Discover the life of Saint Catherine of Siena

Cultural & Theme Tours in Siena
Image by Viator

Information from Viator

Tour description

Discover the places in Siena linked to Santa Caterina, patron Saint of Italy and Europe that was born and raised in this magnificent city. Together with an expert local guide, you will visit the Saint's birthplace, where today the beautiful sanctuary is located, and the basilica where the young woman joined the Dominican Tertiaries and in which the relics of the Saint are still preserved. The tour will allow you to discover St. Catherine's commitment to the Church, and to the people – at Santa Maria della Scala, the antique hospital where Saint Catherin dedicated her work to charity and assistance to those in need.

ITINERARY FIRST PART (1H 15M TOUR)The tour starts in Piazza del Campo, the main square of Siena with its medieval monuments, mostly built in the middle of the fourteenth century, when Catherine was still a child. You will then go to the discovery of the district of Fontebranda, where in the medieval times many manufacturing activities were concentrated – among which the dyeing plant of Catherine's father Jacopo. Here you will visit the birthplace of St. Catherine, now the charming Sanctuary dedicated to her. In this XIV century palace the whole family Benincasa (Catherine's family) lived. The sanctuary consists of three oratories with decorations from different eras, from the Renaissance to the Baroque and the Sienese purism (through the artworks you will discover the intense mystic and diplomatic life of the Saint). The Oratory of the Chamber, where there was the bedroom of the saint, was the first place in which the young woman began an intimate communion with Jesus; the Oratory of the Crucifix is a baroque church that houses the thirteenth-century crucifix in front of which Saint Catherine received the stigmata, symbol of Catherine's close union with Christ; the Oratory of the Kitchen was the cooking area of Catherine's house where now paintings potraying mystical episodes from the life of the Saint are exposed.After the visit to the Sanctuary, the tour will continue at the Basilica of San Domenico, where you will visit the chapel with beautiful XVI century frescoes by Sodoma dedicated to the Saint, and the splendid marble altar that still preserves the relic – the head of St. Catherine.ITINERARY SECOND PART (2H 15M TOUR)The tour will continue to Fontebranda medieval water reservoir, part of one of the oldest and most important medieval aqueducts that gave the name to the whole district as well as to Catherine, also known as "The Saint of Fontebranda". You will then pass by one of the most ancient and suggestive streets of Siena, the Costone, which Caterina took to reach the Cathedral and the hospital where she worked, and it was here that as a child she had the first mystical vision, symbol of what would have been her journey of faith and her passionate commitment to the unity of the Christian Church.You will reach Piazza San Giovanni, where the Baptistery is located, where Catherin was baptised. Going up the scales you will arrive to the square of the Duomo (Cathedral) where the imposing structure of the Santa Maria della Scala Hospital stands that was founded in the 9th century. In this place Catherine offered her help to the sick and those in need.

What's included

  • Professional art historian guide
  • Private tour

What's not included

  • Souvenir photos (available to purchase)