Palazzo Delle Papesse

The Palazzo Piccolomini, also known as Palazzo delle Papesse, was built between 1460 and 1495 on a Bernardo Rossellino project for Caterina Piccolomini, Pope Pio II's sister. The achitect originally planned a three-floors building, whose facade recalls, with its ashlared facing and mullioned windows, the Florentine buildings of the same period. The palace, still keeping in its inner rooms many Renaissance decorative elements, was acquired by the Bank of Italy in 1884 and underwent deep modifications to fit the new function. At the noble floor many rooms are decorated with Fifteenth-century style frescoes, painted between late Nineteenth and early Twentieth centuries. At the second floor, a terrace faces the roofs of the medieval town offering a great view of the Duomo facade, while on the highest point of the palace a rooftop loggia offers a magnificent 360-degrees view on Siena and its famous surrounding landscape

Permanent Collection

Since 1998, Palazzo delle Papesse, thanks to a close collaboration with the invited artists, built up a collection of works willing to create, around a dynamic museological concept in permanent transformation, a ‘historical’ memory daily accessible.


Palazzo delle Papesse announces the opening of their 2008 exhibition programme with the group show .za – young art from South Africa.
The exhibition was conceived by Lorenzo Fusi, who asked five established South African artists – Marlene Dumas, Kendell Geers, Bernie Searle, Minnette Vàri, Sue Williamson – to take part in the event in the role of co-curators.


Full: 5,00 euros
Concessions: 3,50 euros

Concessions for:
Over 65, disabled people, students, Erasmus students not doing the project in Siena, Accademia Chigiana students, ICOM, Touring Club Italiano, FAI cards, Buonchef tickets, ACI cards, International Artists Card, University of California in Siena.

Free entrance: children up to 11 years old, residents in Siena, Università di Siena, Erasmus Siena, Università per stranieri students, Società Dante Alighieri, Edumuseicard holders.

Opening hours


Closed on:

Getting there

By Car
From Milan or Florence:
Highway A1 - direction South - Exit Firenze Certosa.
follow for the Siena-Firenze junction.
From Rome:
Highway A1 - direction North - Exit Valdichiana-Bettolle -
Siena-Bettolle Road - Siena Ovest exit, direction Porta S.Marco.
By Train
From Milan or Rome: reach Firenze S.Maria Novella train station.
You can use the ES Link service, allowing you to reach Siena by bus if you arrive via Eurostar train to Firenze S. Maria Novella train station:
ES Link
By Bus
From Florence, Rome or Milan.
Sena-Eurolines connects Siena with London, Paris, Munich, Frankfurt
In Town
Follow direction to Piazza del Campo, then Via di Città towards Duomo, at about 300mt you'll see Palazzo delle Papesse on your right.

Museum internal and external photos (3)

Click on the images to enlarge


Beside its exposition and research activities, Palazzo delle Papesse also dedicates many of its energies to the diffusion of contemporary art in the city and in the territory through initiatives that engage the public in a direct way. The Center undertakes a fundamental popularizing function, offering educational activities and services dedicated to schools of all levels and to the adult public.
Themed guided visits for exploration or study, cycles of lectures on works and artists on exhibit, active interventions with the utilization of theater and new technologies, are just some of the initiatives aimed at increasing sensitivity to the languages and means of contemporary art. (Pleaase contact: Leonardo Scelfo or