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“Good and Bad Government: Let's make all politicians and bankers study these pictures!”

Palazzo Pubblico and Museo Civico
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Private Tuscany Tour from Florence Including Siena, San Gimignano and Chianti...
Ranked #9 of 154 things to do in Siena
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Owner description: Siena's City Hall, whose construction began in the 13th century, houses the city's Civic Museum, whose collection includes the profound fresco entitled "Allegory of Good and Bad Government."
Reviewed July 26, 2012

Nearly 700 years ago Ambrogio Lorenzetti painted frescoes on the walls of the Hall of Peace in Siena's Palazzo Publico. They represent Good and Bad Government and are just about as relevant today as they were in the 14th Century. When you have Good Government, agriculture and trade flourish and there is an interdependence between the countryside and the city where the farmers and shepherds get fair prices for their meat and wool. Building trades flourish. Shopkeepers make a good living. People are happy and celebrate with music and dancing. Under bad Government, lawlessness is rife, traders and bankers are corrupt, usurers profiteer and justice fails and is tainted. Does that sound relevant? There's much more to see in the Palazzo Publico and you don't have to join the queue to climb the Torre del Campo- and you still get to go a viewing platform with marvellous views of Siena and the Tuscan landscape around.

Thank Julian1943
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"bad government"
in 52 reviews
"civic museum"
in 13 reviews
"simone martini"
in 11 reviews
"della pace"
in 4 reviews
"town hall"
in 13 reviews
"wonderful museum"
in 3 reviews
"great frescoes"
in 3 reviews
"piazza del campo"
in 14 reviews
"audio guide"
in 5 reviews
"worth a visit"
in 8 reviews
"bell tower"
in 5 reviews
"mangia tower"
in 3 reviews
"on display"
in 5 reviews
"interesting history"
in 3 reviews
"combined ticket"
in 3 reviews
"middle ages"
in 3 reviews
"works of art"
in 3 reviews

192 - 196 of 713 reviews

Reviewed July 21, 2012

While the Duomo in Siena is truly full of interesting and beautiful things, if you've left yourself time to see only one thing of consequence then it really should be the magnificent Museo Civico in the Palazzo Pubblico (Townhall) in the Piazza del Campo. While the building itself, built between 1297 and 1305 is considered an excellent example of gothic secular architecture, it's the art within that really stirs the soul. The chief masterpiece from an artistic and political point of view is the Sala della Pace, which houses on three walls the stunning fresco of the Allegory of Good and Bad Government. It was completed between 1337-39 by Ambrogio Lorenzetti in the room where The Nine chief magistrates met to govern Siena. In addition to the iconic images of a languid Peace and a busy Justice, assisted by angels, it contains beautifully detailed images of the Renaissance city and citizens of Siena and its surrounding countryside enjoying the effects of both good and bad government (although the latter has suffered some water damage). And in a country full of attention grabbing "Madonna col Bambino e you-name-it", the huge red, blue and gold Maesta, painted in 1325 by Simone Martini, is worth contemplating with its grand canopy and nearly gender balanced legion of saints. The opposite wall in the Sala del Mappamonde has an odd collage of frescoes from different periods. The graphic black and yellow on bright blue portrait of soldier of fortune, Guidorriccio da Fogliano, and his draped horse, painted in 1329, has a modern trendy quality to it and in fact does decorate half the t-shirts in the gift shop. Below it, however, is a much faded fresco and on either side two exquisite trompe l'oeil saints in niches probably done a couple centuries later. Oddly, bisecting this large high ceilinged room on the day we visited in June was a giant swivelling white hoop--the kind of art that makes you wonder weeks later, "what was that about?" Many other pieces are much more straight forward including a room covered in frescoes of the life of Pope Alexander III, a former native of Siena. The museum ceilings are also wonderfully painted and gilded and a small dark wood chapel splendidly carved and decorated. There are several interesting pieces of sculpture too. The museum also provides access to a wide loggia on the second (third to us North Americans) floor that gives a fabulous view looking south over Siena and the surrounding area. If you can manage the long broad staircase go up and join the noisy swallows. Come down after and browse through the gift shop. It leans heavily on books on art for all ages but does have some postcards and t-shirts and little tchotchkes.

Thank piercesmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2012

Passed through it. Nice. I guess if you're really in to music it may be more significant. Worth seeing.

This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 6, 2012

It is beautiful, with amazing frescoes and it offers great views from the loggia, I assume that from the terrace it would be even wider; alas photography is not allowed, not even without flash.

1  Thank Tatiana C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 24, 2012

the history and paintings are amazing. Good government vs Bad government interesting and so true. the view from the top, well worth the climb and wait.

Thank acmichaels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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