> Lorenzetti and the Good Government of Siena
Lorenzetti and the
"Good Government" of Siena
said that everything humanly possible has already been written
about the "Piazza del Campo" in Siena. Siena- which is seen
in postcards, books, and ashtrays all over the world. When one
comes out of any of the dark alleys which leads to the piazza,
the first impression is always one of seeing a magnificent stage
And so as soon as I get there, I sit down in a spot on that
antique brick pavement that gradually descends toward Palazzo
Pubblico, the centre point of that fan-shaped piazza. Nearby
there is a young Japanese couple that has decided to get married
in Siena and to shoot their wedding pictures in this square.
While they are posing for the pictures, the bride moves casually
in her white silk wedding gown with a short train. The groom,
on the other hand, in a blue double-breasted suit, seems rigid
and clumsy in front of the photographer. The tradition of throwing
handfuls of rice is accompanied by the flight of scared pigeons
from the commotion. The maroon colour background of gothic buildings
that surround the square and the immobile and serene blue sky
are the final elements for good-picture taking. "SMILE"...click.
I give them a smile to say goodbye and I head towards Palazzo
Pubblico where I would like to show you something exceptional.
Actually, the entire building is exceptional. Its architecture
dates back to 1300, its works of art and numerous frescos also
date back to the 1300's. It's a fairy tale atmosphere composed
of huge rooms which are usually not filled with tourists. Let
yourselves go and be seduced by the numerous and colourful emblems
of the noble families and of legendary personalities.
See the knights and saints which are painted all over the walls.
Before entering into the "room of peace" wait until the room
is empty in order to truly feel the Siena of the year 1300.
You will feel like you are living in that time among knights
with their horses at a slow trot, maidens that dance around
you, business merchants and artisans at work, farmers in fields
and the city with its noble towers, its churches and streets.
This is how Ambrogio Lorenzetti, in 1337, imagined and painted
the positive effects of a well-governed, prosperous and peaceful
But don't forget to turn and look at the other wall because
it demonstrates the negative effects of a "bad government":
a city devastated by famine, destruction, hate, uncultivated
land, and a multitude of terrible monsters- among which are
hate, envy and corruption which fall from the sky.
Like a great director, Ambrogio Lorenzetti (don't forget his
name) demonstrated exceptional detail for nature and for real-life
events. Once you have seen Siena, there is no need to go to
a theatre for entertainment, because you will have already seen
a real-life film.