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Siena day tour from Rome
by Adel Karanov Art guide and music composer
Tuscany day private tours: Siena excursion from Rome with english guide
SIENA PRIVATE TOUR with LOCAL GUIDE and CAR or on request with only ENGLISH speaking DRIVER
Palazzo pubblico Siena VIDEO by Adel Karanov private guide in Tuscany
Siena private tour from Rome small group and individual: Eur 60 / h Max 6 pax – car with private english guide – Tuscany car tours with driver guide
Il Duomo di Siena – Private tour of Siena
Siena car tour from Rome with private guide – Luxury tours of Tuscany
Siena (Tuscany) is the perfect counterpoint to Florence. Self-contained and stillpartly rural behind its medieval, its attraction lies in its cityscape: a majestic Gothic whole that could be enjoyed without venturing into a single museum.
In its great scallop-shaped piazza, Il Campo, it has the lovelist of all Italian public squares; in its zebra-stiped duomo and the city whole construction, on three ridges, presents a succession of beautiful vistas over medieval cityscapes to the bubolic Tuscan contryside on all sides.
It is also a place of immediate charm: airy easy going and pedestranized. The most important moment of the year is the Palio, a breack horse race around the Campo, whose sheer excitement and unique importance to the life of the community is reason enough to plan your holiday around one of the two race dates – July 2 and August 16. The historic centre of Siena has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site. It is one of the nation’s most visited tourist attractions, with over 163,000 international arrivals in 2008. Siena is famous for its cuisine, art, museums, medieval cityscape and the Palio, a horse race held twice a year.
SIENA PRIVATE TOUR – TUSCANY CAR TOUR FROM ROME
Inside the guided private tour experience you can choose to visit important archaeological areas like dungeons, catacombs, ancient walls, sacred places and secret areas accessible to limited number of people. The car tour includes short walks on foot for visits of monuments and stops for taking pictures and a lunch or a coffee break. The sequence of monuments and their choice will display a historical and artistic evolution of Siena. As well as a perfect overview of the different types of styles in the arts of architecture and sculpture and painting. Many monuments, private art collections, entrances to palaces are offered exclusively by RUSRIM TUSCANY CAR EXCURSIONS FROM ROME
Piazza del Campo – Siena private tour
The Piazza del Campo, the shell-shaped town square, unfurls before the Palazzo Pubblico with its tall Torre del Mangia. This is part of the site for the Palio horse race. The Palazzo Pubblico, itself a great work of architecture, houses yet another important art museum. Included within the museum is Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s frescoes depicting the Allegory and Effects of Good and Bad Government and also some of the finest frescoes of Simone Martini and Pietro Lorenzetti.
Siena with private guide – Tuscany car tours
Palio di Siena a Piazza del Campo – Siena – Tuscany private tour
Siena excursions with private guide
The contrast with Florence are extended in Siena’s monumental and artistic high-lights. The city’s duomo and alazzo Pubblico are two of the purest buildings of Italian Gothic, and the finest of the city’s paintings – of with many are collected in the Palazzo’s Museo Civico and the separate Pinacoteca Nazionale – are in the same tradition. In its sculpture, Siena drew mainly on foreign artistsç the Florentines Donatello and Ghiberti worked on the front of the baptistery, while Michelangelo and Nicola and iovanni Pisano left their mark on the duomo.
Duomo di Siena – The Siena Cathedral – Tuscany private tour
Siena excursion from Rome with guide and car
Siena Cathedral is a medieval church in Siena, Italy, dedicated from its earliest days as a Roman Catholic Marian church, and now dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta (Holy Mary, Our Lady of the Assumption).
Few buildings reveal so much of a city’s history and aspirations as Siena’s cathedral, or Duomo (daily mid-March to Oct 9am-7.30pm; J. to mid-March and Nov-Dec 7.30am-lpm & 2.30-5pm; free), the magnet to which most visitors gravitate after tak-ing in the Campo. Complete to virtually its present size around 1215, it was subjected to constant plans for expansion throughout the city’s years of medieval prosperity. A project at the beginning of the fourteenth century attempted to double its extent by building a baptistery on the slope below and using this as a foundation for a rebuilt nave, but the work ground to a halt as the walls gaped under the pressure. For a while, the chapter pondered knocking down the whole building and starting from scratch to the principles of the day, but eventually they hit on a new scheme to re-orientate the cathedral instead, using the existing nave as a transept and building a new nave out towards the Campo. Again cracks appeared, and then in 1348 came the Black Death. With the population halved and funds suddenly cut off, the plan was abandoned once and for all. The extension still stands at the north end of the square – a vast struc-ture that would have created the largest church in Italy outside Rome.
The exterior Despite all the grand abandoned plans, the duomo, as it stands, is a delight. Its style is an amazing conglomeration of Romanesque and Gothic, delineated by bands of black and white marble, an idea adapted from Pisa and Lucca — though here with much bold-er and more extravagant effect. The lower part of the facade was in fact designed by the Pisan sculptor Giovanni Pisan°, who from 1284 to 1296 created, with his workshop, much of its statuary — the philosophers, patriarchs and prophets, now removed to the cathedral museum and replaced by copies. In the next century the Campanile was added, its windows multiplying at each level, as was the Gothic rose window above the doors. Thereafter work came to a complete halt, with the mosaics designed for the gables having to wait until the nineteenth century, when money was found to employ Venetian artists. Immediately above the central door, note St Bernardino’s bronze monogram of Christ’s name.
The pavement – Duomo di Siena – Tuscany private tour
Siena car excursions from Rome with private guide
The pavement ‘Me facade’s use of black and white decoration is echoed by the duomo’s great marble pavement, which begins with geometric patterns and a few scenes outside the church and takes off into a startling sequence of 56 figurative panels within. ‘These were com-pleted between 1349 and 1547, with virtually every artist who worked in the city trying his hand on a design. The earliest employed a simple sgraffito technique, which involved chiselling holes and lines in the marble and then filling them in with pitch; later tableaux are considerably more ambitious, worked in multicoloured marble. Unfortunately, the whole effect can only be seen from August 7 to August 22; the rest of the year most of the panels around the central octagon are rather =imaginatively kept under cardboard wraps. The subjects chosen for the panels are a strange mix, incorporating biblical themes, secular commemorations and allegories.
The most ordered part of the scheme are the ten Sibyls — mythic prophetesses who foretold the coming of Christ — on either side of the main aisle. Fashioned towards the end of the fifteenth century, when Sienese painters were still imprinting gold around their conventional Madonnas, they are total-ly Renaissance in spirit. Between them, in the central nave, are the much earlier Sienese she-wolf enclosed by the republic’s twelve cities (a) and the Wheel of Fortune (c), along with Pinturicchio’s Allegory of Virtue (b), a rocky island of serpents with a nude posed between a boat and the land. Moving down the nave, the central hexagon is dominated by Domenico Beccafumi’s Stories from the Life of Elijah (d). Beccafumi worked intermittently on the pavement from 1518 to 1547, also designing the vast friezes of Moses Striking Water from a Rock and on Mount Sinai (e — kept covered) and the Sacrifice of Isaac (1). To the left of the hexagon is a Massacre of the Innocents (g), almost inevitably the chosen subject of Matteo di Giovanni. It’s interesting also to note the choir stalls, in the context of the pavement. These use intarsia techniques of a superb standard and again were made between the mid-fourteenth and mid-sixteenth centuries.
The pulpit, sculptures and chapels The rest of the cathedral interior is equally arresting, with its zebra-stripe bands of mar-ble, and the line of popes’ heads — including several Sienese — set above the pillars. These stucco busts were added through the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and many seem sculpted with an apparent eye to their perversity. The greatest individual artistic treasure is the pulpit. This was completed by Nicola Pisano in 1268, soon after his pulpit for the baptistery at Pisa, with help from his son Giovanni and Arnolfo di Cambio. The design of the panels duplicates those in Pisa. though they are executed with much greater detail and high relief. The carving’s dis-tance from the Byzantine world is perhaps best displayed by the statuette of the Madonna, whose breast is visible beneath the cloak for the first time in Italy, and by the Last Judgement, with its mastery of the human figure and organization of space. Come equipped with plenty of coins for lighting. Almost all the cathedral sculpture is of an exceptional standard. Close by the pulpit in the north transept are Tino di Camaino’s Tomb of Cardinal Petered (1318), a pro-totype for Italian tomb architecture over the next century, and, in front, Donatello’s bronze pavement Tomb of Bishop Pecci (1426). The Renaissance High Altar is Clanked by superb candelabra-carrying angels by Beccafumi. In the Piccolomini Altarpiece, the young Michelangelo also makes an appearance. He was commis• sinned to carve the whole series of fifteen statues here, but after completing saints Peter, Paul, Pius and Gregory in the lower niches he left for a more tempting contract in Florence — the David. Further Renaissance sculptural highlights are to be seen in the two circular transept chapels. The Cappella di San Giovanni Battista, on the left, focuses on a bronze stat-ue of the Baptist by Donatello, cast in 1457, a couple of years after his expressionist Mary Magdalene in Florence, whom the Baptist’s stretched and emaciated face recalls. The frescoes in this chapel, with their delightful landscape detailing, are by Pinturicchio, of whom more below. The Cappelli’ Chigi, or Cappella del Vote, was the last major addition to the duomo, the behest of Pope Alexander VII, another local boy, in 1659. It was designed by Bernini as a new setting for the Madonna del Vote, a thirteenth-century painting which commemorated the Sienese dedication of their city to the Virgin on the eve of
The Baptistery – Siena – Tuscany private tour
The Baptistery The cathedral Baptistery is unusual in being placed beneath the main body of the church. It is an essential visit, containing one of the city’s great Renaissance works — a hexagonal font with scenes illustrating the Baptist’s life. To reach it, turn left out of the duomo, walk left down the side of the walls and follow the flight of steps down behind the cathe-dral; en route you’ll pass the Cripta delle Statue museum — not worth the opportunistic entrance charge. The cathedral chapter responsible for the baptistery font (1417-30) must have had a good sense of what was happening in Florence at the time, for they managed to cont• mission panels by Ghiberti (Baptism of Christ and John in Prison) and Donatello (Herod’s Feast), as well as by the local sculptor Jacopo della Quercia (The Angel Announcing the Baptist’s Birth). Jacopo also executed the marble tabernacle above, and the summit statue of John the Baptist and the five niche statues of the Prophets. Of the main panels, Donatello’s scene, in particular, is a superb piece of drama, with Herod and his cronies recoiling at the appearance of the Baptist’s head. Donatello was also responsible for two of the corner angels (Faith and Hope) and (with Giovanni di Turino) for the miniature angels on the tabernacle above. The lavishly frescoed walls almost overshadow the font, their nineteenth-century overpainting having been removed after a vigorous assault by the restorers. With your back to the entrance the best include (on the left arched vault lunette) a fresco of scenes from the life of St Anthony (1460) by Benvenuto di Giovanni, a pupil of Vecchietta; scenes from the life of Christ by Vecchietta himself (inside left wall of the central stepped chapel); and the same artist’s Prophets, Sibyls and Articles of the Creed (the main vaults), the last a repeat of a theme he would use in the Ospedale di Santa Maria della Scala
Santa Caterina – Siena – Tuscany private tour
St Catherine’s house St Catherine’s fatuity home, where she lived as a Dominican tertiary – of the order but not resident – is a short distance away to the south of San Domenico. Known as the Casa e Santuatio di Santa Caterina The building has been much adapted, with a Renaissance loggia and a series of oratories – one on the site of her cell. The paintings here are mostly unexceptional Baroque canvases but it is the life that is important: an extraordinary career that made her Italy’s patron saint and among the earliest women to be canonized. Born Caterina Benincasa, the daughter of a dyer, on March 25, 1347 – Annunciation Day – she had her rust visions aged five and took the veil at age eight (sixteen in some versions), against strong family opposition. She spent three years in silent contempla-tion, before experiencing a mystical “Night Obscure”. Thereafter she went out into the turbulent, post-Black Death city, devoting herself to the poor and Monte dei Paschi di Siena Between the two monastic churches lies the heart of business Siena, the Piema Salimbeni, whose three interlocking palazzi have formed, since the fifteenth century…
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