UGA Cortona program excursions to Siena focus on the incredible Duomo di Siena, a 13th century church built of black and white marble; black and white are the city’s symbolic colors, and bands of the colors on both the exterior and interior create complex, striking visual effects.
The Duomo contains a wealth of artistic masterworks, including a pulpit carved by Nicola Pisano, a sculpture of Saint Paul by Michelangelo, Donatello’s relief The Feast of Herod, and frescoes by Pinturicchio. Its Museo dell’Opera del Duomo contains artwork formerly housed in the Duomo, including Duccio’s Maestà.
Intricate mosaics of inlaid marble cover the Duomo’s floor, the work of dozens of artists over the course of two centuries.
Students and faculty also visit other sites in Siena, including its Palazzo Pubblico (City Hall), located along one edge of the city’s unique Piazza del Campo. The Palazzo now houses the Museo Civico (Civic Museum), home to Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s fresco cycle The Allegory of Good and Bad Government.
UGA Cortona Book Arts students make a special visit to the Archivio di Stato di Siena (State Archives), an archive containing books, documents, and artwork dating from 700 CE to the present day. The Archivo also presents a collection of Tavolette de Biccherna, paintings made for use as covers for bound volumes of accounting records.