Palazzo Pubblico


Built to demonstrate the enormous wealth, proud independence and secular nature of Siena, this 14th-century Gothic masterpiece is the visual focal point of the Campo, itself the true heart of the city. Architecturally clever (notice how its concave facade mirrors the opposing convex curve) it has always housed the city's administration and been used as a cultural venue. Its distinctive bell tower, the Torre del Mangia, provides magnificent views for those who brave the steep climb to the top.

The municipal offices are closed to visitors, but the major historical sale (halls) and rear loggia now form the unmissable Museo Civico.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Siena attractions

1. Museo Civico

Entered via the Palazzo Pubblico's Cortile del Podestà (Courtyard of the Chief Magistrate), this wonderful museum showcases rooms richly frescoed by…

2. Torre del Mangia

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Completed in 1348, this 87m-high red-brick-and-travertine bell tower commands magnificent views from its highest levels. Its name (The Tower of Eater)…

3. Piazza del Campo

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Popularly known as 'Il Campo', this sloping piazza has been Siena's social centre since being staked out by the ruling Consiglio dei Nove (Council of Nine…

4. Sinagoga di Siena

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Sheltering behind an anonymous facade, this Ashkenazi synagogue in Siena's former Ghetto once serviced a community of 500. Sadly, a mere 50 Jews now live…

5. Fonte Gaia

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Water first bubbled forth from the Fonte Gaia in the upper part of the Campo in 1346. The fountain's panels are reproductions; the severely weathered…

6. 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)…

7. Chiesa di San Martino

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The baroque facade of this church dates from 1613, but the church itself is much older, having been constructed in the 12th century. Inside are works by…

8. Loggia della Mercanzia

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Built between 1417 and 1428, this arched loggia with its distinctive sculptures is located on the Croce del Travaglio, from which the three main roads of…