Santa Maria della Scala

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Santa Maria della Scala: Our most recommended tours and activities

Siena: Duomo Complex & Santa Maria della Scala Acropoli Pass

1. Siena: Duomo Complex & Santa Maria della Scala Acropoli Pass

Visit 2 of Sienna’s most stunning sights with the Acropoli ticket, allowing you skip-the-line access to the Sienna Cathedral complex and the Santa Maria della Scalla. After exchanging your voucher at the Sienna Cathedral’s ticket office, head into the 13th-century church. Admire the towering, ornate dome, and unique striped marble pillars. As you stroll, keep your eyes peeled for sculptural works by Michelangelo, among other renaissance masters. Afterwards, head to the Santa Maria della Scala. One of the oldest still existing hospitals in the world, the Santa Maria della Scala was built between the 9th and 11th centuries, and now houses a remarkable collection of renaissance art — from Raphael, to Donatello, and beyond. Gaze at elaborate frescoes, altarpieces, and religious relics. All the while, enjoy stunning views of the entire city as you amble around the upper portion of the town.

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Siena: Self-Guided Scavenger Hunt and City Walking Tour

2. Siena: Self-Guided Scavenger Hunt and City Walking Tour

Explore the top sights in Siena with an interactive smartphone tour. Stroll through the city solving location-based riddles on this walking tour. See the rose window and elaborate façade of Siena Cathedral and view the facinating architecture in Piazza del Duomo. Solve puzzles outside of ten Siena attractions. Follow clues at each attraction to find your next destination. Enjoy the challenge of using logic, imagination, observation, and team spirit to complete the game. Feel the satisfaction of solving each riddle. Have the freedom to pause or resume the tour whenever you want. Admire the city at your own pace. Uncover interesting information and facts about the city. Snap as many pictures as you want. 

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Siena: The Life of St. Catherine Tour

3. Siena: The Life of St. Catherine Tour

Begin with the Basilica of San Domenico, exploring this extraordinary chapel dedicated to the saint on the right side of the nave. Your tour continues to the suggested birthplace of St. Catherine, which became a sanctuary in 1464 shortly after her canonization. The sanctuary consists of three oratories with decorations of different periods, ranging from the Renaissance to the Baroque to the Sienese Purism. These oratories allow you to understand the intense mystical and diplomatic life of St. Catherine. From the house of St. Catherine, 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 their houses, laboratories, and warehouses for dyeing cloth in this area. Among them was Catherine’s father, Jacopo Benincasa. From the fountain, decide whether to take the escalators that lead near the Duomo or walk along the Via del Costone, which offers wonderful panoramic views. Catherine used to walk this way to reach the cathedral and the hospital, and it was there that according to legend she had her first mystical vision as a small girl. You then reach Piazza San Giovanni, where the baptistery is located. It was rebuilt there as a sort of second façade of the cathedral during Catherine’s ages, who received the sacrament of Baptism there. Going up the steps of the Baptistery you reach the Duomo, in front of which the imposing building of the Hospital Santa Maria della Scala stands. In this place, Catherine used to offer her help to the sick and poor people of the city. Inside you will visit the Oratory where Catherine rested and prayed after having dedicated herself to works of charity.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Santa Maria della Scala

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