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Saturday 28 May 2022
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The Palazzo Pubblico and the Torre del Mangia

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Known also as Palazzo Comunale, Siena’s Palazzo Pubblico is considered one of the finest examples of gothic secular architecture. Formerly the residence of the city’s Signoria, or Podestà, the building is now the seat of the town council. Of all the buildings that look onto Piazza del Campo, the Palazzo Pubblico is the most imposing and stands as the natural centre of the square’s architectural perspective.
Up until 1270, when Siena was ruled by a council of 24 members known as the Governo dei Ventiquattro, the town’s government had been housed in a Church building next to the church of San Pellegrino. The decision to erect a building to house the government was taken in the second half of the 13th century. Initially the plan was to convert some rooms that had been used by the Siena customs office, but under the successive Governo dei Nove – the Government of the Nine – designs were drawn up for a new and much larger building. This was so that there would be space enough to house all nine of the city’s governing council, who on taking office were confined permanently within the building and only allowed to leave it on feast days.

The large council chamber, known as the Salone del Gran Consiglio, along with two side-wings, were completed in the first half of the 14th century. The median body of the facade rises up for a further three floors, while the two-floor wings – whose second floor was not completed until 1680 – have maintained the original style and act as a harmonious balance to the imposing palazzi nearby. The stone lower section of the building opens up with a loggia of typically Senese arches, lowered and surmounted by an ogival window. Above, the building is in brick, with trifore windows.
The large copper disc bearing the monogram of Christ was placed here in 1425 in memory of the fact that St Bernardino of Siena preached in this very square.
Currently the Palazzo Pubblico houses the offices of the town administration. The first floor houses the Museo Civico, which is open to the public and contains a number of unique art treasures.

To the left of the Palazzo Pubblico rises the imposing Torre del Mangia, which to this day remains an arrestingly beautiful combination of height and elegant slightness of design. The curious name of the tower derives from its first bell ringer, Giovanni di Duccio, who was nicknamed Mangiaguadagni and who was commissioned to ring the hours in 1347.
The tower’s foundation stone was laid in 1325, brought here with a solemn procession. The actual construction of the tower took place between 1338 and 1348, to designs by the Perugia-born architects Muccio and Francesco Di Rinaldo. Entirely in brick, the tower is surmounted by a stone bell chamber at its summit, possibly designed by Lippo Memmi. The top of the tower, which is 88 metres high and can be reached by mounting exactly 400 steps, commands magnificent views over the city and the surrounding countryside.



  General information
Town map 
Siena in the Renaissance 
Siena in the Middle Ages 
Siena in Antiquity 

  Transport in town
Map of Hotels in Siena 
Town Map Siena 

  Transport out of town
Train services 

  Where to Stay
Farm Holidays and Country Houses  
Residence, Apartments 
Bed & Breakfasts 
Historical Residences 

Reservation Services Siena 
Last Minute Siena 

  Where to eat and drink
Disco Dancing 
Pubs & Wine Bar 

Siena University 
University for Foreigners 

  Art and monuments
Palazzo Piccolomini and Palazzo delle Papesse 
Palazzo Chigi-Saracini 
Palazzo d’Elci degli Alessi 
Loggia della Mercanzia 
Palazzo Sansedoni 
Palazzo Chigi-Zondadari 
Fonte Gaia fountain 
Carthusian Monastery of Pontignano  
Forte di Santa Barbara 

  Art and religion
Church of Sant’Agostino 
The Duomo – The Cathedral of the Assunta 
Church of the Osservanza  
The Oratory of San Bernardino 
Church of San Francesco 
Short Biography of St Catherine of Siena  
St Catherine Sanctuary 
Church of S. Niccolò al Carmine 

  Museums and galleries
The Museo Civico 
Bologna-Buonsignori museum 
Accademia dei Fisiocritici 
I Musei Senesi 

  Art and tourist attractions
Cappella di Piazza 
The Palazzo Pubblico and the Torre del Mangia 
Piazza del Campo 
The Montagnola Senese and the Fortified Village of Sovicille 
The Castles of Belcaro and Quattro Torri 


  The Palio of Siena
The Origins 
The July and August Palio 
The Contrade 
The Days of the Palio 
The Drappellone 
The Eve of the Palio 
The Corteo Storico Procession 
The Race 
The Patron Saint and Oratory of Each Contrada 
Weekly Appointments in each Contrada from April onwards 

Via di Città (formerly Via Galgaria), Siena’s Most Elegant Street 
Croce del Travaglio Place 
From Piazza del Campo to the Duomo Along Via di Città 
The Curves of Piazza del Campo 
Costarella dei Barbieri street 
Borgo d’Ovile 
The Terzo of Camollia – main streets 
Casato di Sopra e Casato di Sotto 
Terzo di San Martino district  
The Terzo di Città District - Via Stalloreggi, Via San Quirico 
The Terzo di Città District – The Pinacoteca Nazionale 

  What to see & do
Wedding in Siena 
Golf courses in Siena and Tuscany 
Wedding in Tuscany - Siena area 
San Casciano dei Bagni 
Chianciano Terme 
Bagni San Filippo 
Bagno Vignoni 
Rapolano Terme - Baths of San Giovanni and Baths of the Antica Querciolaia 
The Countryside around Siena and its Thermal Water Springs 

  Monte Amiata
Monte Amiata - nature tourism the year round 
SkiPass Monte Amiata 
WebCam sul Monte Amiata 
Meteo Monte Amiata 

  Specials - Out of town
Gift Ideas for traveling 
The Val d’Orcia and Its Main Towns 
Pienza - the old town centre 
Montepulciano - the old town centre 
San Quirico d’Orcia - the old town centre 
Montalcino and the Land of Brunello 
The Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore and the Crete 
The Crete Senesi 
Castellina in Chianti and the Via Chiantigiana Towards Siena 
Siena and Southern Chianti - from the Castle of Montalto to the Castle of Brolio and on to the Castle of Meleto 
The Chianti Hills - Monte Calvo, Monte Luco and Monte San Michele 
Cortona and the Valdichiana 
San Gimignano - The old town centre and its major sights 
The Val d’Elsa - Monteriggioni and Colle di Val d’Elsa 
Along the Old Via Francigena 

  Typical products
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