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Private Siena walking tour
Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun
San Domenico Church , more details at booking
Your Private Siena Walking Tour will begin with a visit to the Basilica of San Domenico, a 13th century Gothic church much frequented for its venerated relics of Saint Catherine, patron saint of Italy and Europe.
Your tour will continue to the Banca Monte dei Paschi, a magnificent palace-like bank that was founded in 1472; it is considered to be the oldest surviving bank in Europe and is in fact still active.
From here, your guide will walk you to the nearby Piazza del Campo, a shell-shaped square that is the undoubted center of Siena’s vibrant city life. As your guide will explain, this is where the famed and exhilarating Palio horse race takes place twice a year. Ten representatives from the seventeen districts of Siena will ride bareback around the Piazza at breakneck speeds for the chance to win the Palio.
Following a brief stop at the Palazzo Chigi-Saracini, which houses the Accademia Musicale Chigiana, you will arrive at the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption, also known as the Duomo di Siena. This marvelous medieval cathedral made of white marble is one of Siena’s most impressive architectural wonders, a mixture of Classical, French Gothic and Tuscan Romanesque styles.
From here you will be free to continue to explore on your own this wonderful city!
– Expert local guide at disposal
Siena historical city centre
– Piazza del Campo
– San Domenico Church
– Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption
– Confirmation will be received at time of booking
– Voucher and detailed operator information, including local emergency numbers will be received three weeks before the date of your tour.
– Adult pricing applies to all travelers.
– The dress code for men and women is strictly enforced in Churches. No shorts, bare shoulders or miniskirts.
San Domenico church
Duomo di Siena
Cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore
At the end of the 13th century, the city council decided to replace the old Cathedral Santa Reparata by a new one, the actual cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore. The project was first given to the architect Arnolfo di Cambio the construction had only started when he died in 1302. Then the architect Giotto pursued it along with several other architects after him.
A great problem appeared when it came to build a dome and it was finally the architect Filippo Brunelleschi who solved it and created a beautiful dome. The dome is octagonal and measures 112 meters and it took no less than 140 years to finish the cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore. As the dome is octagonal, Brunelleschi dedicated one team per side, so 8 different teams worked on this dome, they used approximately 4 millions of bricks. Bricks were put in “spina di pesce”, it means as a shape of fish bones, so not straight and it made the dome very strong. Brunelleschi thought his cupola for the dome very carefully. During the construction, no outside scaffoldings were used to build the dome but internal structures were built month after month while it was growing up. The construction was finished in 1436 but the lantern on the top of the cupola was only set in 1461.
Things to see
Giorgio Vasari was chosen to decorate the dome inside. He decide to paint the Last Judgement, however he died three years after he started the project. After his death, the work was given to Federigo Zuccaro. The Last Judgment was finished in 1579.
The dome can be climbed and visitors can appreciate a wonderful view over the Cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore and Florence roofs.
The façade which can be admired today is more recent and was realized during the 19th century.
More than a church, the cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore became a sign of the rich and prosperous city of Florence. Since the Renaissance, the dome and the cathedral were the symbol of the city of Florence.