Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Postcard from Siena

View of the Piazza del Campo from top of the Duomo's facade

After Perugia we went on to Siena and stayed for a couple of days.    Siena is famous for the Campo - a large medieval square which is the scene of a horse race every two years ... it's a very large Piazza!!

Palazzo Pubblico, Piazza del Campo

It's a bit difficult to get a photo of the main building on the Campo ... but I just managed to get back far enough for my wide-angle lens to get it all in.  The building above houses the civic museum which was well worth a visit - lots of great frescoes!

 There are lots and lots of steps in Siena ... it's steep!

Romulus & Remus statue in front of the Duomo

Duomo - front facade miraculously without hordes of tourists spoiling the shot!

Side view of the Duomo from the top of Duomo's facade

In the middle ages there were plans to extend the Duomo and work was started on the walls for the larger structure.  The plague put a stop to the work, but you can climb up some of the remaining walls and look down on the city and get a good view of the Duomo (yep - more steps!).

Piccolomini Library Ceiling

Most of the Duomo's interior left me cold ... completely over the top (decorated walls, paintings, statues, elaborately tiled floors - all too much when put together) and overcrowded with tourists.  However the Piccolomini Library was stunning - there were illuminated manuscripts on display and some stunning frescoes.

Piccolomini Library

We saw an amazing number of frescoes on this trip and we were rarely allowed to photograph them.  In the Duomo the policy seemed to be that you could photograph anything as long as you didn't use flash or a tripod ... guess they're betting on most people not having the technology to take decent handheld photos in low light, but our cameras seemed to do OK.

Baptistry ceiling

After Siena we only had a few days left in Italy.  We headed north ... next stop a very brief trip to Pisa!


  1. Where are the hand rails on those steps... LOL!!! They look incredibly steep. The frescoes in the library look amazing!!! I'd like to see them first hand.

  2. I can just imagine the noise those horses hooves would make on the cobbles of the piazza! Those stairs must be a nightmare for anyone with sore knees or hips..not a railing in sight and very steep. Just a editing your pictures with less 'shadow' the frescoes would probably come up a lot brighter and clearer...maybe you already did..whoops..if so I apologise 'cos it's probably the best they'll be. They are very detailed aren't they.

  3. Lovely photos! I got a little dizzy with those steps...but the color of them has me wishing I had yarn dyed to match...beautiful!

  4. Wow! Amazing photos! Thank you for sharing such a wonderful pictures of such a wonderful place! :)

  5. You get to go to the best places! I love the sound of all of the colour madness inside of the Duomo...but not the crowds.