Thematic itineraries in Siena

Nestled on the gentle and famous Tuscan hills, Siena preserves a considerable historical and artistic heritage.

A stroll across Siena: thematic itineraries

Siena is a city of many facets and therefore various thematic itineraries can be organized in Siena to meet the different interests of visitors. Here I propose an itinerary dedicated to the theme of power that allows us to visit the two symbolic places of the city: the Palazzo Pubblico and the Duomo. There are many thematic itineraries that we can think about in Siena, you will find some examples at the end and for still others, you can contact me directly.

In Siena, a thematic itinerary dedicated to power must begin in Piazza del Campo, the center of civic and political life in the city since the end of the thirteenth century when the Sienese Republic decided to give itself a "home" and began the construction of the Palace and the amazing Tower Mangia.

thematic itineraries siena

Mangia Tower

Why is it called "Torre del Mangia"? Obviously, you will know if you follow one of my thematic itineraries in Siena! The public palace is, therefore, the town hall building and conserved its function even after Florence conquered the Sienese Republic in the mid-sixteenth century. The Florentines, in fact, wanted to give the impression to the Sienese people that they were not conquering tyrants and left the palace its function.

thematic itineraries siena

Town Hall

The Palazzo Pubblico preserves one of the most important fresco cycles of Italian art of the fourteenth century: the halls of the palace were frescoed by Simone Martini and Ambrogio Lorenzetti. Simone Martini painted the Maestà, in which the Madonna is invoked as the protector of the city and its rulers. Ambrogio Lorenzetti represented the Allegory of the Good and Bad Government: it is a picture so realistic and with an immediate understanding that it should also be taken as a warning by current rulers.

thematic itineraries siena

Biccherne Museum

Visiting the Palazzo Pubblico in Siena you can make various thematic itineraries since the subjects told on the walls of the various rooms are both civic and religious. Adjacent to Palazzo Pubblico, the Biccherne Museum is a unique place in the world. Biccherne are finely decorated accounting books that tell us the story of Siena. The visit to this small but very interesting museum is included in my thematic itineraries dedicated to power in Siena.

Political and religious powers

We abandon the issue of political power to dedicate ourselves to the religious power that materializes itself in Siena in the complex of the Duomo and the Hospital of Santa Maria della Scala.

The Cathedral of Siena is dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin, the consecration dates back to 1179 but the construction has gone on for at least two more centuries with various afterthoughts. Various thematic itineraries can also be thought of inside the Cathedral of Siena thanks to the richness and variety of the Artworks conserved therein. Only the floor would deserve an itinerary in itself: the floor of the Cathedral of Siena, in fact, includes 52 different pagan and biblical themed scenes created with a mixed technique between mosaic and marble inlay.

thematic itineraries siena

Santa Maria della Scala old hospital

The complex of the Spedale del Santa Maria della Scala can be included in various thematic itineraries in Siena because it comprehends several museums: it is one of the first xenodochy of Europe, founded by the legendary Sorore at the turn of the year 1000 to give hospitality to the pilgrims of the Francigena route.

Hospital and orphanage

It was soon transformed into an actual hospital and an institution for children abandoned. Then it became an economic power thanks to the endless possessions of agricultural land in the surrounding area.


Inside you can admire frescoes from the Sienese fifteenth century, sculptures by Jacopo della Quercia, paintings from the nineteenth century, oratories, precious reliquaries from Constantinople. Finally, among the tunnels dug under the Spedale you can visit the Archaeological Museum which preserves Etruscan and Roman artefacts.

Examples of other thematic itineraries

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