are we there yet?


Ascending the over four hundred steps of the Torre del Mangia of the Palazzo Publico in Siena.
Visit Italy Day Five to enjoy the spectacular view from the top of the tower.

Italy Day Five: Siena

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 in 1990.


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…

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I have to admit I ❤️ Siena

P.S. Where’s Waldo is somewhere in the post – can you find him?

WPC: Peek

The tower of the Duomo in Siena peeking through on Day Five of our Italian holiday. More of Siena and Day Five to come.

Studio 365: Day 148

Day 148

San Gimignano Study 28.5.15

Journal 15.VII

Journal  15.VII.99

Ah yes! I remember. Lost again on the way back to Siena, but we made it in time to do the laundry at the lavanderia in the Plaza del Campo before returning to the Ostello Guidoriccio and a late supper at the superb Ristoranti Fontebecci next door. I had a spectacular grilled whole fish and when we returned to the restaurant one year later on our second visit to Siena, the same waiter looked at me for a moment and then said, “Whole fish“. Amazing!

Day 148 ii

Studio 365: Day 143

Day 143 iii

Siena study I 23.5.15

Day 143 ii

Journal  13.VII.99

Memories of the warm stones of the Piazza del Campo that July evening, after a day spent seeing the glorious treasures of this historic medieval Italian city, come flooding back, and especially that “magnificent sandwich” of Parma ham, cheese and pesto from Antica Pizzicheria.

Siena Pink

Pink ib

I thought I would stay in Siena for Ailsa’s Weekly Travel Theme: Pink to compliment my last submission to this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections.

pink vi

The pink marble is seen adorning the beautiful Duomo di Siena…

pink ivb

Look up to the stunning frescoed ceiling to see the graceful folds of the pink robe.

pink v

Here in my journal written on July 13th 1999 I describe all the wonders we visited on that glorious day.

Campo vii

One of the great memories and pleasures of visiting Siena is sitting in the afternoon sunshine on the warm stone of the Piazza del Campo enjoying the view of the magnificent Palazzo Pubblico reflected here in my wife’s sunglasses.

To learn more about Siena visit Magdalena’s wonderful site Just Visit Siena.