Siena’s Duomo and its hidden treasures

By 22 Agosto 2012 Aprile 5th, 2021 Travel Guide to Siena, Traveling in Tuscany

The Treasures of the Duomo in Siena

Siena Duomo

September is approaching and we hope the hot temperatures of this long and ever sunny summer will finally decrease.

The famous Palio in Siena, amazing and spectacular horse race taking place right in Piazza del Campo, has just passed off this August 16th 2012, with the victory of the Montone contrada.

Now the city is less chaotic and the forthcoming months are then ideal for a visit to this beautiful and enchanting art town in the heart of Tuscany.

The mosaic pavement of the Duomo

From the 18th of August to the 24th of October the beautiful mosaic pavement of the Duomo or Cathedral of Siena will be exceptionally open to the public; it is so wonderful that Giorgio Vasari defined it as “il più bello.., grande e magnifico.. che mai fusse stato fatto”. That’s a great occasion and a further reason to head on to Siena and admire its hidden treasures, discovering what makes this enchanting place a great holiday destination!

The majestic 12th century Duomo of Siena is a must see, a great Gothic masterpiece, with its striking black and white marble exterior and rich decorative interior.

The intricate mosaics covering the floor, incredibly created over three centuries starting from 1349, form geometric patterns and represent different and mixed subjects, from biblical scenes to allegories.

We recommend you buy the Opa Si Pass, a single ticket that will allow you to visit all the complex of the Duomo, at a discounted rate.

The surprising Piccolomini Library

The Piccolomini Library in Siena

For just 13 euro, you can visit and admire a lot of masterpieces of art: the spectacular mosaic floor, the splendid Pulpit by Nicola Pisano, Donatello’s bronze statue of the Baptist in the Cappella of San Giovanni Battista, the surprising Piccolomini Library with marvellous frescoes by Pinturicchio, the Crypt and its wonderful frescoes, the Baptistery with the baptismal font realized by Lorenzo Ghiberti, Donatello, and Jacopo della Quercia, and the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, home to splendid sculptures and paintings as well as to Duccio’s Maestà, one of the greatest works of art ever made.

The Crypt

The Crypt within Siena's Duomo

The Museo dell’Opera del Duomo


With the same ticket you will also have the opportunity to climb atop the walls of the Duomo, up to the Duomo’s abandoned nave, the Facciatone, an astonishing panoramic terrace offering a breathtaking view all over Siena and its beautiful surrounding countryside; the perfect place to take unforgettable pictures!

Particularly amazing and definitely worth visiting, is the Piccolomini Library, not only for the beautiful ancient manuscripts here displayed, but also for the beautiful fresco cycle by the great Pinturicchio.

The library and the frescoes were commissioned by Francesco Piccolomini to preserve the manuscripts of his uncle Enea Silvio Piccolomini, or Pope Pius II, whose name is associated to the lovely Renaissance village of Pienza, in Val d’Orcia, where he was born in 1405.

Panoramic view of Siena from the Duomo’s unfinished wall

You can find all info with the possibility to book tickets online on the official website of the complex of the Duomo, the OPA.

 The Duomo of Siena on the Map

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