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“Opera in the Cathedral. Really.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Siena Cathedral

Siena Cathedral
Piazza del Duomo, 53100 Siena, Italy
0577 286300
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Skip the Line
$37*
and up
Skip the Line: Siena Duomo and City Walking Tour
Ranked #1 of 54 Attractions in Siena
Type: Architectural Buildings, Historic Sites, Cultural
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Owner description: The magnificent complex of the Cathedral of Siena, its Duomo, houses a series of some of the most important monuments of the European artistic panorama. With its more than one million visitors every year, the Cathedral without a doubt represents the fulcrum of the entire complex, while other significant elements include the Crypt, the Baptistery and the Museo dell'Opera, all part of the impressive mass formed by the "Duomo Vecchio" (Old Cathedral), and the "Duomo Nuovo" (New Cathedral). Visitors will travel along a memorable itinerary to the discovery of self and the truth of faith through culture and art, the result of more than a millennium of Western history.
Stromboli, Italy
Top Contributor
110 reviews 110 reviews
69 attraction reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
“Opera in the Cathedral. Really.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2012

Three parts to this review: my overall point is that the Duomo is not only a church and feast of high art, it's a vital part of modern life in Siena too.

1/ the Palio Di Siena parade starts here. It's a great vantage point. In August the drappellone is brought into the duomo by the winning contrada - flag parties from the other contradas are there to greet the victors and a Te Deum is sung.

It's an electrifying experience - In fact energy expended is probably enough to power the city for a month.

2/ The sermon at Easter Sunday mass 2002 was also electric. The bishop of Siena spoke powerfully about the dangers of Big Men making war. He spoke of these guys egos. Of the dangers the big men were fomenting. As I listened to this side of the church state debate my mind went to the grand inquisitor and the king's duet in Don Carlos and really how little has changed over the past five hundred years - human nature is human nature.

3/ On the site of new cathedral a performance of Il Trovatore was captivating. (Not my favourite opera but as it is bookended by Rigoletto and Traviata, I won't complain) The scale of ambition in the early C13th to create a cathedral of such volume that the current duomo would simply be a nave is staggering. Anyway the opera was staged on the site , now the piazza.

Rather than buy a seat I stretched out on the marble steps of the duomo to watch my opera under the stars. I joined in the rapturous applause for the anvil chorus and the enterprise in general. Another happy night.

A canny stage hand did pass a bucket for voluntary donations for those like me who had enjoyed the night without buying seats - we all seemed to donate. It was the spirit of the night to do so.

Visited July 2012
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Harrogate, United Kingdom
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77 reviews 77 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
“A MUST VISIT”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2012

Stunning exterior,the interior is fabulous,beautiful floor telling so many stories,the artwork is wonderful,everywhere within the cathedral you are overwhelmed by the beauty of the place

Visited September 2012
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Saint Louis, Missouri
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93 reviews 93 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
“Wow. Impressive and Amazing Building.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2012

Siena is a bit trapped in the Middle Ages, but this Cathedral is worth the trip. Massive and ornate, this historic building is amazing to see in person.

Visited September 2012
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Manvel, TX
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Beautiful-- go inside”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2012

Oh, my. This cathedral will take your breath away. I took so many pictures and bought the guide book. This has to be one of the best cathedrals I have seen. We weren't able to do the audio tour due to time. The fee was worth it. Pay for your ticket and enjoy the most beautiful church!

Visited September 2012
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Paris
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39 reviews 39 reviews
17 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“Spectacular”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2012

Must see, take the multiple entries to all parts of the building. Advice: buy your tickets in advance to avoid the queue, for example the evening before your visit.

Visited August 2012
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