The Way of the Virgin Mary

The Way of the Virgin Mary

Tour some of the Sienese signs of devotion to the Madonna and experience the mysterious bond that unites Mary with Siena.

Siena and Mary: an intimate relationship

Experience Siena through its unique relationship with the Virgin Mary.

Dedicated to the Virgin Mary several times during its colorful history, the people and the city of Siena have a unique relationship with Mary, Mother of God. Signs of their devotion to the Blessed Virgin are countless.

Lead by an expert guide, this tour presents some of them as a way of entering the marvelous and mysterious bond that unites Mary to her city.

Private guided tour for groups of up to 20 people.

Departure & Meeting Point:

San Domenico Church, at the dedicated “totem.”

Times & Dates:

From March 17 to October 15:
Between 10:00am - 12:00am and 3:00pm - 5:00pm (last tour at 4:00pm)
From October 16 to March 16:
Between 10:00am - 12:00am (last tour at 11:00am)

  • Tour includes admission tickets to the places to be visited. These will be picked up by the guide at the OPA ticket office upon arrival at each museum.
  • Tour guide available in Italian, English, French, German, and Spanish. Upon special request also in Portuguese, Japanese, and Hungarian.
  • Reservation must be made at least 10 days in advance.
  • Tour lasts about 90 minutes.

Save time ordering! Add all the museum tickets you want into your basket, then fill in the form and send your request.

PLEASE NOTE: Immediately after submitting an order, you will receive an email with your order summary plus a second email confirming your successful payment. A confirmation email with links to the vouchers will be sent one business day after you place your order (Monday afternoon for orders submitted on Friday and during the weekend). Please make sure that your anti-spam filter does not block automatic emails from [email protected]

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 any time during opening hours on the selected date, if your preferred time is no longer available.


For cancellations up to 7 days before the date of the visit: once a confirmation code has been assigned to the reservation, we can refund the cost of unused tickets and guide minus a service fee (reservation fee and online booking fee). Later cancellations and no shows are not refundable. Please note that the reservation fee is non-refundable.



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From the North: A1 Highway - exit Firenze Certosa. Take the Superstrada Firenze Siena - exit Siena Porta San Marco. Follow indications to Il Fagiolone Parking, Strada di Pescaia (checkpoint) and continue until Porta San Marco, where your visit of Siena begins.

From the South: A1 Highway - exit Bettolle. Then take the Raccordo Autostradale Bettolle Siena - entrance Siena West Ring Road - exit Siena Porta San Marco. Follow indications to Il Fagiolone Parking, Strada di Pescaia (checkpoint) and continue until Porta San Marco, where your visit of Siena begins.

The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta

Remember to enter with devotion into this most devout temple of worship for the Virgin”

Carved into the pavement of the cathedral at the entrance to the central nave, these words are addressed to anyone entering this splendid cathedral. Crossing its threshold is not simply a physical passage but can be the beginning of a spiritual journey. More than just a remarkable setting for art, it is said to be a dwelling place (domus) for God and His people. The facade, with its profusion of marble sculptures, announces the unique space. Here, you will see the predictions of the prophets carved on the scrolls displayed by the beautiful statues by Giovanni Pisano.

As soon as you are in the cathedral the splendid round stained-glass window set at the top of the apse catches your eye. It shows the Assumption of Our Lady and the goal of the human journey, the Kingdom of Heaven.

Below the window, the gold background of the painting on the high altar attracts the eye. Known as the Maestà, it presents the Virgin enthroned in majesty, serving in turn as a throne for her Child, surrounded by the heavenly court of angels and Saints.

The human journey is illustrated in the remarkable inlaid marble pavement. Starting from ancient knowledge represented by the philosopher Hermes Trismegistus and the Sibyls, we come to episodes from the Old Testament, and finally reach the figures who most anticipated Christ, the prophet Elijah, King David, and Abraham about to sacrifice his son Isaac.

To the left of the chancel is the superb pulpit which recounts the life of Christ up to his death and resurrection and the Last Judgment.

On the left of the splendid marble altar is the object from which the word cathedral is derived, the cathedra. It is the bishop’s seat, from which the successor to the apostles guides and protects the people entrusted to him.

The Basilica of the Servants of Mary

The Basilica of the Servants of Mary is especially dear to the Sienese. Here, the Order of the Servites is united with the entire city of Siena in the devotion to Mary
The church of the Servites was for centuries the second Marian shrine in the city, until 1611 when the new Collegiate Church of Santa Maria in Provenzano was built.

The building’s exterior is undecorated in response to the new mendicant order's call for simplicity of message and form. Inside, the church contains works of great artistic and spiritual value, devoted for the most part to the Virgin Mary. Especially noteworthy are the Bordone Madonna by Coppo di Marcovaldo, The Coronation of the Virgin by Bernardino Fungai, and Our Lady of Mercy by Giovanni di Paolo.

The Order of the Servants of Mary, also simply called “the Servites,” was founded by the Seven Holy Founders. These Florentine youths left their earthly goods and patrician families and withdrew to Mount Senario outside Florence to devote themselves completely to prayer and penitence. Their example was taken up by many, and the model of life practiced by the Servants of Mary began to spread, reaching Siena in 1250.

In 1304 the Servites were recognized by Pope Benedict XI as a mendicant order. From that moment on, the convents of the Servants of Mary multiplied all over Italy and then spread to the whole world.

After their initial desire to live the Hermit life in contemplation and penitence, the Servites devoted themselves to hospitality and service of the poor and sick. They chose to live their life in close contact with the townspeople, seeing to the care of their souls, constantly urging them to conversion, penitence, and devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows. Their actions were regarded as a powerful instrument in the fight against the heresies that were unsettling the church at the time. 

The Collegiate Church of Santa Maria in Provenzano

The Collegiate Church of Santa Maria in Provenzano was built in the early years of the 17th century as the home for a terra cotta statue of the Virgin Mary. The Medici family in Florence commissioned its construction following the miraculous preservation of the statue during the presence of the Spanish.

The Collegiate Church, today lovingly cared for by the parish community, has become for the people of Siena the second most important place of worship after the Cathedral. The annual July 2nd Palio, one of the two horse races that take place in the Piazza del Campo is dedicated to the Madonna of Provenzano.

Price per group:
Tickets & Guide for 1 to 20 people: € 200.00
Reservation Fee (non-refundable): € 20.00

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