Book a Stay at Minerva Hotel, in Historic Center of Siena, and visit Siena Cathedral’s Floor, Libreria Piccolomini and the Cripta.
- Stay in double room with breakfast
- Visita to Siena Cathedral’s Floor, Libreria Piccolomini and Cripta
Rate per room per night: 104 €
Valid from August, 18th to September, 3rd
Only 150 tickets available
Siena Cathedral contains numerous masterpieces from every age, but its marble mosaic inlay and graffito floor is in many ways its most prized possession. Giorgio Vasari certainly considered it the “most beautiful…, largest and most magnificent floor ever made”. The floor we see today is the product of a programme implemented between the 14th and the 19th centuries. The preparatory cartoons for the fifty-six inlay panels were supplied by leading artists, all of them Sienese save for the Umbrian painter Bernardino di Betto known as Pinturicchio, who designed the inlay depicting the Mount of Wisdom in 1505.
The technique used to transpose the various artists’ ideas onto the floor is known as graffito and mosaic marble inlay. Simple to begin with, the technique gradually achieved an astonishing degree of perfection. The first inlays were traced out on white marble slabs using a chisel and a drill and then filled in with black stucco, a technique called “graffito”. This was supplemented by a technique based on placing coloured marble pieces together using the marquetry method, a technique known as marble mosaic
Masterpieces of Siena Cathedral’s Floor
The marble mosaic inlay floor is unique both in terms of the technique used to make it and in terms of the message enshrined in its figured panels: a constant invitation to embrace Wisdom.