Siena, with its artistic heritage and millennia-old history, has always been one of the most coveted cultural destinations in Italy. With its winding streets, historic squares, and imposing monuments, the city enchants visitors with an irresistible mix of medieval elegance and Renaissance refinement. Tourism in Siena is a journey through time, an experience that allows visitors to immerse themselves in the vibrant cultural and artistic heritage of this fascinating city, discovering its hidden corners and tangible testimonies of a glorious past.
The Opera del Duomo Museum, one of the oldest private museums in Italy, is located next to the Cathedral, offering visitors a compelling journey through centuries of art and spirituality. Housed in what was supposed to be, according to the 14th-century plans for the expansion of the “New Cathedral,” the right aisle, the Museum represents a hidden treasure trove of works of art and ancient relics, bearing witness to the grandeur and beauty of Sienese art over the centuries. Founded in 1869 with the consent of the Ministry of Public Education, the Opera del Duomo Museum has consistently attracted art lovers and devotees of history, offering them a privileged look at artistic masterpieces and spiritual works of immeasurable value.
Within its halls, the Opera del Duomo Museum houses an eclectic collection of sculptures, paintings, and relics that embrace different artistic periods and testify to the mastery and sensitivity of the greatest Sienese artists. The sculptures placed in the rooms on the ground floor, including the dramatic figures by Giovanni Pisano from the facade of the Sienese Cathedral, are a tangible testament to the grandeur and elegance of Gothic and Renaissance art. The original 13th-century stained glass window created for the apse of the Cathedral, designed by Duccio di Buoninsegna, adds a touch of spirituality and beauty to the visit, transporting visitors on an exciting journey through centuries of faith and devotion that have shaped Siena’s very identity.
On the first floor, the renowned Maestà by Duccio, completed in 1311, is a timeless masterpiece that captures the gaze and imagination of visitors, offering them a unique artistic and spiritual experience. Paintings and sculptures by other renowned artists such as Jacopo della Quercia, Sano di Pietro, and the Master of Tressa further enrich the Museum’s collection, taking visitors on a compelling journey through the richness and complexity of Sienese art.
The visit to the Opera del Duomo Museum culminates with the discovery of the “Sala degli Alfieri” and the evocative “Facciatone,” which narrate the turbulent and fascinating history of the unfinished expansion of the Siena Cathedral, bearing witness to the ambition and grandeur of the city’s ancient architectural projects. Finally, the exit from the Museum through the church of San Niccolò in Sasso, a small Baroque treasure trove, allows visitors to conclude the journey with a unique spiritual and artistic experience, enriched by works by some of the greatest painters of Sienese 17th-century art.
From this point of view, if you want to explore the Opera del Duomo Museum, choose to stay at the Minerva Hotel, our three-star hotel in the center of Siena.