Piazza del Campo in Siena, home of the Palio
and one of the great public spaces of the world.
Those of you who follow The Changing Palette
will know that there was a gap in the posting of our Italian travels due to poor internet connection but now back at home I’ll catch up over the next few days beginning with Day Five in my favourite Italian City, Siena, a city that I have featured
a number of times before.
We began the day by climbing the over four hundred steps of the Torre del Mangia of the Palazzo Publico to enjoy, somewhat out of breath, the spectacular 360 degree view of the city.
Then it was time to explore the rooms of the Palazzo Publico
with its magnificent frescoes by so many great Renaissance Sienese artists.
Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Allegory of the Good Government.
A naval battle scene by Spinello Aretino
After gelato in the Campo, an experience not to be missed, it was on to the Duomo…
…and a visit to the Libreria Piccolomini and its breathtaking frescos by Pinturicchio.
From the Duomo we crossed the plaza to the 13th century hospital Santa Maria della Scala to see the moving frescoes in Pilgrims Hall by Domenico di Bartolo. Visit the Web Gallery of Art
to see all of these remarkable frescoes and read the history of the hospital in this excellent paper by J H Baron published in the British Medical Journal
Finally one of the highlights of the day seen in the Cathedral’s Museum, the magnificent Maesta by Duccio de Buoninsegna.
The painting was installed in the cathedral on 9 June 1311 and one person who witnessed the event wrote:
And on that day when it was brought into the cathedral, all workshops remained closed, and the bishop commanded a great host of devoted priests and monks to file past in solemn procession. This was accompanied by all the high officers of the Commune and by all the people; all honorable citizens of Siena surrounded said panel with candles held in their hands, and women and children followed humbly behind. They accompanied the panel amidst the glorious pealing of bells after a solemn procession on the Piazza del Campo into the very cathedral…
I have to admit I ❤️ Siena
P.S. Where’s Waldo is somewhere in the post – can you find him?