Gothic Cathedral in Siena

by Samuele Sodini

The Duomo in Siena lies in a piazza above the Piazza del Campo, a great Gothic building filled with treasures by Pisano, Donatello and Michelangelo as well as frescoes by Pinturicchio. The pavement is made up of 56 etched and inlaid marble panels designed by 40 of Siena’s leading artists between 1369 and 1547. Today, the mosaic panels in the nave and aisles are usually uncovered, but the most precious ones under the apse and in the transepts are protected by cardboard flooring and only uncovered in honor of the Palio (when admission to the cathedral is charged). The only floor panel usually visible in the Duomo’s center, in the left transept, is Matteo di Giovanni’s fantastic 1481 Massacre of the Innocents (a theme with which the painter was obsessed, leaving us disturbing paintings of it in the Palazzo Pubblico and Santa Maria dei Servi).

Opening hours for the Cathedral, including the Piccolomini Library

March 1 to May 31: Weekdays including Saturday: 10:30 am. – 7:30 p.m. Sundays and holidays: 1:30 – 5:30 p.m.
June 1 to August 31: Weekdays including Saturday: 10:30 am. – 8:00 p.m. Sundays and holidays: 1:30 – 6:00 p.m.
September 1 to November 1: Weekdays including Saturday: 10:30 am. – 7:30 p.m.; Sundays and holidays. 1:30 – 5:30 p.m.
November 2 to February 28: Weekdays and Saturdays: 10:30 am. – 6:30 p.m.; Sundays and holidays: 1:30 – 5:30 p.m

Keep in mind that there are special opening hours on holy days.

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