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Siena Cathedral

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Visit the Duomo di Siena, also known as Siena Cathedral or the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption, is the seat of the Archbishop of Siena-Colle di Val d'Elsa-Montalcino and is one of the most important sites in the city. Take a guided tour of the impressive interior, climb to the Gate of Heaven, and discover the cathedral’s treasures in the Museo dell’ Opera. Lines can be long, especially in summer, so book your tickets in advance to skip the lines!
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Tickets

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Opa Si Pass: access to Siena Cathedral Complex
4.5starstarstarstarstar half(195)
 
musement.com
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Entrance tickets to Siena Cathedral and Piccolomini Library
4.3starstarstarstarstar half(14)
 
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Guided Tours

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Siena 2-Hour Walking Tour & Skip-the-Line Duomo Tickets
4.8starstarstarstarstar(129)
 
getyourguide.com
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Skip the Line: Siena Duomo and City Walking Tour
4.7starstarstarstarstar half(173)
 
viator.com
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Private Tour of Siena Cathedral
5.0starstarstarstarstar(1)
 
viator.com
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Private Tour of Duomo di Siena
4.0starstarstarstarstar empty(2)
 
getyourguide.com
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Specials

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Siena: Guided Walking Tour with Optional Cathedral Visit
3.8starstarstarstarstar empty(163)
 
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Siena Walking Tour: Medieval Exploration Game (Piazza del Campo, Duomo)
 
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5 Tips for Visiting the Siena Cathedral

1
Silence Please: Visit the Duomo’s Amazing LibraryThe Piccolomini Library is one of the highlights of Siena Cathedral, its brightly colored frescoes telling the story of Siena’s Cardinal Enea Silvio Piccolomini, who would go on to become Pope Pius II. You can examine them in more detail and see fine examples of illuminated manuscripts as you explore the library
2
Don’t Forget to Look DownOne of the marvels of the Duomo di Siena is its marble mosaic and graffito floor. Look out for the wolf suckling Romulus and Remus, the scene of the Slaughter of the Innocents, and other stories from the Bible and mythology. Most of the year the floor is covered to protect it, so visit between the middle of August and the end of October to see it.
3
Ascend the Gate of HeavenThe Porta del Cielo or Gate of Heaven is a unique feature of Siena Cathedral, a sequence of staircases and walkways that give you the chance to get the best views of the interior of the cathedral, the inside of the dome, as well as a wonderful view of Siena from the exterior of the cupola. The ticket costs an extra €5 but it is well worth every cent.
4
Don’t Forget the FaçadeThe façade of Siena Cathedral is a unique combination of French Gothic, Romanesque, and Classical features, and is one of the most impressive parts of the cathedral. Featuring hundreds of statues of religious figures, philosophers, and poets, plus glittering mosaics, you’ll want to spend some time spotting all the details.
5
Watch out for the Dress CodeThe Duomo di Siena is a religious building with a reasonably strict dress code. Visitors should ensure that their shoulders are covered and that any shorts or skirts reach to the knee. Bring a scarf or jacket to cover up in the hot summer months.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s special about Siena Cathedral?

The Cattedrale Metropolitana di Santa Maria Assunta, also known as the Duomo di Siena, is a large Roman Catholic cathedral and seat of the Archbishop of Siena-Colle di Val d'Elsa-Montalcino. Work on the cathedral began in 1196, and less than 20 years later masses were already being said inside the church, even though the building work was nowhere close to being finished. Various phases of construction continued until 1348 when the arrival of the Black Death in Siena caused the town to lose between 30 and 50% of its population. This last phase of construction, which would have more than doubled the size of the cathedral, was then abandoned. The cathedral is home to sculptures from many of the greatest Italian artists, including a statue of Saint Paul by a young Michelangelo, The Feast of Herod by Donatello, and a breathtaking sculpture of Saint Jerome by Bernini. Read more.

What’s the Gate of Heaven?

The Gate of Heaven, or Porta del Cielo, opened in 2015. Located in the rafters of the cathedral are a sequence of rooms and walkways that were previously only accessible by builders working on the site. Along the path, you can get a closer look at the stars painted on the inside of the impressive dome, the stained glass windows, and a bird’s-eye view of the mosaic floor, if it’s uncovered. On the left-hand side of the church, you’ll also be able to access the terrace around the cupola, where you’ll get a staggeringly beautiful view over the city of Siena. The Gate of Heaven can only be visited with a guide at a specific time, so make sure to check when you book your tickets that this option is included and make a note of your selected time. Read more.

What’s inside the Museo dell’ Opera?

The Museo dell’ Opera was founded in 1869 and houses a large percentage of the original and most precious artwork from the cathedral is on display inside. It’s located in the north aisle of the ‘new cathedral’ and is spread over two floors. The crypt contains most of the original statues from the façade designed by Giovanni Pisano, removed to protect them from damage. It also contains an original stained glass rose window by Cimabue which was removed during World War II to protect it and was later replaced by a replica. You can get far closer to these pieces that the artists ever intended so you can really see every detail. On the first floor, you’ll be able to see an elaborate altarpiece by Duccio di Buoninsegna which took three years to paint. The first floor also contains the treasury, which contains more than 200 liturgical objects, many of which are made of gold and precious stones. One of the highlights is a delicate golden rose created by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The final floor contains a collection of religious paintings dating from the 13th to the 19th century and a selection of tapestries and textiles. Read more.

How much time should I plan for a trip to the cathedral complex?

If you’re not planning to take the Gate of Heaven tour, then you should plan around two hours to explore the Cathedral, the Museo dell’ Opera, the Piccolomini Library, and Baptistry. The Gate of Heaven tour takes between half an hour and an hour, so if you’re intending to climb to the walkways you should plan at least three hours for your visit. If you’re the kind of person who loves religious architecture, you can easily spend half a day or more exploring every part of the cathedral complex in depth. Read more.

Should I take a guided tour?

If you’re intending to visit the Gate of Heaven then you’ll have to take part in a guided tour. You can easily explore the other areas of the cathedral without a guide, but you might want to consider one anyway! The cathedral has a long and interesting history and its interior contains several quirky features that you might miss without someone who can point them out. There is a multimedia tour available to borrow which takes you on one of three routes: Cathedral, Museo dell’ Opera, or All-Inclusive Opa Si Pass. The tour takes up to an hour and can also provide more context, especially in the Duomo Nuovo. There’s also an audio-guide available in Italian, English, French, Spanish or German to rent for an additional €5. Read more.

Can I attend mass in the cathedral?

Of course! If you’re visiting for a service or to pray, enter via the Porta del Perdono, the Gate of Forgiveness. Mass is said daily at 10 am in the Madonna del Voto chapel, and on Sundays and public holidays at 8 am, 11 am, 12.15 pm, and 6 pm (6.30 pm in summer). If you’re not intending to attend a service but will still be visiting during mass, please be quiet and respectful of those attending the service. Read more.

General Information

Opening Hours:

The Cathedral, Piccolomini Library, Museum, Panorama and ‘Duomo Nuovo’, Crypt, Baptistry, Beneath the Cathedral, and Gate of Heaven have the same opening hours.
From March 1 to October 31, they’re open from 10.30 am to 7 pm, except on Sundays and public holidays when they’re open from 1.30 pm to 6 pm.
From November 1 to February 28, they are open from 10.30 am to 5.30 pm, except on Sundays and public holidays when they open at 1.30 pm.
From December 26 to January 6, they are open from 10.30 am to 6 pm, except when they open at 1.30 pm on Sundays and public holidays.
The Porta del Cielo is open from March 1 to January 7, and the opening times are the same as the rest of the cathedral complex.
Final admission is half an hour before the complex closes. Be aware that religious services may mean that opening times vary.

Address:

Duomo di Siena
Piazza del Duomo, 8
53100 Siena SI
Italy

Tickets:

The Opa Si pass includes access to the Cathedral, the Piccolomini Library, the Baptistry of San Giovanni, the crypt, the Museo dell’ Opera, and the terrace on top of the unfinished façade. The ticket costs €15 during the peak season (August 18 to October 27), €13 for most of the year (March 1 to August 13, October 28 to October 31, December 26 to January 1), and €8 for the low season (November 1 to December 24, January 7 to February 28). Children between the ages of 7 and 11 pay €2 all year round.

Entry is free for children under the age of 7, visitors who are residents of the municipality of Siena, disabled visitors and one companion, and students of the universities of Siena or Stranieri.

The Gate of Heaven All-inclusive ticket includes all of the above areas of the complex plus access to the roof of the Cathedral. This ticket costs €20 for adults and €5 for children aged between 7 and 11, and is available from March 1 to January 1.

How to get there:

It takes about 15 minutes to walk to Siena Cathedral from the main train station in Siena, and it’s also within walking distance of several of Siena’s most important attractions. You can even reach Siena from Florence within an hour and a half, making it the perfect location for a day trip. The closest stop for local buses is Piazza Indipendenza, which is served by routes 589, 637, S21, and S54. It is extremely difficult to find parking near the Old Town in Siena, so it’s better not to drive if you can help it.
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