The Gate of Heaven
To the sides of the Duomo facade there are two towers. On the top of them, a marvelous itinerary begins: little groups of tourists with an expert guide can walk near the frescoed ceiling of the Cathedral, watching from above the unique pavement inside, and the wonderful view outside.
Some rooms, after an important restoration, are now open to the public, after centuries. Now you can walk on the dome gallery and admire the stained glass windows by Ulisse de Matteis, the important sculptures and the depiction of the four Siena Patron Saints.
The pavement of marble pieces of the Cathedral is a unique masterpiece. Several artists, as Beccafumi, Pinturicchio, Domenico di Bartolo, worked on it from the 14th to the 18th century. They used the "graffito" technique. Now it is undercovered from August to October.
Many important artists worked in the church that now is a kind of artistic anthology of different periods. You can admire artworks by Nicola Pisano, Duccio di Buoninsegna, Michelangelo, Donatello, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Beccafumi, and many others.
Pope Pio II, the Sienese Enea Silvio Piccolomini, was a fine intellectual. On the Library walls, Pinturicchio's frescoes tells Pio II's life. In the cabinets are shown illuminated books from 15th and 16th century.
The crypt and the Baptistery
The itinerary goes on in the crypt of the church: here there is a frescoed cycle of 13th century Sienese painting school.
In the Baptistery you can appreciate artworks by Donatello, Jacopo della Quercia and Lorenzo Ghiberti.
Museo dell'Opera del Duomo
The itinerary ends in the museum. Here it is shown the very famous Majesty by Duccio di Buoninsegna, the sculptures by Giovanni Pisano, originally on the Cathedral facade and other important artworks by Bernini, Donatello and others.
From here you can get on the unfinished facade of the Duomo Nuovo and admire the wonderful panorama on the town of Siena and the Tuscan country.