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Il Duomo di Siena

Updated: Dec 20, 2019

A medieval masterpiece, construction of the cathedral began in the early 13th century and continued well into the 14th century. It's one of our favorite cathedrals in Europe.

The 250 ft. bell tower is green and white marble and was completed in 1313.

I'm a succor for gargoyles.

The coronation of the Virgin.

Look closely at these photos which are a reflection of the cathedral and bell tower in the puddles. (Photo credit: @kcorradini)

The interior is also stunning. The black and white marble on the columns signifies the colors of Siena's coat of arms.

The floor consists of 56 inlaid mosaic panels that represent scenes from the Old Testament. Forty artists contributed to this masterpiece between the 14th and 16th centuries. The floor is covered most of the year to protect it. It is uncovered from August 18, just after the Palio, to late October. When we visited, they were just beginning to recover it so we were lucky to be able to see it.

The duomo was built on the highest piece of land in the city. This is taken from the bell tower at the Piazza del Campo. (See also our post on Siena.)

Top Tips
  • Plan your visit if you can between late summer to fall in order to see the beautiful mosaic tiles.

  • For a bird's eye view of both the cathedral and the countryside, go up to the Gate of Heaven, the upper floors.

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