National Art Gallery of Siena (Pinacoteca Nazionale Siena)
Siena’s Pinacoteca Nazionale has been housed in the late Gothic Palazzo Buonsignori since 1932. Its collection includes works from the late medieval through the Renaissance periods, including paintings from members of the Sienese School, among them Duccio di Buoninsegna, Simone Martini, and the Lorenzetti brothers. In the 1970s, the Spannocchi-Piccolomini Collection was added, which focuses on Northern and Flemish artists such as Durer.
Pair a visit to the museum, near the main Piazza del Campo, with a walking tour of Siena’s historic center, including its magnificent Duomo complex. Siena is a popular stop on day trips to and from Florence and Rome that also stop in Pisa or the medieval villages of San Gimignano, Monteriggioni, and Castellina. Full-day sightseeing itineraries in Tuscany generally include a stop for lunch and wine tasting.
Things to Know Before You Go
The first two floors covering the Sienese school are accessible to wheelchair users via an elevator; the third floor is not.
Tours of Siena and the Pinacoteca Nazionale require a fair bit of walking. Choose comfortable shoes and dress for the weather.
Photography is not allowed inside the galleries.
How to Get There
The Pinacoteca Nazionale is located inside Palazzo Buonsignori in the heart of Siena’s historic center and can only be reached on foot. Siena is about a 90-minute journey south of Florence by car or train. Join a tour that includes transportation and explore a number of Tuscan villages in one day.
When to Get There
Siena is host to a popular medieval festival in July and August. If you are not interested in seeing the festival's main event, a historic horse race known as Palio di Siena, schedule your tour for a different time of year to avoid the raucous throngs.
Siena’s Famous Medieval Palio
One of the most famous historical celebrations in Italy, the Palio di Siena centers on a bareback horse race held in Piazza del Campo on July 2 and again on August 16 each year. Ten of the city’s 17contrade, or historical districts, are represented by riders and horses racing along a track encircling the square, urged on by screaming crowds. The race is preceded by pageants, banquets, and solemn Masses.
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