The Mosaic Floor of Siena Cathedral

Uncovered every year from 18th August until the end of October

Piazza del Duomo, 53100 Siena SI, Italy


Cathedral, Piccolomini Library, Museum, Panorama and “Duomo Nuovo”, Crypt, Baptistry, Beneath the Cathedral, Gate of Heaven

1 March – 31 October: 10:30 am – 7:00 pm
Sundays, public holidays: 1:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Eve of public holidays: 10:30 am – 6:00 pm

1 November – 28 February (but not 26 December – 8 January): 10:30 am – 5:30 pm
Sundays, public holidays: 1:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Sundays, public holidays: 1:30 pm – 5:30 pm

26 December – 6 January: 10:30 am – 6:00 pm
Sundays, public holidays: 1:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Sundays, public holidays: 1:30 pm – 5:30 pm

Uncovering Floor Period Cathedral:
Sundays, public holidays: 9:30 am – 6 pm

Porta del Cielo:
Open from 1 March to 7 January.
The schedules follow those of the Cathedral

Tel+39 0577 286300

The Mosaic Floor of Siena Cathedral is a spectacular work of art, unique in the world, full of hidden messages and allegories, that encourages a continual search for understanding. A marble carpet created over six centuries, from the fourteenth century to the nineteenth, by the greatest Sienese artists, including Domenico Beccafumi, Sassetta, Matteo di Giovanni and Pinturicchio, who worked on one of the loveliest sections in 1505: The Mount of Wisdom, which depicts the path to virtue, in which Angelica symbolically represents Fortune, which governs the destinies of humans and resembles Botticelli’s Venus in shape.

Vasari described it as the “largest and most magnificent” floor in the world, and it is easy to see why: 56 panels, known as inlays, designed by Renaissance masters, copied by marble cutters and laid by stonemasons. It is made of magnificent local marble, combining a simpler grey one with the much more precious yellow marble, both from the Montagnola Senese (Sienese hill). The three aisles show people and episodes from Greco-Roman humanist culture that foreshadowed the Saviour’s coming, while the Madonna and Christ are located at the foot of the altar, and under the Cupola we find stories from the Old Testament. Other magnificent inlays include the Massacre of the Innocents by Matteo di Giovanni, where the marbles create a beautiful chiaroscuro effect, while the Story of Judith brings to mind the paintings of Paolo Uccello. Two-thirds of the Floor remains covered with special panels that protect it from wear and trampling by visitors.

You can see the uncovered floor every year from 18th August, after the Palio of the Assumption, until the end of October.

I Comuni di Terre di Siena