Civic Museum: an art jewel in the Palazzo Pubblico
In Piazza del Campo you will find the majestic Palazzo Pubblico with its imposing tower, known as “Torre del Mangia”; inside it is housed one of the most important museums of the city, the Civic Museum.
The exhibition route covers a time span ranging from the 14th to the 19th century and is able to give the visitor an almost complete overview of the evolution of Sienese art.
Among the greatest masterpieces of the Civic Museum are the beautiful artworks by Simone Martini such as “La Maestà” and “Guidoriccio da Fogliano” and the frescoes in the Hall of Peace “The Allegory and the Effects of the Good and the Bad Government” by Ambrogio Lorenzetti.
An expert local guide will accompany you to discover the Palazzo Pubblico in Siena, which has been the seat of the city government since 1317 and is still today the seat of the city hall. Initially the guide will tell you about the unique Piazza del Campo, divided into nine segments, then the attention will be turned to the facade of the Palace decorated with typical Sienese arches and finally you will focus on his interior.
The first room is dedicated to the first king of Italy Victor Emmanuel II, entirely frescoed by 19th century purist artists such as Luigi Mussini and Amos Cassioli who depicted the scenes of the king’s life.
The visit continues in the “Sala della Balia”, where you will find frescoes of Spinello Aretino representing scenes related to the life of the Sienese Pope Alexander III and the emperor Frederick Barbarossa.
The Consistory Hall is where the weddings take place today, a wonderful place whose ceiling was entirely frescoed by the Sienese artist Domenico Beccafumi in the 16th century.
You will move to the “Sala del Mappamondo” (Globe Hall), so called for the fresco no longer preserved by Duccio di Buoninsegna that depicted a globe. Here, you will admire the wonderful “Maestà” by Simone Martini of 1315; it is very special to find the Virgin represented in a public and not in a holy context.
Our visit ends with the last beautiful “Sala della Pace o dei Nove” (Peace Hall or Hall of the Nine) where is located the cycle of frescoes by Ambrogio Lorenzetti, called “The Allegory and the Effects of the Good and Bad Government” datable to 1338-1339. The purpose of the frescoes was to remind the citizens and governors that in order to obtain a Good Government, thus a government without war, with a good economy, with hardworking inhabitants dedicated to craftsmanship, trade and construction, it’s important to pursue virtues and not vices.