Pubblico Palace (Palazzo Pubblico)
Towering over Piazza del Campo, this 14th-century Gothic gem was built as a symbol of Siena’s wealth and power and still functions as Siena’s City Hall 700 years later. The Civic Museum inside is home to spectacular Sienese school frescoes, while the Torre del Mangia bell tower offers views over the rooftops to the Crete Senesi hills beyond.
The Palazzo Pubblico is one of Siena’s most important architectural sites and highlights many walking and bike tours through the old town. You can opt for viewing the palace from the city’s UNESCO-listed main square, or pause to visit the Cortile del Podestà (Courtyard of the Chief Magistrate) and Civic Museum (Museo Civico) inside. Some sightseeing tours that visit the palace also pair culture with cuisine by including tastings of Tuscan specialties and wines.
Things to Know Before You Go
Palazzo Pubblico is a must for art and architecture enthusiasts, especially the excellent Civic Museum inside.
The soaring (and pencil-thin) Torre del Mangia offers endless bird’s-eye views, but you’ll have to take on more than 400 steps to reach the top.
Piazza del Campo is lined with alfresco café and restaurant tables with front-row views of the palace’s facade and bell tower.
There is a ramp at the entrance, an elevator to all floors, and an accessible restroom inside Palazzo Pubblico; Torre del Mangia is not accessible to wheelchairs.
How to Get There
Palazzo Pubblico sits on Piazza del Campo in the heart of Siena’s old town, surrounded by a restricted traffic area. Park your car at the Il Campo parking area outside the city walls and walk about 10 minutes to the palace. Alternatively, take a bus from the main train station in the valley below the city to the old town.
When to Get There
The Museo Civico and Torre del Mangia are open daily all year round, but can be crowded on weekends and holidays, so opt to visit on a weekday. The palace is not accessible during the Palio races that take place in the Piazza del Campo every year in early July and mid-August.
The Frescoes in Palazzo Pubblico
The 14th-century frescoes inside Palazzo Pubblico’s Civic Museum are unique because they were commissioned by the city government and depict secular themes. Almost all art created during the same period was made under the auspices of the Catholic Church and depicts religious themes. The most famous frescoes, Ambrogio Lorenzetti's three panels called The Allegory of Good and Bad Government, illustrate the effects of efficient versus corrupt governing bodies that still ring true today.
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- Fonte Gaia (Gaia Fountain)
- Palio of Siena (Palio di Siena)
- Piazza del Campo
- Mangia Tower (Torre del Mangia)
- Siena Civic Museum (Museo Civico di Siena)
- Siena Piazza del Mercato
- Baptistery of San Giovanni (Battistero di San Giovanni)
- Siena Historic Center (Siena Centro Storico)
- Siena Cathedral (Duomo)
- Piccolomini Library (Libreria Piccolomini)
- Santa Maria della Scala
- Siena Cathedral Museum (Museo dell’Opera Metropolitana)
- National Art Gallery of Siena (Pinacoteca Nazionale Siena)
- Basilica of San Domenico (Basilica di San Domenico)
- Montalcino Fortress (Fortezza di Montalcino)