Siena is such a wonderful town in which to wander, so many things to see. This post will show many sites found by wandering around.
The tower of Palazzo Pubblico is called Torre del Mangia. When built it was one of the tallest secular towers in medieval Italy. At 289 feet, it is third tallest after Cremona’s Torrazzo (367 ft) and the Asinelli tower in Bologna (318 ft). The tower was built to be exactly the same height as the Siena Cathedral as a sign that the church and the state had equal amounts of power. Literally meaning ‘Tower of the Eater’, the name refers to its first bellringer, Giovanni di Balduccio, nicknamed Mangiaguadagni (‘eat-the-profits’, or, ‘profit eater’) for his spendthrift tendency, his idleness, or his gluttony, no one is sure.
The tower has visually distinct levels, from the top: a short pale-gray upper loggia, a marble (uppermost) structure, a stone section that flares out slightly, and a long red brick shaft. The marble loggia on the top, known as Cappella di Piazza, was added in 1352 as a vow for the Holy Virgin by the Sienese survivors from the Black Death.
Here are a couple other views from the piazza.
There are many narrow streets with visual treasures as you head away from the piazza along Via del Porrione.
Eventually, you come upon Chiesa di San Martino. A church at the site on Via del Porrione was present by the 12th century, but it was rebuilt and enlarged in the 16th century. The Baroque façade was built in 1613 and the bell tower completed in 1738.
I love the doors, knockers, and locks.
And the green shutters
We were told by someone on the street about a nice view another block ahead. Oh, and to look for the elephant.
The symbol for the Torre Contrada is the bell tower on the back of an elephant.
This statue was in a small piazza dedicated to honor the memory of Artemio Franchi, He served as the President of the Italian Football Federation (1967–1976, 1978–1980), as the UEFA President (1973–1983), and as a member of the FIFA Executive Committee (1974–1983). He died in a road accident near Siena on 12 August 1983. There were other elephants in the area.
Oh, and the view to the south of the piazza was quite nice.
Note the olive trees.
As we moved on, more interesting and lovely scenes.
Chiesa di San Giorgio (Church of St. George) – A church at the site on Via Pantaneto existed since the 11th century. Tradition holds that the church was then rebuilt with donations made by the German mercenaries fighting alongside the Sienese in the 1260 Battle of Montaperti, where it is said the militia had called on Saint George for help in defeating the Guelf Florentine army. (Yes, this is the same St. George that slew the dragon.) Of the medieval edifice only the Romanesque-Gothic bell tower remains today. The current appearance dates to the intervention of architect Pietro Cremoni, who finished its reconstruction in 1738.
The caption above the door states “Regi Martyrum Martyrio Georgio Sacrum” or “King George received the Holy Martyrs”.
The Sienese must really like green shutters.
The church of San Giovannino della Staffa is a Romanesque, 13th-century church at the site and was rebuilt in the first half of the 16th century. The church was dedicated to St John the Baptist. The architect may have been Giovanni Battista Pelori, a pupil of Baldassarre Peruzzi. The brick facade was completed by 1537. Completion of the body of the church was delayed until the 1590s.
I’ll close for today with more “art” on the walls of buildings along the streets.
Again, details came from WikiPedia.
Next time, we’ll have one last look at Siena.