Posts tagged ‘Siena’

Siena’s Cathedral – Exterior

Siena’s other main tourist attraction (along with the Piazza del Campo) is the magnificent striped Duomo mainly built-in the 13th/14th centuries with various later alterations. 

I’ve seen so many cathedrals, castles and stately homes in my 43 years (many at home in the UK) that it is easy to take them for granted…….but we really shouldn’t. The skill, craftsmanship, determination and ambition that went into the construction of these monuments is truly staggering, I doubt very much whether we would even contemplate building something like this these days. So each time we visit one we should doff our caps to the “greater fools” of a bygone age who masterminded their construction.

Cathedral Exterior, Siena, Tuscany, Italy

Cathedral Exterior, Siena, Tuscany, Italy

Cathedral Exterior, Siena, Tuscany, Italy

In case you’re wondering I first came across the phrase “Greater Fool” in Aaron Sorkin’s excellent TV series “The Newsroom”:

“The greater fool is someone with the perfect blend of self-delusion and ego to think that he can succeed where others have failed” – Sloan Sabbith to Will McAvoy in “The Newsroom”.

© Mark Simms Photography (2015)

Piazza del Campo

Siena’s famous Piazza del Campo has been the beating heart of the city since the 12th century. In the lower part, the elegantly sloping brick-paved square is dominated by the late 13th century Palazzo Comunale (or Public Palace) with its 102m high Torre del Mangia and in the upper part by the 14th century Fonte Gaia (or Happy Fountain).

However, for all its amazing architecture, the square is perhaps most famous for staging the Palio – a horse race held twice a year contested by 10 of Siena’s 17 districts. The race involves bareback riders in medieval costume charging three times around the perimeter of the square in an attempt to win the coveted palio or silk banner.

© Mark Simms Photography (2015)

Rainy Rooftops of Siena

The final stop on our mini tour of Tuscany was the beautiful medieval city of Siena…..this was the place on the itinerary that I most wanted to visit. Although the city itself lived up to my expectations, the weather sadly did not….as you can no doubt gather from the following shot:

Umbrellas, Siena, Tuscany, Italy

By way of introduction to Siena, below are three shots looking out across the rooftops. Shots one and three are very similar views (I couldn’t decide between the two so I’ve posted both) taken from the top of the cathedral dome looking out towards the famous Torre del Mangia towering above the equally famous Piazza del Campo. The second shot is taken from the Panorama del Facciatone looking back towards the magnificent Duomo. As you would expect from me by now, I will of course be exploring these sites in more detail in future posts:

Rooftops, Siena, Tuscany, Italy

Rooftops, Siena, Tuscany, Italy

Rooftops, Siena, Tuscany, Italy

© Mark Simms Photography (2015)

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