Beauty in San Gimignano, Siena, Assisi, and Rome

By Pamela Fusting
M.A.C.E. student, Blending Learning Program

Our trip continues!  From the wonders of art and architecture in Florence, we moved on to a series of medieval towns, including San Gimignano, Siena, and Assisi.

San Gimignano

In addition to the pure beauty of the Tuscan landscape, we have been amazed by the detail and intention behind each piece of art or architecture.

Duomo in Siena

We were struck by the intricate marble floor work in the Duomo in Siena (1215 A.D.), which includes images of Old Testament prophets, various images from wisdom literature, and distinct images of sibyls – all foretelling the coming of Christ as they point toward the altar at the front of the church.

Marble floor work in the Duomo in Siena

We found two entrance doors in the design of the St. Francis Basilica in Assisi (built in 1228-1253), where previously churches had three doors to reflect the Trinity. Here in Assisi, the design was meant to echo the message about Jesus’ humanity to a people who were afraid of a divine Jesus. We gazed in awe at the various frescos depicting multiple scenes. We pondered why they were chosen for the walls of these buildings and considered how the artists translated the narrative into these images.

St. Francis Basilica in Assisi
St. Francis Basilica in Assisi

Next, we headed to Rome and began our activities in this ancient city with a tour of the Vatican Museum.


The only thing more memorable than our visit to the Sistine Chapel was the torrential downpour with lightning and hail upon our exit, in which our 20-minute walk to the hotel turned into a mad dash through rivers of water flowing across the city streets!

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