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The Cathedral of Siena is located in the homonymous square above Piazza del Campo, is a beautiful Gothic-style complex that houses a large number of treasures signed Donatello, Pisano and Michelangelo but also frescoes by the famous Pinturicchio. The Cathedral is of such an impressive beauty that it is enough to admire the exterior to be deeply impressed.
Built between 1214 and 1263, it presents a Latin cross structure, a not very protruding dome with the bell tower next to it. Both the exterior and the interior are decorated in blocks of white marble alternating with thin greenish-black stripes, these are the representative colors of Siena. The columns maintain the alternating black/white marble motif of the exterior, raising your head you’ll notice busts of Sienese religious men who lived in the past that seem to stare at you. Pay particular attention to the floor: the cathedral’s most impressive artwork is found here, masterpieces of storytelling made like huge puzzles.
There are 56 scenes engraved and carved on marble between 1369 and 1547 by 40 important artists of the time, all native of Siena except the Umbrian Bernardino di Betto, better known as Pinturicchio. It took about 600 years to complete all the work; the last panel was finished in 1800.
The mosaics in the nave and side aisles are not protected by any barrier, while the most precious pieces under the apse and in the transept are covered by a special flooring that prevents them from being consumed.At the center of the Duomo the only panel that usually remains visible is The Fantastic Massacre of the Innocents, dated 1481 by Matteo di Giovanni in the left transept.The oldest drawings are those in the centre near the entrance – The Wheel of Fortune and The Sienese She-Wolf surrounded by the symbols of the allied cities dated 1369.Don’t miss the splendid Baptistery by Donatello to the right of the Piccolomini Library, the Rosone by Duccio Buoninsegna and the marble Pulpit by Nicola Pisano.