Public Palace : Michelin's recommendations
Of all the marvels of Siena, the Public Palace is by no means the least and it is one of the most attractive civil monuments in Italy. Sober and elegant, it brings together all the elements of Siena Gothic style and served as a model for a number of the palaces spread around the city. It has a light air despite its impressive volume and is dominated by the elegant Torre del Mangia, 88m high. At its foot is the Chapel of the Square, in the form of a loggia, a recognition by the inhabitants of Siena of their freedom from the curse of the plague in 1352. Having seen the tower and the not-to-be-missed panoramic view over the town, the tangled roofs and the serene undulating Siena countryside, the palace should be visited to see the Balia Room, covered in frescoes depicting the victorious fight of the Siena Pope, Alexander III, against Frederick Barbarossa, the chapel closed by a very attractive wrought iron grille which contains magnificent sculpted stalls, the Mappamondo Room (and although this has disappeared, the frescoes by Simone Martini depicting the Virgin in majesty and the equestrian portrait of Guido Riccio da Fogliano are superb!) and the admirable Peace Room. There between 1335 and 1340 Ambroggio Lorenzetti created the Effects of god and bad government, a fresco of great documentary value. Little more to say except that the effects of bad government are truly terrifying!
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