Abbadia San Salvatore

Abbey of Sant'Antimo




Archipelago Toscano




Badia di Coltibuono

Bagno Vignoni

Barberino Val d'Elsa


Bolsena Lake


Brunello di Montalcino




Castel del Piano



Castellina in Chianti


Castelnuovo Bererdenga

Castiglioncello Bandini

Castiglione della Pescaia

Castiglione d'Orcia

Castiglion Fiorentino



Chinaciano Terme




Città di Castello

CivitÀ di Bagnoregio

Colle Val d'Elsa


Crete Senesi

Diaccia Botrona

Isola d'Elba



Gaiole in Chianti



Greve in Chianti


Lago Trasimeno

La Foce



Massa Marittima

Montagnola Senese


Monte Amiata

Monte Argentario





Monte Oliveto Maggiore








Parco Naturale della Maremma







Radda in Chianti



San Bruzio

San Casciano dei Bagni

San Galgano

San Gimignano

San Giovanni d'Asso

San Quirico d'Orcia


Santa Fiora














Tavernelle Val di Pesa

Torrita di Siena




Val d'Elsa

Val di Merse

Val d'Orcia

Valle d'Ombrone




Walking in Tuscany
Siena, The Convent and Basilica dell'Osservanza

Walking trails in Tuscany Surroundings

Siena | The Convent and Basilica dell'Osservanza

The Basilica of St Bernardino all'Osservanza

The Basilica dell'Osservanza, situated on the outskirts of Siena, was built around 1490. The church probably designed by Francesco di Giorgio. The church was expanded between 1495 and 1496 by Magnifico Despota Pandolfo Petrucci.

Built in the Renaissance style, the original complex was damaged during the Siege of Siena in 1554. It was rebuilt during the Baroque period and restored between 1922 and 1932. During the Second World War it was almost totally destroyed by American bombing on January 23 1944, but in an ambitious post-war reconstruction project the original basilica was able to be rebuilt through photographs and evidence presented by the monks of the monastery.

'The church’s exterior is characterized by simple and well-balanced forms: the brick façade is preceded by a porch sheltered by a pitched roof, while the top part ends with a tympanum that contains, in its centre, the sun with the trigram used by Saint Bernardino; the bell tower is a replica made in the late-seventeenth century.
The interior impresses with its refined elegance, in line with the Renaissance canons of orderliness, harmony, and proportion. The plant has a single nave, enriched by four chapels on each side, and the sanctuary , which is higher than that the nave, is covered by a dome.
This simple frame, inspired by respect of Franciscan spirituality, houses some magnificent works of art from the Sienese and Florentine schools, all made between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries.

Some of the Basilica’s magnificent paintings are a testament to the devotion to St. Francis and his friars and, therefore, also of St Bernardino and the Observants’ dedication to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God. On view in the first chapel on the left there is the Madonna with Child and Angels, painted around 1455 by Sano di Pietro, a prolific artist from Siena with an extraordinary mastery in drawing and in the use of colours. '[1]

The Museo Aurelio Castelli is adjacent to the church, in the former Sacristy, and contains a collection of religious art and furnishings all belonging to the church itself.

Enlarge map


The Via Francigena

Historically, the Via Francigena was a broad network of trails originating in ancient Francia an ever-changing backbone of Roman and medieval roads leading to Rome.

The Via Francigena offers a wonderful opportunity to experience and enjoy parts of Italy that even many Italians have not seen.
Today, the Via Francigena in Italy starts at Gran San Bernardo and finishes in Rome, approximately 1000km later. It takes approximately 44 to 48 days to walk it (or less than half this time by bike) in Italy.
The longest segment of the Francigena and runs from Altopascio, down to Fucecchio, and on to Sienna passing through Castelfiorentino, Certaldo, Poggibonsi, San Gimignano and Monteriggioni before it arrives in Sienna. The fourth sector begins in Siena and goes south to Abbadia San Salvatore. From Siena south, the Via Francigena closely follows the Via Cassia, another of the old roman roads. Visits to Isola d'Arbia, Buonconvento, Montalcino, Pienza, the Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore and San Quirico d'Orcia are all worthwhile. However the last two stops of Sigeric, Bagno Vignoni and Abbadia San Salvatore, are the most spectacular. Bagno Vignoni is where for centuries people have gone for health cures because the sulphur water baths.


From Siena to Ponte d'Arbia

Siena, Duomo

La Via Francigena | From Siena to Ponte d'Arbia - 28.5 km

Departure: Siena, Piazza del Campo
Arrival: Ponte D'Arbia, Centro Cresti
Length: 28.5 km
ype of travel: On foot, by mountain bike
Travel time on foot (h: min): 6.20

Getting to the starting point: Empoli-Siena-Grosseto and Siena-Chiusi railway lines, Siena or Monteroni d'Arbia station


The 28.5 km leg of the Via Francigena begins in Siena and takes less than 7 hours. A challenging course along the roads of the Val d'Arbia, with rolling landscapes and views on the skyline of the city of Siena, leading to the Grancia di Cuna, an ancient fortified farm that was owned by the Santa Maria della Scala hospice.
The itinerary starts in the heart of the city: il Campo, the spectacular shell-shaped square where the famous Palio di Siena is held each year. You can admire the wonderful Palazzo Pubblico, whose interior is decorated with allegories by Lorenzetti and which houses the interesting Civic Museum in this square paved with the characteristic red bricks.
You can also visit the huge Tower del Mangia in the square. The top is 120 meters from the ground, from where you have a wonderful view of the city.
Continuing along the foothills of the Siena Crete, you pass Monteroni d'Arbia and reach Quinciano. A short distance away is the fortified town of Lucignano, with the Romanesque church of San Giovanni Battista. After a stretch along the railway line is the end of this leg in Ponte d'Arbia.[2]


View Tappa 12 in a larger dimension

The Via Francigena crosses the whole city and exits through Porta Romana to the south.
Piazza del Campo
is the principal public space of the historic center of Siena, Tuscany, Italy and is regarded as one of Europe's greatest medieval squares. It is renowned worldwide for its beauty and architectural integrity. The Palazzo Pubblico and its Torre del Mangia, as well as various palazzi signorili surround the shell-shaped piazza.
From Piazzsa del Campo, walk down Via Roma in the direction of Porta Romana. To the right is the church of the Monastery of Santa Maria degli Angeli, known as del Santuccio, now an education centre. Opposite, at number 50, is the Museo Bologna-Buonsignori, which houses an important collection of Etruscan ceramics once the property of Clemente Bologna di Montepulciano. To the left of Porta Romana is the museum of the Contrada di Valdimontone and then Piazza Alessandro Manzoni, with the magnificent flight of steps leading up to the Basilica dei Servi.

The Porta Romana, one of the old gates in the city walls of Siena, guarded the road leading to Rome. The gate was constructed in 1327.
From Porta Romana, the Via Francigena continues south, along a route that largely coincides with highway 2. On this street there are the still ancient hospitals of St. Mary of Bellem, known as the leper house of St. Lazarus, and two others, the Chaplet and the Hill of Malamerenda.

From Siena to Ponte d'Arbia -28.5 km

Da Siena a Ponte d'Arbia -28.5 km


Siena - Porta Romana

[1] Source: The Basilica of St Bernardino all'Osservanza |
In the second half of the fourteenth century the Sienese aristocrat Stricoccio Marescotti, who had dedicated his life to penitence and the care of the sick, turned his small country house on the Capriola Hill into an oratory dedicated to Saint Onuphrius the Hermit, donating it to the Hospital of Santa Maria della Scala. In the early fifteenth century, after having ensured that the Hospital would give the oratory to the Observants, Bernardino began the foundation of the friary, whose church was initially dedicated to the Assumpted Virgin and, after his canonization, to Bernardino himself (1451). He lived here until 1414 and returned several times during his life. During the fifteenth century, largely on account of the great evangelical activities carried out by Bernardino and of fame that he was gaining in Italy, Siena’s Observant community gradually acquired prestige in the city and importance within the Order. In 1474, Pier Paolo d’Ugolino Ugurgieri supported the construction of the church, under the supervision of the frati architectori in collaboration with two illustrious architects: Francesco di Giorgio Martini (who spent the last years of his life at the Capriola and was buried in the crypt) and Giacomo Cozzarelli, accountable for the sixteenth century additions.

[2] Source: La Via Francigena |

The Basilica of St Bernardino all'Osservanza |

Club Alpino Italiano, Sezione di Siena
Viale Mazzini,95 - 53100 Siena
telefono e Fax 0577 270666
orario di apertura
Lunedì - Mercoledì - Venerdì dalle ore 18 alle ore 19,30

La Francigena in provincia di Siena

Via Francigena | From Gambassi Terme to San Gimignano

Via Francigena | From San Gimignano to Monteriggioni

Via Francigena | From Monteriggioni to Siena

Percorsi trekking | Trekking nella Montagnola senese tra Monteriggioni e Badia a Isola | Anello Monteriggioni | Monteriggioni – Badia a Isola – Castel Petraia – Monte Maggio


Quinciano, Monteroni d'Arbia


Holiday accomodation Tuscany

Hidden secrets in Tuscany | Podere Santa Pia


Podere Santa Pia, garden

Podere Santa Pia

Podere Santa Pia


Colline sotto Podere Santa Pia

Colline sotto Podere Santa Pia

Abbazia di Monte Oliveto Maggiore

Colle di Val d'Elsa

De Basillica dell'Osservanza, Siena

Abbadia Monastero (Castelnuovo Berardenga)


La Basillica dell'Osservanza, Siena

Francesco di Giorgio Martini


Francesco di Giorgio Martini (baptized 23 September 1439 – 1502) was an Italian painter of the Sienese School and a sculptor, as well as being, in Nikolaus Pevsner's terms, "one of the most interesting later Quattrocento architects'"[1] and a visionary architectural theorist; as a military engineer he executed architectural designs and sculptural projects and built almost seventy fortifications for the Federico da Montefeltro, Count (later Duke) of Urbino, for whom he was working in the 1460s, building city walls as at Iesi and early examples of star-shaped fortifications.

Born in Siena, he apprenticed as a painter with Vecchietta. In panels painted for cassoni he departed from the traditional representations of joyful wedding processions in frieze-like formulas to express visions of ideal, symmetrical, vast and all but empty urban spaces rendered in perspective.
He composed an architectural treatise Trattato di architettura, ingegneria e arte militare, the third of the Quattrocento, after Leone Battista Alberti's and Filarete's; he worked on it for decades and finished sometime after 1482; it circulated in manuscript.[2][3] The projects were well in advance of completed projects at the time, but innovations, for example in staircase planning, running in flights and landings round an open center, or dividing at a landing to return symmetrically on each wall, became part of architectural vocabulary in the following century.[4] The third book is preoccupied with the "ideal" city, constrained within star-shaped polygonal geometries reminiscent of the star fort, whose wedge-shaped bastions are said[5] to have been his innovation.

Francesco di Giorgio finished his career as architect in charge of the works at the Duomo di Siena, where his bronze angels are on the high altar and some marble floor mosaics are attributed to his designs.

  1. Pevsner, An Outline of European architecture 1963:192.
  2. Center for Palladian Studies in America, Inc., Palladio's Literary Predecessors. The treatise was not printed until 1841, in Turin.
  3. di Giorgio Martini, Francesco (1841). Cesare Saluzzo. ed. Trattato di Architettura Civile e Militare (no figures). Tipografia Chirio E Mina, Turin.
  4. Pevsner 1963:281
  5. Siegfried Giedion, Space, Time and Architecture, 4th ed. 1962:43, fig. 6.



Francesco di Giorgio Martini, Madonna del Terremoto, 1467, Archivo di Stato, Siena
Podere Santa Pia, with its wide panoramic terrace overlooking the Maremma (April)




This article incorporates material from the Wikipedia article Francesco di Giorgio published under the GNU Free Documentation License.