Siena: The Crypt

“A descent into the world of colour takes you into the heart of the Cathedral to the place popularly known as the “Crypt”, one of the most important archaeological discoveries of the past twenty years.” The website of the Opera della Metropolitana di Siena uses roaring language to open a…

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Siena: The Duomo

My first visit to Siena was in 2010. It was a rainy day and we got lost on the way to the city centre (which is quite an achievement: Siena is not that big). We had lunch at a mediocre restaurant that served factory-made tiramisu, which really should be a…

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Siena: Libreria Piccolomini

The Piccolominis were a prominent and influential family from Siena. Their influence was not confined to the city itself: two of the family’s most famous members became popes. Enea Silvio Piccolomini (1405-1464) was elected Pope Pius II in 1458 and held that position until his death in 1464. His nephew…

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Siena: San Francesco

This church in Siena was easy to see, but difficult to find. I had already spotted it while standing on top of the Facciatone, the end of the unfinished nave of Siena’s cathedral. But actually finding it proved to be a whole lot tougher. In fact, we got lost in…

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Arezzo: San Francesco

A visit to the church of San Francesco can be considered the highlight of any trip to Arezzo. The church itself is not very special. It was built in the second half of the thirteenth century (ca. 1290) and acquired its present form in the Tuscan-Gothic style about one hundred…

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Arezzo: San Domenico

We stumbled upon this lovely little church when we were kind of lost, looking for Vasari’s house in Arezzo. The San Domenico was not in our travel guide, but the information on the panel in the piazza sounded quite promising. The Dominicans have been present in Arezzo since about 1236…

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Arezzo: The Duomo

My first visit to Arezzo was in 2009. It was a complete fiasco. My friend had fallen off his bicycle, and we spent the entire day in the hospital. The only other building in the city that I saw that day was the railway station. Seven years later, I had…

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Milan: Museo del Duomo

The Duomo Museum was opened to the public in 1953. My travel guide to Milan and the Lakes (2010) claimed the museum was closed for renovation, but it seems to have reopened in 2013. Although it is not as impressive as, for instance, the Duomo Museum in Florence, the Museo…

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