The life of St. Catherine of Siena


The visit takes place among the most suggestive places of Siena linked to the figure of St. Catherine, patron saint of Italy together with St. Francis of Assisi and co-patron of Europe. You will visit together with an expert local guide the Basilica of San Domenico, the birthplace of the Saint, you will continue towards Fontebranda, where Catherine’s father used the water of this fountain to produce wool. The visit continues towards the medieval Hospital Santa Maria della Scala, where you will visit the Oratory Santa Caterina della Notte. The tour will allow you to get to know this brave woman of the past and to admire the wonderful landscapes that this itinerary offers.


The visit will begin at the Basilica of San Domenico, where you will see the extraordinary chapel dedicated to the saint, which has been frescoed in the first part of the 16th century by Sodoma.The chapel preserves the relic of the holy head of the Saint. In the chapel “Cappella delle Volte” Catherine took the habit of a Dominican Tertiary and right there you will see what is considered her only portrait made by the Sienese artist Andrea Vanni in 1375.
The visit continues to the birthplace of Catherine, which became a sanctuary in 1464, shortly after her canonization. The Sanctuary is divided into three oratories with decorations of different periods, from the Renaissance to the Baroque to the Sienese Purism, which allow you to understand the intense mystical and diplomatic life of Catherine. The Kitchen Oratory is decorated from the end of the 15th century with paintings depicting mystical episodes, the diplomatic commitment carried out by Catherine; the Church of the Crucifix is a baroque church that preserves the Pisan crucifix of the second half of the 12th century in front of which Catherine received the stigmata, symbol of Catherine’s close union with Christ; the Oratory of the Bedroom, is where Catherine used to rest on a stone pillow, the first place in which the young woman entered into intimate communion with Jesus.
From the house you will descend towards Fontebranda, one of the oldest and most important medieval fountains, whose water was used by the dyers. The district of Fontebranda was in fact inhabited by many dyers, who had there their houses, laboratories and their warehouses for dyeing cloth. Among them was Catherine’s father, Jacopo Benincasa.
From the fountain you can decide whether to take the escalators that lead near the Cathedral, or sports enthusiasts can walk along Via del Costone, which offers a wonderful panoramic view. Catherine used to walk this way to reach the Cathedral and the Hospital; it was here that according to the legend as a very little child she had her first mystical vision of Jesus.
You will reach the Baptistery is located, rebuilt here as a sort of second façade of the Cathedral during Catherine’s ages, who received the sacrament of Baptism here.
Going up the steps of the Baptistery, which are linked to another well-known legend of the Saint’s life, you will reach the Cathedral, in front of which is located the imposing building of the Hospital Santa Maria della Scala, founded on the rise of the 10th century. In this place Catherine used to go to offer her help to the sick and poor people of the city. Inside you will visit the Oratory Santa Caterina della Notte where Catherine rested and prayed after having dedicated herself to works of charity and assistance.


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In front of the office in Piazza Madre Teresa di Calcutta 5, on the opposite site of the Basilica of San Domenico

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*the price is considered not per person, but per group

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Giulia Vannini

My name is Giulia. I am a hiking and diving guide. My passion for nature and animals has accompanied me since I was a child in all my studies. I graduated in Biology and then specialized in Marine Biology, I studied around Italy in important universities and research laboratories. After the Master in Environmental Legislation I returned to my beloved Siena, where my family and my dear friends were waiting for me.
I am from the Shell neighborhood (Contrada del Nicchio), you will discover in our company that the “Contrada life” in Siena is very important since childhood, and it is one of the things that makes this city unique!
Since I was a child I had a passion for teaching, over the years I worked in schools as an educator and so I developed interesting projects in the field of environmental education. My passion for playing with children will never end and in fact I am also a swimming instructor, specialized for people with psychophysical problems.

Thanks to Siena Tourism I create tours and events combining all my studies and my passions. We thought of many walks to do, alone or with the whole family, and many beautiful activities dedicated to children! I expect you soon to discover our enchanting territory together!

Ludovica Noviello

My name is Ludovica and I was born in Rome, where I attended the German school. After the diploma I studied at the Humboldt University in Berlin at the faculty of Foreign Languages and Literature. For many years I lived around Europe, where I worked and continued to study languages. My passions are art and foreign languages, so I decided to move back to my beautiful country to combine them in my job as a tour guide. I moved to Siena, where I studied to become a licensed Tour Guide in Italian, English, German, French, Italian and Spanish.
Siena is an enchanting city, a treasure chest that holds many artistic and cultural beauties and my job is to transmit my love for Siena and the many villages in the Province to those who come to visit it.
As a member of Siena Tourism I am also one of the organizers of this great project.
Our aim is to make you know the best of some of the cities and villages in Tuscany, offering you many beautiful moments to remember forever.
I am sure that this part of Italy will find a special place in your heart!