Our network: Guides | Hotels
Monday 17 June 2024
Italiano English
Sapori Tipici Toscani
Sapori Tipici Toscani
Sapori Tipici Toscani
Sapori Tipici Toscani

The Museo Civico

Email this page | Printable
Access to the Museo Civico, the city museum of Siena, is from the superbly proportioned gothic courtyard of the Palazzo Pubblico. Founded in the 1930s, the Museo Civico contains some of the finest paintings, sculptures and frescoes of the renowned Senese School.

Two flights of stairs lead up to the Sale Monumentali grand chambers of the museum. Immediately to the right is the Sala del Mappamondo, formerly used as the meeting room for the General Council of the Republic of Siena. The room takes its name after a rotating map, now lost, painted by Ambrogio Lorenzetti, that showed the lands governed by the city. On the far wall of the chamber is a Maestà fresco by Simone Martini, painted between 1312 and 1315, still striking today on account of its delicate use of the chromatic palette and its purity of lines. This is regarded as being the first real masterpiece by Simone Martini, who in 1328 also painted the portrait of the condottiero Guidoriccio da Fogliano, who seized the Castle of Montemassi.

On from the Sala del Mappamondo, the magnificent Sala dei Nove was used as a meeting chamber for the town’s Governo dei Nove government of nine councillors. Over the centuries this room has changed name a number of times, from Sala delle Balestre when it was used as an armoury to Sala della Pace from an allegorical figure of Peace in the decorations. In 1337 Ambrogio Lorenzetti was commissioned to decorate the room with a cycle of frescoes known as the Allegory of Good and Bad Government. The largest secular painting cycle of the Middle Ages, this work is a political manifesto in which the painter has depicted two opposing methods of government along with their consequences.

To the left of the Sala del Mappamondo is the so-called Anticappella, once used as an antechamber of offices for the Concistoro. In 1415 Taddeo di Bartolo was commissioned to decorate it with a cycle of frescoes depicting The Virtues of Illustrious Gods and Men.
A fine 15th century railing designed by Jacopo della Quercia encloses the Chapel. Completed at the end of the 15th century, when the population of the city was on the rise, this railing is larger than its counterpart on the ground floor of the building. In 1407 Taddeo di Bartolo was commissioned to decorate the room with his Storie della Madonna cycle of frescoes depicting episodes from the life of the Virgin.

The adjacent passageway, known also as the Sala dei Cardinali leads to the Sala del Concistoro, with an internal doorway in marble by Bernardo Rossellino. The brightly coloured frescoes on the ceiling were completed between 1529 and 1535 by Domenico Beccafumi, once more a representation of themes related to justice and patriotic devotion that take their cue from the Lorenzetti Good Government and the di Bartolo Illustrious Men cycles. Next to the Sala del Concistoro is the Sala di Balia, also known as Sala dei Priori. This room is adorned with frescoes by Spinello Aretino (1407) illustrating the Life of Pope Alexander III dei Bandinelli.

The Sala del Risorgimento, known also as the Sala di Vittorio Emanuele II, was inaugurated in 1890. The walls are decorated with frescoes of episodes from the Unification of Italy, painted by late-19th century Senese artists. The upper floor opens onto a large loggia, which overlooks the southern prospect of Siena. A number of adjacent rooms were reopened recently and contain the Quadreria, a collection of detached frescoes, paintings on wood and canvases both of the Senese School and by artists across Italy and abroad.


  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
Typical Tuscan flavours 
Oleum Evo online selling 
Sapori Tipici Italiani buy online now 
il Prosciutto Cotto