Siena Civic Museum Tour

visita guidata palazzo pubblico siena
 
  • Cortile del Podestà

  • Sala dell’Ottocento

  • Consistory Room

  • Nine Lords Chapel

  • Simone Martini’s Maestà

  • Allegory of the Good Government

Tour duration: 1 hour
Difficulty: low
Suitable for children: yes
Accessibility for differently abled: yes
Difference in level: 20 metres

 

Further information at the bottom of the page (or click here)

The Siena Civic Museum in the ‘Palazzo Pubblico’, a symbol of medieval civilization

The Siena Civic Museum tour is an unmissable experience to get to know a symbolic place of medieval civilization – one of the most famous in Italy and in the world. The elegant building, which overlooks Piazza del Campo – one of the most beautiful in Europe and equally full of civic symbolism, linked as it is in the history of the Government of the Nine Lords – is the monument still evoking with its frescoes cycles the golden age of Siena, also offering one of the most interesting celebratory art itinerary from the fourteenth to the nineteenth century.

We will begin our Siena Civic Museum tour from the outside, observing the unique white marble structure rising on the left of the building and which refers to an event that, due to its drama, has marked the entire history of Europe. Entering the building, the first room you will find is the Cortile del Podestà (Podestà Courtyard); traditionally linked to the Palio race, the courtyard stands out for its remarkable elegance, so much so that it offers the irresistible temptation to take pictures from different angles due to its wonderful views.

When we are here, I will point out to you the strangeness of a statue crippled in the limbs, called by the Sienese people “the Mangia” (the eating): we will see together what is the story giving rise to this nice name.

visita guidata palazzo pubblico siena

Cortile del Podestà

The nineteenth century room

Entering the museum we will climb up the stairs to find the first important objects related to the history of Siena: some coffers and a bell; the latter, together with the statue of the war captain Blaise di Montluc, have to do with the military events of the glorious Republic of Siena. The first room of the Civic Museum, instead of taking us to the Middle Ages, is surprisingly a tale of one of the important pages about the unity of Italy, namely the “Risorgimento”, of which Siena also played a not secundary role; the objects present here are evidence of some Sienese who participated in Garibaldi’s deeds, while the frescoes by Mussini with the battles of Magenta and Solferino recall some of the salient moments of the Independence Wars fought in Northern Italy.

The Loggia dei Nove and the Sala di Nalia

The civic art gallery also offers us precious, albeit few, celebratory testimonies of local history, as with the beautiful canvases by Amos Cassioli recalling the deeds, also immortalized in Dante Alghieri’s verses of the Comedy, by Provenzano Salvani.

We will continue the Siena Civic Museum tour by going up to the Loggia dei Nove (the None Lords Loggia), where you can admire a breathtaking view of the Val d’Orcia with the Mount Amiata on the background, all framed by the picturesque ocher-coloured houses of the town.

We move then to the Sala di Balia, where some frescoes from the end of the fourteenth century celebrate the Pope Alexander III, protagonist in local events with, according to a tradition, the inauguration of the first Siena Cathedral and then, more generally, in the disputes with Federico Barbarossa in the investitures fight. By the Concistory Room  you will see one of the most magnificently frescoed sixteenth century rooms in Siena, with paintings by Domenico Beccafumi; the Roman republican stories offer interesting insights to understand the turbulent political events affecting the Tuscan city in that century, a period coinciding with the last act of its glorious independence.

We will conclude our Civic Museum tour with the visit of two beautiful rooms which are also among the best known for the precious testimonies of the fourteenth century Sienese painting.

visita guidata palazzo pubblico siena

Sala di Balia

Siena Civic Museum Tour

The Simone Martini’s Maestà

The sumptuous Majesty of Simone Martini and the mysterious figure of Guidoriccio

In the Sala del Mappamondo (the world map Room) you will see the refined Maestà painted by Simone Martini. Work of 1315, the scene has a strong knightly connotation and, together with the many more typical details of the goldsmith’s art used by the artist – such as the stones set and in relief – it can be counted among the most precious works of medieval painting. In addition to its technical preciousness, Simone Martini’s Maestà is one of the first literary testimonies of the fourteenth century thanks to its scrolls with vernacular inscriptions in prose. In front of the Majesty you will see the remains of a particular world map, an object that had given this name to the room. Overcoming the circular shape of the map is the image of Guidoriccio da Fogliano, nowadays one of the most mysterious characters in the Sienese art history.

The allegory of “good government”

The last room we visit in our Siena Civic Museum tour is the Sala della Pace (the Peace Room), an environment taking its name after the allegorical figure of the Peace painted by Ambrogio Lorenzetti for what is one of the most famous profane themed frescoes cycles of Europe: the Allegory of Good and bad government and its effects in the city and in the countryside.

This work, which unfolds on three walls, is a masterpiece of fourteenth-century painting not only for the rarity of the subject but also, and above all, because it offers us an insight into the life and society of the time, which is also the reason the frescoes were subjected to numerous historical, artistic, anthropological and economic studies as well as for researches about the history of costume. On the side dedicated to the effects of good government in the city, I will show you the details of the buildings represented in Siena and still present today of which Lorenzetti could already see made at the time he was painting.

In the part of the frescoes dedicated to the countryside, we will see how, thanks to the toponyms present, Siena had such political ambitions that led it to emulate the great maritime republics.

A very special animal

In the happy image of the countryside, one detail will arouse your attention: it is a pig of a typical breed of Siena.

After the wonderful images by Lorenzetti, Simone Martini and Beccafumi you will understand why you could not miss a Siena Civic Museum tour: it is not a visit to a museum but the discovery of the quintessence of a city so much loved and praised in the world as an emblem of the municipal civilization of the Middle Ages.

Chapel of the Nine Lords

piazza del campo

Piazza del Campo

Detail of Simone Martini’s Maestà, Civic Museum

Important information about the tour (click here)

This tour can also be booked in combination with the other available tours and trekking paths on Siena and Florence, which can be consulted in the Menu.

The activity here proposed in english language is a private and not a pre-organised 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 Siena Civic Museum private guided tour

The duration of the guided tour of the Palazzo Pubblico of Siena is 1 hour and can be extended by integrating the guided tour of the historic city centre or in any case customisable with another of the available tours and trekkings.

Cost of the Siena private guided tour

The cost for a 1-hour private guided tour is € 60.00 (price in total and not per person).

These rates are applied for groups of up to 9 people. For groups of more than 9 people please see the rates page. The tour can be booked by writing an mail or calling at +393332591526 or texting the guide (also by Whatsapp or Telegram) to check availability for the desired day. Payment for the tour can be made after the guided tour by card, bank transfer or cash.

Attention: Sala della Pace closed for restoration

Visitors are informed that, due to restoration work, access to the “Sala della Pace”, where the cycle of the Good Government frescoes is kept, is temporarily suspended.

Cancellation Policy

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. If the cancellation is made by the customer when there are less than 48 hours before the date agreed for the service, the customer is required to pay a penalty equal to 100% of the tour amount that was agreed.

In the event that the customer has paid in advance for the tour, the sum will be fully refunded by the guide if the cancellation is made before 48 hours from the date and time agreed for the tour.

If, on the other hand, the cancellation occurs when there are less than 48 hours before the scheduled date and time, the sum paid is not refunded.

 

 

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; since in this tour we 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.

 

 

Torre del Mangia visit mode

The visit to the Torre del Mangia is not included in the itinerary and can be done independently.

NB: since the visit to the tower involves climbing 506 steps and the height that is reached exceeds 80 metres from the ground, access is strongly not recommended for people suffering from heart disease or dizziness.

 

 

Opening times Siena Civic Museum:

From March 1st to October 31st10:00am – 7:00pm
From November 1st to February 28th10:30am – 5:30pm
Last admission always 45 minutes before closing time 

 

 

Civic Museum opening times on the occasion of July 2nd Palio celebrations:

26 June (Drappellone presentation)10:00am – 6:30pm
29 June (Batteries and horse assignments for the July 2 Palio)2:00pm – 5:30pm
June 30th – July 1st10:00am – 5:30pm
July 2ndClosed
Last admission always 45 minutes before closing time 

 

 

Civic Museum ticket prices

Full price

From January 1st to June 26th:

€ 6,00

Reduced ticket without reservation

Educational institutions

School groups

 

€ 4,50 

Reduced ticket with reservation

Educational institutions

School groups

 

€ 4,00

 

Free ticket

Resident or born in the Municipality of Siena

Children under 11

Disabled people and their companion

Students of the University of Siena and Unistrasi

Accredited journalists

Teachers and chaperones (1 chaperone for each group of at least 10 people)

 

€ 20,00

Combined ticket Civic Museum + Santa Maria della Scala

Validity 2 days

€ 13,00

Combined ticket Civic Museum + Torre del Mangia

Validity 1 day

€ 15,00

Combined ticket Civic Museum + Torre del Mangia + Santa Maria della Scala

Validity 2 days

€ 20,00

 

 

Online purchase of municipal museum tickets

To buy the tickets for the municipal museums online (excluding the Torre del Mangia ticket) click here

 

Integrated ticket prices

Civic Museum + Santa Maria della Scala + Pinacoteca nazionale

Validity 2 days

€ 20,00

 

Civic Museum + Santa Maria della Scala + National Picture Gallery + Torre del Mangia

Validity 2 days

€ 25,00

 

 

Integrated tickets are not bookable and can only be purchased at the ticket offices of the Civic Museum and Santa Maria della Scala

 

The cost to the Civic Museum 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:

info@guidaturistica-michelebusillo.com, also by Whatsapp o Telegram

 

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How to reach Siena? (click here)

By Car

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. In the area close to the Fortezza 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 available close to the Duomo are “Il Campo“, near Porta Tufi (hourly rate 2.00 €) and “Il Duomo“, near Porta San Marco (always 2.00 hourly rate).

 

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.

 

By train

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.

 

On foot

Taking the Camollia automatic electric escalator and then from there enter the historic centre from Porta Camollia.

 

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:

  • Address (Street o Square, Civic Number and Municipality);
  • Particular requests(dog or cat, payment by card, driver’s language, number of passengers if over 4, luggage if large).
    Wait for the confirmation message with the code of the arriving taxi and the estimated time

 

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.

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