If you’ve been to Siena you’ve most likely heard of Facciatone or you have been there, because it is from here that you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the town.
We recommend visiting this place because this facade is the symbol of an ambitious project remained unfinished, a dream that nevertheless left the Senese people a striking and unique monument, hough very different from what it would have been.
The Cathedral of Siena is known for being one of the most representative churches of the Romanesque-Gothic style and around 1330 it was decided to extend it: the church was intended to become the largest temple of Christianity.
In that period the town was at its peak in terms of economic and culture growth, but this “mad enterprise” (as defined by the art historian Enzo Carli) wasn’t meant to be successful, and today only the facade, the east nave (where is located the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo) and the perimeter walls of west nave remain.
The causes of the interruption of the work were the Black Death and the lack of funds due to the wars against enemy towns; today the so-called Facciatone stands on Piazza Jacopo della Quercia and is believed to be the most beautiful panoramic view in Siena, from whose top you can admire the amazing scenery that made the town famous, and that has inspired many artists over the centuries.
The Facciatone is attributed to Giovanni d’Agostino, architect also responsible for the side gate that overlooks Piazza San Giovanni, from which a flight of steps get to the crypt and the baptistery.
Although this is an unfinished work, it is worth to wander here and look at the Duomo Nuovo, a project that hasn’t scraped the early beauty of the Cathedral and historic center: every street of Siena tells something to travelers, evokes feelings, inspires ideas, explains what may be the charm of a medieval town that kept intact its most genuine traditions.