Over the weekend, Michael and I traveled to Tuscany and stopped on Sunday afternoon in Siena to see Il Duomo.
The Sienese Duomo was constructed in the 12th century in the Romanesque and Italian Gothic styles. It’s dramatic facade, complete with statues that seem to hang off the sides, was designed in part by Giovani Pisano and dates from the 13th century, as does the Romanesque campanile.
The interior of Il Duomo is composed of zebra-like black and white bands of marble. The floors are studded with fantastic mosaics, of both biblical and mythological subjects, and are mostly roped off to prevent them from being stepped on so as to prevent further decay. There are lustrous chapels, some of which I was able to photograph.
We also visited the Piccolomini Library which is located inside Il Duomo. The library is renowned for its cycle of frescos by the Umbrian master Pinturicchio. The frescos date from the 16th century and tell the history of Pope Pius II’s life. They are remarkable for their color and vividness. In the center is the statue, Three Graces, a roman copy of a 3rd century BC Greek work.
I’ve come to realize that photographing inside a chiesa (church) has it’s disadvantages. It can be difficult to capture the majesty that you find in so many Italian churches. There is often natural light high above, and then spotlights that create glare when you try to take a picture. I’ve edited the photos below as best I can and will see if next time using a proper camera instead of my iPhone helps.
You can click on any of the photos below to see them larger and in a slideshow format. In the meantime, enjoy and thanks for following along on our adventures.