the gastronomic traditions of Sienese cuisine and above all in the Sienese sweets of medieval origin, such as Panforte, Panpepato, Ricciarelli, Cavallucci made of once very expensive ingredients such as spices, black pepper, cinnamon, honey, almonds and exotic aromas.

Once in Piazza Duomo we will talk about the beautiful buildings that overlook the square, among which the Archbishop’s Palace and the Hospital of Santa Maria della Scala stand out and then make our entrance into the Duomo. The Cathedral of Siena is a marvel of Gothic architecture with a surprising facade full of sculptures and decorations in white, pink and green marbles including the monstrous gargoyles of French Gothic style. Visiting the interior of the Duomo we will focus on all the marvels of art preserved inside, among which the splendid inlaid marble floor with magnificent marble inlays stand out and the Piccolomini Library considered “the little Sistine chapel of Siena”

The Palio, the soul of Siena

We will visit one of the 17 Contradas of the Palio exclusively, being welcomed by in their headquarters, in their church and in the Contrada Museum for a full immersion on the Palio, in Piazza del Campo, one of the most beautiful squares in Italy which it overlooks the fourteenth-century Palazzo Pubblico, we will explain how the Palio takes place, its functioning and its very ancient tradition. We will talk about the jockeys, the departure to the ropes, the shaken horse, the rituals that mark life in the districts and the strong age-old rivalries. You will understand that Siena’s passion for its Palio cannot be described in words, it must be seen in the eyes of the contradaioli. Because the Palio is the soul of Siena.

Tour Details

Cosa vedrete in questo tour

  • San Domenico (visita interna)

  • Casa-Santuario di Santa Caterina da Siena (visita interna)

  • Piazza Salimbeni

  • Via dei Banchi di Sopra

  • Visita di una delle 17 Contrade del Palio di Siena accolti da un membro della contrada con la Chiesa e il Museo della Contrada (visita interna)

  • Piazza del Campo con il Palazzo Pubblico, la Torre del Mangia e Fonte Gaia

  • Via di Città con Palazzo Chigi-Saracini e Palazzo delle Papesse (esterno)

  • Piazza Duomo con Cattedrale, Palazzo Vescovile e Ospedale di Santa Maria della Scala

  • Duomo con il magnifico pavimento a tarsie marmoree, la statua di San Giovanni Battista di Donatello e la Libreria Piccolomini affrescata da Pinturicchio

Guida esperta e storica dell'arte

Tour di archeologia e arte