Siena Pinacoteca Guided Tour
Madonna dei Francescani
Paintings by Lorenzetti and Simone Martini
Paintings by Francesco di Giorgio Martini
The Fall of rebel Angels
Drawings for the Cathedral marble floor
Paintings by Bernardino Mei
Durata del tour: 2/3 hours
Suitable for children: yes
Different ables accessibility: yes
Difference in level: 10 metres
Further information at the bottom of the page (or click here)
Visiting the Siena Pinacoteca, one of the largest gold background collections in the world
Visiting Siena is an important experience in getting to know a symbolic centre of the medieval civilization of Tuscany and Italy. However, the visit of the town would be very limited if it were limited to the points of major tourist attraction, such as the Duomo and Piazza del Campo. One way to enjoy the quintessence of the city is a tour in the National Pinacoteca. The gallery, which is located a few meters away from the Cathedral complex, boasts one of the largest collections in the world of paintings with gold background, with tables ranging from the first half of the thirteenth century to works dating back to the Baroque era.
The gallery is housed within two of the most elegant buildings in the city, in Gothic style, which belonged to two illustrious Sienese families. The visit to the Siena Pinacoteca therefore turns into a remarkable sensory experience to understand and appreciate the art and history of Siena. Our tour will start from the elegant courtyard of the museum, decorated with an elegant portico that houses works from different city contexts and beyond – mostly with a religious theme – also spokesperson of Renaissance art that is little known in the city of the Palio.
Adorarion of the Magi, by Bartolo di Fredi
The paintings by Duccio di Buoninsegna
By following a chronological path, the visit will start from the second floor, where we have the first evidence of Sienese painting, dating back to the thirteenth century; the first protagonists of the local art scene were personalities such as the “Maestro di Tressa”, Guido da Siena and Dietisalvi di Speme. The Pinacoteca guided tour continues in the rooms with the works of one of the great representatives of painting in the town: Duccio di Buoninsegna; the author of the Maestà in the Cathedral, present here with works such as the “Madonna dei Francescani” and some polyptychs, is the spokesperson for a very particular phenomenon in the history of the Sienese art that leads it to stand out from other realities: the presence of an ‘oriental’ matrix that moves from dynamics that we will discover together.
Simone Martini and the Lorenzetti brothers
After having seen the works of the “Patriarch” Duccio, with the Siena Pinacoteca guided tour will be the turn of the painters of the next generation, in the same degree of fame as the master, such as Simone Martini, Pietro and Ambrogio Lorenzetti. A substantial number of works of the two painter brothers are here preserved, some of which are great masterpieces that were once kept in churches and city offices, a manifestation of the great power reached by Siena in the first half of the fourteenth century. It will not seem real to find yourself in front of the great names and masterpieces of Sienese painting, still dazzling with gold as you will notice while you will be in front of these refined works.
When we see the paintings of artists working after the plague of 1348, you will see that, contrary to popular belief, these paintings are distinguished by amazing artistic skills. It will then be the turn of the first great masters of the fifteenth century, where, although some formulas will seem the stereotypical repetition of the great fourteenth masters’ works, you will instead see how behind these polyptychs are hidden details of the anecdotic that will surprise you. Of the great painters of this century, little known in the history of art, you will be able to see personalities of great quality, such as Stefano di Giovanni known as Sassetta, with some panels of the Wool Guild Polyptych, one of the most praised works at the time. In addition to seeing the polyptychs by Sano di Pietro, one of the most present artists in the city, you can see how unfairly the fifteenth century is not so appreciated while there are refined paintings by Francesco di Giorgio Martini and Neroccio di Bartolomeo de’ Landi.
Madonna dei Francescani, by Duccio di Buoninsegna
Last Supper, by Sassetta
The Madonnas with child, arranged in series in one of the rooms, are a repetition of fine lines and great delicacy. After seeing the second floor, we will go and discover the great masterpieces of the mature Renaissance, preserved on the first floor of the Pinacoteca. There are the works by an artist that will probably leave you dismayed at how different they are from what you have seen up to that moment, that is, those of Domenico Beccafumi, such as with the Triptych of the Trinity and the spectacular Fall of the rebel angels. By visiting these rooms you will realize how Sienese art dialogued with the novelties coming from other parts of Italy, in particular from Florence. Of the “Mecherino” we will see the works that are from the ecclesiastical commissions and from the Confraternities wanting to stay updated on the great artistic novelties of the moment.
The spectacular Fall of the rebel angels
One of the works that will surprise you most will certainly be Beccafumi’s Nativity of the Virgin, a work of extraordinary chiaroscuro marking a qualitatively very high point in the history of Sienese art. We will then follow with admiring the wonderful cartoons for the Siena Cathedral marble floor, where the “Mecherino” infuses, with great creative flair, an engaging evocative force, capable of recalling the impetus and severity of the deeds of the biblical patriarchs .
The other great artist that you will discover in the Siena Pinacoteca guided tour is Giovanni Antonio Bazzi, known as the “Sodoma“, of whom we will see together the Deposition from the cross, a large altarpiece from the church of San Francesco, where you can see how the artist – who stands as one of the apexes of Sienese painting together with Beccafumi – revolutionized the local tradition with the Raphaelesque novelties of the Roman shipyards.
We will end our Siena Pinacoteca guided tour with the painting of the seventeenth century, once totally artistically unknown in the case of Siena, but which is absolutely worthwhile, if only for an artist like Bernardino Mei of whom you will discover that he had a lot to do with in Rome with a painting genius such as Caravaggio. At the end of this experience you will understand what you would have missed if you had left Siena without having visited this casket of wonders.
Fall of rebel Angels, by Beccafumi
Drawings from Stories of Exodus, Beccafumi
Madonna dell’Umoltà, Giovanni di Paolo
Important information about the tour (click here)
The activity here proposed is a private and not a joinable tour; this means that it is a tour only carried out on request and can be customised for starting time, meeting place and duration, depending on the customer’s needs.
Duration of the Siena private guided tour
Tour duration can be 2 or 3 hours; in both cases it is also possible to visit the interior of the Cathedral of Siena. With a 3-hour tour besides the Cathedral and Piazza del Campo, the route winds through the medieval streets and the area of one of the Siena Contrade (the Contrada is the typical medieval district whose organisation is linked to the historic Palio race).
Radio rental compulsory from 6 people onwards
From 6 people onwards, to facilitate listening to the guide explanations and ensuring social distancing outdoors and indoors, it is strictly recommended to rent radio devices with transmitters that ensure perfect listening to the explanations of the guide even from a distance; if you then visit the inside of the monuments, the rental of radios is compulsory for 4 or more people. The service is booked by the guide when the guided tour is requested, but the rental cost, which is € 1.00 per person for 2 or 3 hours, is charged to the customer and can be paid directly to the guide who will then take care to pay the supplier.
Carers or teachers of school groups do not pay for the rental of the radio.
Opening Hours Pinacoteca of Siena:
|Monday||8:30am – 1:30pm|
|Tuesday||2:00pm – 7:00pm|
|Wednesday||2:00pm – 7:00pm|
|Thursday||2:00pm – 7:00pm|
|Friday||8:30am – 1:30pm|
|Saturday||8:30am – 1:30pm|
|Sunday and holidays||8:30am – 1:30pm|
Pinacoteca is closed the 2nd and the 4th Sunday of the months, January 1, December 25
Ticket prices Pinacoteca of Siena
18-25 years old
Minors of the European Community, handicapped person and their attendants , ICOM members, AIRE citizens
The price of the entrance ticket to the Art Gallery is not included in the tour rate.
The guide does not provide transportation service.
To get further information, to book the tour or to get the contact of a licensed driver providing private transfer service, please write to:
Cost and reservation of the tour (click here)
Cost of Siena Pinacoteca guided tour
The cost for a 2-hour private guided tour is € 120.00 (price in total and not per person), for 3 hours € 150.00 (always price in total and not per person).
For further information about the rates, also to check the deals available, please visit the dedicated section by clicking here.
How to book the tour?
Once the day and time of the tour have been agreed with the guide, to book it is necessary to advance 50% of the tour value with a deposit to be paid by credit card.
Attention: pay the deposit only after agreed the date and the details of the tour with the guide. The remaining payment of the guided tour takes place after the tour by card, in cash or by bank transfer.
It is the responsibility of the guide to guarantee the guide service in any case. If, even for personal reasons, the guide is unable to perform the service in the date set with the client, it will be his concern to contact a trusted colleague who can replace him and therefore guarantee the customer service.
The cancellation of the tour from the client can be done free of charge by giving timely notice to the guide before 48 hours from the date and time agreed for the service. In this case the deposit paid in advance by the customer will be returned by the guide. If instead cancellation is made by the customer when there are less than 48 hours before the date agreed for the service, the customer will lose the deposit paid.
How to reach Siena? (click here)
|Reachable via the A1 motorway (Siena-Bettolle exit if coming from Rome; Florence-Impruneta exit if coming from Milan; then continue towards Siena with the Bettolle-Siena or Florence-Siena junction. The tour starts in the Fortezza area. In this area there are free and paying car parks. The free car park spaces with white stripes are located along Viale Vittorio Veneto. Paying car parks, blue stripes, are located in Via Fruschelli (€ 1.50 hourly rate), or in the Stadio area (hourly rate € 2.00), the latter available in the days when no football matches are held. Other car parks close to the Pinacoteca are Il Campo close to Porta Tufi and il Duomo close to Porta San Marco.|
By public Bus
|To get to Siena by public bus there are connections from Florence with rapid extra-urban lines (line 131). See the timetables of the FLORENCE-SIENA LINE. Check the timetables of the SIENA-FLORENCE RETURN LINE. Bus tickets can be purchased on the Autolinee toscane website, at retailers such as tobacco shops and newsstands or at the automatic columns near the bus stops.|
Siena can be reached by train with the Trenitalia service, thanks to the regional lines. Once you arrive at the Siena railway station, you can reach the historic centre:
By urban bus
(Lines 520, 530, 706). For a real-time consultation, visit the Autolinee toscane website.
By Taxi service
Available with positions in front of the train station or contactable at the number +39057749222, sending a message at the number +393483892305 indicating:
Organised groups/squadrons by tourist coach
|For organised groups/squadrons by tourist coach, there are drop-off/drop-on points for passengers in the urban centre of Siena (click here to view the points). Tourist coaches are subject to the payment of a checkpoint (further information by clicking here).|
By camper van
|Camper owners find rest areas around the historic centre. The closest one is in the area called Fagiolone. This is an equipped area with video surveillance (daily rate € 20.00; for more info click here. Other parking areas are in Fontebecci and the Palasport Mensana area. Another equipped area is the Camping Siena Colleverde.|