Saturday, October 28, 2017

OPA Siena style

There is quite a confusing array of ticket options to visit the duomo. We went for the OPA Si pass + Gates of Heaven, which includes the roof tour, cathedral, Piccolomini library, baptistery, crypt, museum and panoramic view. I was slightly miffed that the duomo and library and museum and panoramic view are not actually ticketed separately, so the joint ticket doesn't really include 7 separate sights, but that's just me being petty really.

The Piccolomini library is a small but fabulous annex to the cathedral, featuring an amazing ceiling and Pinturicchio frescoes of the life of Pope Pius II (born Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini).

There was a really clever use of the real architectural space, such as these corner frescoes joined by the decoration so they almost look like they're on one flat wall

The figure with the red pants is reputedly a young Raphael, with the fresco's painter Pinturicchio beside him. Raphael may also have worked on the frescoes 

Next up was the Baptistery, built in the early 14th century and decorated mostly by Vecchietta in the 15th C.

The ceiling frescoes show the Articles of Christian Faith

After lunch, we ticked off the museum and the "unfinished façade", which you can climb for a great view of the Duomo and Il Campo (and the rest of Siena). We had to queue a little while to go up, because they only let a small number of a time up (space is limited up there), but it's worthwhile for the views.

In front of the Torre del Mangia in the Piazza del Campo

Selfie with the Duomo behind us
It took me a while to work out that I was meant to be posing like the blurry group behind, not just showing off the ring
The Duomo from the Unfinished Façade


Original statues and stained glass from the Duomo
Lastly, we visited the Crypt under the cathedral, which is decorated with brightly-painted 13th century frescoes. The coolest thing about this was it was only discovered in 1999. It's not huge and my pictures didn't come out very well because of the light, but it's pretty neat to see something that lay secretly below the cathedral for so long until so recently. There was also a group of 7 old French people in there who spent the entire time we were down there arguing about how to split the 2€ cost of listening to an audio description of the crypt between 7 people. If I were in a sitcom, I would have just given them the 2€, but being normal people, we just rolled our eyes.

1 comment:

  1. Piccolomini? In Italian does that mean he played a small flute?


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