Tuesday, 1 November 2011


Palazzo Pubblico - the graceful Gothic town hall was completed in 1342. At 102m, the bell tower, Torre del Mangia is the second highest medieval tower ever built in Italy.
Looking into Piazza del Campo where the Palio is held twice a year
The church of San Domenico 1226 - holds the preserved head of the city's patroness, St. Catherine of Siena.
Looking at the rear of the front façade of the Duomo where a supporting structure can be seen.
This view shows the unfinished nave. The most distant arch leads down to the Baptistry.  If the 14th C plans to complete the Duomo had come to fruition, the building would have become the largest church in Christendom.  The plans were abandoned when the plague of 1348 virtually halved the city's population.
The wonderful front façade of pink, dark green, and white marble. Golden Venetian mosaics, and statues done by Giovanni Pisano and his students.
Lets go inside...............
............and see the striking striped black and white marble pillars.
The pulpit by Nicola Pisano
Inlaid marble pavement took over 6 centuries to complete - this part shows the Massacre of the Innocents.
Piccolomini Library with frescoe done by Pinturicchio.
The oldest surviving bank in the world - Monte dei Paschi di Siena. Founded in 1472 by the Magistrate of the city state of Siena as a mount of piety, it has been operating ever since. (Mount of piety was a public pawnbroking establishment which originated in Italy, the object of which was to lend money at a low rate of interest to poor people in need).
a quick backward glance
as we leave beautiful Siena through Porta San Marco, and

return to our mountain retreat.
Further post here on Tuscany.


  1. Just breathtaking. I am left speechless: Phil and I have just gasped at each picture anew as I scrolled. Thank you Rosemary. Just beautiful.

  2. Kate - I am so pleased that you and Phil enjoyed the photos. H bought me a new camera from the inflight magazine on the way over to Italy, but with subjects, and sunshine like this, you cannot really go wrong.

  3. Hi, Rosemary - I spent a day walking through Sienna several years ago, and I loved it. On the outskirts of the city I passed a deep ravine that looked as though it had been a quarry, even though it was only of red clay. And then it struck me — this is where all those red bricks came from!!

  4. Hello Mark - I am sure you are correct. I know that the marble was locally quarried, but alas it is all depleted. The last time we visited was 25 years ago, and we were surprised at the number of tourists now, in comparison.

  5. Hello Rosemary:
    Your love of Italy and of all things Italian shines through in this post where beautiful and thoughtfully chosen images, and descriptive words, bring it all home to us. Thank you so much for sharing this holiday.

  6. Dear Jane & Lance - of course you are right, I do have a penchant for Italy, but I am happy that you enjoyed sharing it with me.

  7. I have not yet visited Siena. But I would like. Beautiful architecture, beautiful lanscapes. Beautiful pictures, thank you for sharing!

  8. Rosemary, how can i thank you for your kind comment...
    i always enjoy your posts and i am really happy to have found eachother : )

  9. Dear Demie - I am so relieved to hear from you. You have been in my thoughts constantly for the past few days - my very best wishes to you.

  10. Dear Marius - glad you enjoyed the photos of Siena and the nearby Appenine mountains.

  11. Rosemary I’m actually going to bookmark this page, an incredible post and a true visual feast! Thanks for including the backstreet shot and fallen leaves by the roadside, delightful extras!

  12. Dear Bertie - I am delighted that you enjoyed the images of Siena. Its all down to my new camera, a wonderful city and lots of sunshine.

  13. Dear Rosemary, thank you for the lovely images. They brought back happy memories of when one of my daughters was a student at Siena University. I stayed in the nunnery when visiting her and the bed was narrow and hard, extremely uncomfortable, but the cause of much laughter from us both during the day!

  14. Dear Rosemary - what a wonderful place for your daughter to spend time studying. I bet you had much better beds on your cruise!!!


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