Cathedral of Siena: Gate of Heaven Visit and OPA SI PASS

The Gate of Heaven Tour takes you under the roof, into the spires, and closer to the stunning architecture and art of the Siena Cathedral. Includes the OPA SI Pass, which gives you access to the entire Siena Cathedral Complex.

Overview

This ticket includes: Gate of Heaven Tour + OPA SI Pass

The Gate of Heaven Tour is back by popular demand – and you can be one of the few visitors allowed “closer to heaven.” Opened to the public only recently, the hidden rooftop structure of the Siena cathedral offers spectacular views onto the architecture and art of this building.

The OPA SI PASS gives you access to the entire Siena Cathedral Complex (Siena Cathedral, Saint John's Baptistery
, Crypt
, Museo dell'Opera
, Panoramic Terrace of the Duomo Nuovo/Cathedral
, San Bernardino Oratory

, and  - from June through October only - Beneath the Siena Cathedral: ‘Paths of Light’ guided tour)

 

The Gate of Heaven Tour:

The visit is allowed only in small groups with no more than 18 participants.

This is not a guided tour, but a visit led by security personnel. You will experience the secret places heretofore known only to the architects and workers who built this magnificent edifice.

You will receive the RoofMap to guide you during your visit and to take home. Available languages: English, Italian, French, German, Spanish, Russian.

Duration: 30 minutes

Availability (from March 1 through January 7 only):

  • From Monday to Saturday: 10:30 am to 6:00 pm, every 30 minutes
  • Sundays: from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm, every 30 minutes

 

The OPA SI PASS:

  • The OPA SI PASS allows you to save 50% of the cost of single admissions and to avoid long lines!
  • Purchase a single ticket to experience Siena's unforgettable art treasures.
  • Your OPA SI PASS admits you to the Siena Cathedral Complex, which includes several of the most important European heritage sites.
  • The itinerary can be completed in about 2.5 hours.
  • The OPA SI PASS is valid for 3 consecutive days from the date of emission.





The OPA SI PASS includes admission to the following monuments and attractions:


  • Siena Cathedral

  • Saint John's Baptistery

  • Crypt

  • Museo dell'Opera

  • Panoramic Terrace of the Duomo Nuovo/Cathedral

  • San Bernardino Oratory


  • (From June through October only) Beneath the Siena Cathedral: ‘Paths of Light’: A guided tour through the tunnels under the Cathedral of Siena, followed by an immersive video-mapping performance in 3D that illustrates the history of Siena and its people, and how this great little city gives light to such amazing works of art and architecture.

Reservations must be made with a minimum of 1-day notice.

 

HOW TO REACH SIENA:

BUS LINE FLORENCE – SIENA (SITA): Click here for information regarding this line

BY CAR

  • From the North: A1 Highway – exit “Firenze Certosa”. Take “Superstrada Firenze Siena” - exit “Siena Porta San Marco.” Follow indications to “Il Fagiolone” Parking, Strada di Pescaia, to pass the checkpoint and continue until Porta San Marco, where passengers will be able to start the visit of Siena.
  • From the South: A1 Highway – exit “Bettolle,” then, take “Raccordo Autostradale Bettolle Siena” - entrance Siena West Ring Road - “Siena Porta San Marco.” Follow indications to “Il Fagiolone” Parking, Strada di Pescaia, to pass the checkpoint and continue until Porta San Marco, where passengers will be able to start the visit of Siena.

 

Intro

Experience the tour that is back by popular demand – see the Cathedral of Siena from its topmost points! The Gate of Heaven Tour takes you into the hidden structure of the cathedral and offers spectacular views onto the architecture and art of this building.

The Gate of Heaven Tour - details and guidelines for the rooftop visit:

The magnificent facade of the Duomo, as the Cathedral is called, is flanked by two majestic towers ending in many spire-like forms that shoot upwards. Inside these towers, practically invisible to visitors, winding staircases lead up to the ‘heavens’ of the Cathedral.

An itinerary reserved for small groups accompanied by security personnel (not a guided tour) begins above the starry vault of the right aisle. You will indeed walk above the church and experience unusual points of view both inside and outside of the Cathedral.

From the vantage point of the polychrome stained glass windows depicting the Apostles by Ulisse De Matteis, you'll look onto the famous church floor and the principal sculptural monuments, as well as into the dome with the representation of Sienese saints, Saint Catherine and Saint Bernardino.

From the balcony of the dome, you will see the high altar, the copy of the stained glass window by Duccio di Buoninsegna with the “mandorla” of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in the center, and sculptural masterpieces. From the left aisle, you will look onto a splendid panorama with the Basilica of San Domenico, the Medici Fortress, the entire dome of the Chapel of Saint John the Baptist, and the surrounding countryside up to hills known as the Montagnola Senese.

Then, you will step behind the facade, at the balcony that looks out onto Piazza del Duomo and the view of Santa Maria della Scala, and enter the gallery on the counter-facade. From here, you'll have an overall view of the nave, seeing the heads of popes and emperors from above, as well as the inlay work representing the philosophers of the ancient world.

The image of the “gate of heaven” refers to Genesis 28:10-22. In this bible chapter, a ladder appears to Jacob in his dream, a ladder that reaches heaven, with the angels of God ascending and descending on it.

In his dream, God promises Jacob the earth on which he has slept and an immense lineage. When he rises, Jacob exclaims “This is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven,” a verse used by the liturgy of the catholic mass in dedicating cathedrals. In the litany of Loreto, the ‘gate of heaven’ also refers to the Virgin Mary as the Mother of Christ and of humanity, she is the ‘Queen assumed into Heaven.’

The Gate of Heaven itinerary will give you a different understanding of the dedication of the Cathedral of Siena to the Assumption of the Madonna, and the strong connection the people of Siena have had with the Virgin Mary for centuries – a connection reflected in the Siennese motto “Sena vetus civitas Virginis” (“Siena, ancient city of the Virgin”).

 

IMPORTANT GUIDELINES FOR VISITORS TO THE ROOF STRUCTURE:

  • Shoes: For safety reasons, the wearing of high-heeled shoes is STRONGLY discouraged. Visitors are advised to wear close-toed shoes with anti-slip soles (no slippers, thongs, sandals, clogs, or footwear with leather soles).
  • Caution – mind your head: Visitors are asked to pay the utmost attention to the height of ceilings and passageways.
  • Heights: The tour is not recommended for people suffering from heart conditions or dizziness, and anyone not in a suitable state of health to climb up to and visit the rooftop structures.
  • Visitors are advised to carry cameras, mobile phones, eyeglasses etc. on a shoulder strap or tied to the wrist in order to avoid accidental falls.
  • Children: Children must be held by the hand and kept under control at any time.
  • Fire: Smoking is prohibited in all areas, inside the building as well as outside and at lookouts.
  • Entrance/exit: Visitors are informed that for safety reasons, stopping at the winding staircase in the entrance/exit area is permitted only for the time strictly necessary to deposit or claim umbrellas (other personal effects cannot be deposited).
  • Depositing personal belongings: Visitors carrying backpacks or large bulky bags will not be admitted. Visitors are advised that personal effects cannot be deposited in the OPA Museum Complex.
  • Visitors displaying behavior that is illegitimate, illicit, harmful, or is dangerous for themselves and for other people present, such as failure to comply with the safety indications given at the time of booking and/or during the visit, will be asked to leave and have no right to reimbursement.



 

OPA SI PASS

Your OPA SI PASS includes admission to the following monuments and attractions:

The Duomo (Cathedral) is one of the most beautiful churches of Christianity. The Siena Cathedral hosts great artistic treasures: statues by Michelangelo, Donatello, Bernini, the pulpit by Nicola Pisano - masterpiece of medieval sculpture - the splendid atmosphere of the Piccolomini Library, with frescoes by Pinturicchio and the rich mosaic marble floor, "the most beautiful ever made" as Vasari wrote in 1568.

The Baptistery of St. John is a splendid Baptismal Font. One of the highest expressions of Renaissance sculpture, it was created by Jacopo della Quercia, Donatello and Lorenzo Ghiberti.

The Crypt. Hidden for over seven centuries, the Crypt was accidentally rediscovered during excavations in 1999. An extraordinary pictorial cycle from the 13th century will surprise you with vibrant original colors.

The Museo dell'Opera. Admire some of the most captivating treasures of Italian art, including the famous Majesty by Duccio di Buoninsegna - the largest altarpiece ever made - the delicate Golden Rose by Bernini, the Madonna with the Child by Donatello, and the moving crucifix by Pisano.

The panoramic terrace of the Duomo Nuovo. Enjoy beautiful and fascinating views of Siena and the Tuscan countryside. The panoramic terrace of the Duomo Nuovo is definitely the place for your Siena photo shoot!

The San Bernardino Oratory in the Piazza San Francesco is an extraordinary example of 16th century Siena, thanks to its perfect preservation.

 

Beneath the Siena Cathedral: ‘Paths of Light’ (Included from June through October):

A guided tour through the tunnels under the Cathedral of Siena, followed by an immersive video-mapping performance in 3D that illustrates the history of Siena and its people, and how this great little city gives light to such amazing works of art and architecture.

From the Middle Ages to the present day, the video-mapping experience traces the "leitmotif" of the performance - the hope for a rebirth through Wisdom inspiring Justice and leading to Concord. Everyday life and the craftsmen's workshops of yesterday and today are revealed through the voices of the people themselves, accompanied by music and bell-ringing.

Languages available for the visit: Italian, English, French and Spanish.

 

Hours "Gate of Heaven" Visit + Siena Cathedral Complex:

Times "Gate of Heaven" Tour (only from March 1 - January 7):

Duration: 30 minutes

Availability:

  • From Monday to Saturday: 10:30 am to 6:oo pm, every 30 minutes
  • Sundays: From 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm, every 30 minutes

 

CATHEDRAL OPENING HOURS:

  • March 1 - November 1: 10:30 am - 7:00 pm / Sundays, public holidays: 1:30 pm - 6:00 pm / Eve of public holidays: 10:30 am - 6:00 pm
  • November 2 - February 28 (but not 26 December – 8 January): 10:30 am - 5:30 pm / Sundays, public holidays: 1:30 am - 5:30 pm / Eve of public holidays: 10:30 am - 5:30 pm
  • December 26 - January 8: 10:30 am - 6:00 pm / Sundays, public holidays: 1:30 am - 5:30 pm / Eve of public holidays: 10:30 am - 5:30 pm
  • Cathedral: Sunday opening hours (March only): 1:30 am - 5:30 pm

 

CATHEDRAL MARBLE INLAY FLOOR OPENING HOURS:

The marble floor is uncovered from the middle of August until end of October:

  • weekdays: 10:30 am - 7:00 pm
  • Sundays: 9:30 am - 6:00 pm

 

Opening Hours Piccolomini Library - Baptistery - Crypt - Museum:

  • March 1 - November 1:10:30 am - 7:00 pm
  • November 2 - February 28: 10:30 am - 5:30 pm
  • December 26 - January 8: 10:30 am - 6:00 pm

 

Opening Hours Oratorio San Bernardino:

  • March 1 - October 31: from 1:30 pm to 7:00 pm (last admission bookable at 6:30 pm)
  • July 2 and August 16: from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm (last admission bookable at 4:00 pm)

 

Under the Cathedral of Siena: "Paths of Light":

>> Only from June 22 to October 31: 11:00 am - 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm - 5:30 pm

 

For all sites:

> Last admission half an hour before closing.

> Times could be subject to changes due to religious celebrations.

Before You Book

PLEASE NOTE: Immediately after submitting an order, you will receive two emails. The first email contains your order summary (this one you receive immediately after placing your order), the second email confirms your successful payment (one business day after placing the order). In order to receive these two emails, please make sure that you enter your email address correctly and check that antispam or antivirus filters do not block emails from our [email protected] address. Users of AOL, Comcast and Sbcglobal.net need to pay special attention to this, please. Vouchers will also be available, one business day after the request, at your dashboard.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The time you select on the order form is your preferred time. The museum or attraction will automatically confirm the closest available time, which can be anytime during opening hours on the selected date, if your preferred time is no longer available.

Cancellation Policy

Once a confirmation code has been assigned to your reservation, we can refund the cost of unused tickets, also for no-shows, minus a service fee (reservation fee and online booking fee).

Prices Detail

Timetables

Read more

Share this Service