The City Hall (in italian: Palazzo Comunale) of Siena rises next to the slender Torre del Mangia in Piazza del Campo and can be considered one of the main symbol of the city. At the behest of the Nine Governors of the Republic of Siena, it was built between 1297 and 1310, with brickwork and with white elements in marble. It has flat-topped merlons and decorative windows, numerous openings all over the buildings. The façade reflects different periods of construction.
The Torre del Mangia was added in the 14th century and the Chapel was built in 1352 as a thanksgiving to the Virgin Mary for the end of the plague that had been flagged the city for a decade.
Palazzo Comunale is still today the official seat of the Communal Administration, housing the offices of the modern Town Council, those of the Mayor and some State rooms.
On the first floor there's the Civic Museum that preserves masterpieces of Sienese art such as Allegoria ed effetti del Buono e del Cattivo Governo, the series of frescoes by Ambrogio Lorenzetti and the splendid Maestà by Simone Martini, one of the most important works of the fourteenth century in Italy, depicting the Madonna with the child surrounded by the angels and saints.
On the second floor there is the Town Council Meeting Room and a loggia facing south. Next to the Torre del Mangia, there is the so-called 'Cortile del Podestà', the Podestà Courtyard, decorated with antique coats of arms.
Cover image credit: Stefano Cannas