Museo dell'Opera


The highlight of this repository of artworks that formerly adorned the duomo is undoubtedly Duccio (di Buoninsegna)'s striking Maestà (1308–11), which was painted on both sides as a screen for the high altar. Duccio portrays the Virgin surrounded by angels, saints and prominent contemporary Sienese citizens; the rear panels (sadly incomplete) show scenes from the Passion of Christ. Entry to the Panorama del Facciatone is included in the entry ticket.

Other notable works include a marble tondo of the Madonna and Child with Four Cherubs (1457–59) by Donatello, a stained-glass window (1287–88) by Duccio, a Nativity of the Virgin (1342) by Pietro Lorenzetti and 12 statues of prophets and philosophers by Giovanni Pisano. These statues originally stood on the facade and were designed to be viewed from ground level, which is why they look so distorted as they crane forward.

Entry to the museum and the Panorama del Facciatone is included in the OPA SI and Acropoli passes.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Siena attractions

1. Panorama del Facciatone

0.01 MILES

For an unforgettable view of Siena's unique cityscape, head up the 131-step, narrow corkscrew stairway to walk atop the unfinished facade of the Duomo…

2. Cripta

0.02 MILES

Remarkably, this vaulted space under the duomo's pulpit was totally filled with debris in the late 1300s and was only excavated and restored in 1999…

3. Duomo

0.03 MILES

Consecrated on the former site of a Roman temple in 1179 and constructed over the 13th and 14th centuries, Siena's majestic duomo (cathedral) showcases…

4. Battistero di San Giovanni

0.03 MILES

The baptistry is lined with 15th-century frescoes and centres around a hexagonal marble font by Jacopo della Quercia, decorated with bronze panels…

5. Porta del Cielo

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To enjoy spectacular bird's-eye views of the interior and exterior of Siena's cathedral, buy a ticket for the 'Gate of Heaven' escorted tour up, into and…

6. Libreria Piccolomini

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Cardinal Francesco Todeschini Piccolomini, archbishop of Siena (later Pope Pius III), commissioned the building and decoration of this hall off the north…

8. Palazzo Chigi Saracini

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Few buildings have pedigrees as splendid as this 13th-century palace. Home of the Piccolomini family (of which Pope Pius II was the most prominent member)…