If you’ve already been in Siena, probably you have visited the Duomo, one of the most representative churches of the Romanesque-Gothic style in Italy, and you have admired the masterpieces housed in the Duomo, including the frescoes of Pinturicchio and the works of Donatello and Michelangelo.
However we point out to you other churches that worth a visit, though lesser known to tourists, because are important for the history of Siena, showing the coexistence of very different architectural styles.
The church of San Giorgio, at via Pantaneto, was built in memory of the Battle of Montaperti, which occurred in 1260, an episode that ended the Florentine supremacy on Siena. The church was redesigned by Gian Pietro Cremona di Arosio, which restructured it between 1731 and 1738, for this reason the baroque appearance of the church differs from that of the Romanesque bell tower, which is characterized of 38 windows that open along its four sides and refer to the Sienese Military Complexes who joined the Battle of Montaperti.
Inside the church we recommend to see the funeral monument dedicated to the painter Francesco Vanni, realized by his sons in 1656 and marked by a marble coloring technique remained secret.
The church of San Raimondo al Refugio, located at Via del Refugio 4, dates back to the XVII century and is one of the best examples of baroque art in Siena, furthermore this church houses an art gallery full of works from the beginning of the XVII century.
We point out, among other things, the three ars of the church: the main one is dedicated to San Raimondo da Peñafort; on the right there is the ar in honor of Santa Caterina da Siena while the left side retains the liturgical table dedicated to San Galgano.
If you are interested in guided tours, you can visit the church on Wednesdays or Saturdays from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm, and follow the tours organized by the volunteers of the Italian Touring Club for Cultural Heritage.
The third stage is a church that we mentioned in the post The most beautiful Renaissance churches in Siena, the Basilica of San Clemente in Santa Maria dei Servi, realized after three centuries of work.
For this reason the Basilica is a synthesis of three architectural styles: Gothic, neo-Gothic and Renaissance.
When construction work began, the church of San Clemente was pre-existing and was incorporated into the new Basilica; several architects have succeeded in the realization, creating a very different church from the others in Siena.
Among the best works of art, we suggest the Madonna del Bordone by Coppo di Marcovaldo, dated 1261; The Adoration of the Shepherds by Taddeo di Bartolo, dating back to 1404, the modern decorations made at the end of the XIX century during the redecoration of the chapels, and the pipe organ built in 1925, placed behind the main arpiece.
The Basilica is located at Piazza Manzoni, on the hill overlooking the Contrada di Valdimontone, easily reachable from Piazza del Campo strolling along via del Porrione and via San Martino.
Follow a route dedicated to Sienese churches, you will find amazing works of art and fascinating history fragments just in a few meters!
Credits preview photo: By Sailko [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons