Rome, Italy

  • Date
  • 2 November 1999
  • Lodging
  • Hotel Cardinal
  • Distance
  • 426 KM
  • Total
  • 45038 KM

The Duomo in Siena is now my top pick for a Gothic cathedral. The use of several colors of marble makes the exterior pure ecstasy. Numerous peaks and statues dart out, up and down. The cathedral was finished in the 14th century, but at the time the Sienese had even grander plans. The plague of 1348 almost destroyed the population and resources, so larger plans were never carried out.

The interior is just as beautiful as the exterior with marble inlaid floors that took over 200 years to complete. The top panel of the carousel pulpit, carved by Nicola Pisano around 1265, depicts Christ’s life.

Several blocks for the Duomo is the Piazza del Campo with the Palazzo Pubblico, which has served as the town hall since the 1300s. Il Campo (The Field) is a fan-shaped piazza versus square like every other one we’ve seen in Italy. Il Campo, built in the 14th century as a market, has nine divisions of bricks – symbolizing the medieval Government of Nine. The Fountain of Joy, at the top of Il Campo, is so named because of the fanfare and ‘joy’ it brought to the Sienese when inaugurated in the 1300s.

Siena is a definite place to visit again and stay longer.