Siena’s Gateway to Heaven…


posted by on History & Culture

duomo siena cathedral

The Siena Duomo and the Heaven. Photo by Ferruccio Berti on Flickr

Siena’s Duomo, or cathedral, has been attracting huge numbers of tourists for many years. Drawn by the incredible thirteenth century gothic architecture and impressive collection of art, it is always at the top of every visitor’s itinerary. And if the stunning aesthetics of Siena Cathedral weren’t already enough to capture your interest, then the recent opening of the ‘Porta del Cielo’, or stairway to heaven, definitely will…The interior of the Siena Duomo is visually astonishing; black and white striped walls and columns which represent the city’s civic coat of arms, works of art by Donatello and Michelangelo, not to mention the fascinating façade and the inlaid marble mosaic floor, which is one of the most ornate of its kind in Italy. Now, however, you can also experience a truly unique perspective of the cathedral, which has not been available to the public for hundreds of years.

A collection of secret passages, spiral staircases and internal walkways have recently been opened up to the unsuspecting visitors, offering an astonishing view of the midnight-blue cathedral ceilings, as well as the Siena skyline. At 15 metres (49 feet) from the marble floor, these walkways in the roof of the cathedral are not for the faint hearted, but are definitely worth the climb.

The roof of the Siena Duomo gives you an outstanding and unique view of the medieval and Renaissance mosaics, statues and other works of art. As well as marvelling at all the visually stunning aesthetics of the cathedral from this viewpoint, you can also study the structural inner workings of the cathedral, and see how this extraordinary monument was put together. Open to around 15 people at a time, this special section of the cathedral provides a real opportunity to see ‘behind the scenes’; it’s almost like being backstage at a theatre. Whatever you want to gaze down at from ‘La Porta del Cielo’, you can rest assured that the view will make a lasting impression. It’s only open to the public until October 27th, so don’t miss your chance!

Siena is a charming and unique city, so make sure you take the time to explore it! What better way to discover the medieval streets, incredible cathedral and famous Piazza del Campo than with one of our Siena tours? Our morning walking tour covers all the important sights, giving you a detailed view of this wonderful Tuscan city.

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