For a long time, I thought that “duomo” meant “dome” in Italian or Latin. Then I looked it up just to be sure, and turns out that duomo means “home,” and a cathedral is called a duomo because it is the house of God. Ya tu sabes.
Siena’s duomo was completed in the 13th Century and is famous for its black and white stripes on the building’s exterior as well as an unfinished section from the 14th Century. It also has at least one statue by Michelangelo, wonderful mosaic floors and frescoed walls and ceilings.
The Campinale (bell tower) and a couple of the archways from the unfinished section of the Cathedral. As mentioned in the previous post, the city ran out of money and manpower after the Black Death wiped out two-thirds of the population in 1348. This would have been the new front to the duomo. It now serves as a great place to see the city from a bird’s eye view (can you see the people up top?).
Once inside, you’ll see marble flooring that includes this section with the names of several cities and their symbols. Florence’s symbol is the lion, Urbana is the goose, Rome’s is the elephant (as the largest city), and in the middle of them all is Siena, whose symbol is the she-wolf suckling Remus and Romulus from Ancient Rome’s creation myth. Florence’s lion
Michelangelo’s St. Paul — this is one of several statues in the Piccolomini Altar. There is disagreement among art scholars about whether or not Michelangelo sculpted the others or he left them for his students to do. Regardless, he had signed a contract to complete 15 statues, and quit the project without having completed it. Classic Michelangelo.
The frescoes in the Libreria Piccolonmini were designed by Raphael, but the work was done by a painter called Pinturicchio in the 1400s.
My favorite section of the floor — the crescent moons