The magnificent marble floor of Siena’s Cathedral

From June 29th to July 31st and again from August 18th to October 26th 2016 the extraordinary marble floor of Siena’s Cathedral  will be revealed and visible in all its magnificence: in fact, the incredibly beautiful inlaid marble mosaics of the floor are normally covered by pressboard planks and carpets to protect them from the high number of tourist and local feet that every year enter the Duomo for visiting it or attending religious services. Till the end of October all the 56 panels will be uncovered and such a special event was also organized last year, when we participated in a visit and took the pictures that you see in this post.

Giorgio Vasari  described the floor as “the most beautiful, largest and most magnificent …. that has ever been done” and is without a doubt such a marvellous work that is totally worth a visit, thus if you are in Siena, do your utmost to enjoy its view.  The floor was realized during centuries, from the 1300s to the 1800s, and the panels’ scenes  were represented by major Sienese as well as some “foreign” artists.

When we made our visit last year, a dear friend of ours – who is an architect – was with us and told us many details about the techniques applied for the realization of the intarsia works: first the scenes were traced over the sheets of white marble, then the scalpel was used to carve out areas which were then filled with black stucco, and finally marble of different colours was incorporated.

The Cathedral is open Monday to Saturday 10:30 am to 7:30 pm, Sunday 9:30 am to 6 pm, regular tickets 7€, with the Opa Si Pass All Inclusive that gives access to the entire complex of the Cathedral but the vault (to be reserved and paid apart), 12 €. For further information and reservations.  Opera – Civita Group 0577 286300,

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