One of the things I wanted to see while in Siena Italy was the magnificent cathedral. I had heard from other travelers that it was one of the most beautiful in all of Italy and I have to say, it lived up to that description.
So after climbing up and down the narrow streets of Siena, we rounded a corner and there it was in all of its dazzling beauty.
Both the exterior and interior are constructed of a combination of white and greenish-black marble in alternating stripes.
Since the color "burnt siena" was named for this city, it was hard to believe that at one time black and white were considered the symbolic colors of the city of Siena.
The facade of the Siena Cathedral is capped with a glowing mosaic of the Coronation of the Virgin with two smaller mosaics over the two side doors. And, those mosaics are surrounded in all directions by statues of saints and lace-like adornments.
Inside the cathedral, my eyes were immediately appreciative of the symmetrical black and white stripes of the walls and the columns.
The molding around the nave of the church contains 172 plaster busts of popes starting with Saint Peter and ending with Lucious III.
The round stained glass window in the front of the church dates back to 1549 and represents the Last Supper. The vivid colors belie their long years on display.
I found myself drawn to the inlaid marble floor which is said to be one of the most ornate in Italy. The inlaid marble covers the entire floor of the cathedral with panels of different sizes telling stories from the Old Testament.
The Cathedral of Siena was truly the most beautiful church I saw on my trip to Italy.