Adjacent to Siena’s magnificent Duomo, the Museo dell’Opera della Metropolitana (or Museo dell’Opera del Duomo) is one of the most important museums in this Tuscan city. The collection includes artworks and architectural details from the Duomo complex, including masterpieces by the greatest artists of the Sienese school.
Appreciate the wealth of art and architecture in the Opera della Metropolitana Museum on a guided tour. Skip-the-line entrance tickets grant access to the museum along with the adjacent cathedral, crypt, baptistry (Battistero di San Giovanni), and Piccolomini Library (frescoed by Pinturicchio). Explore the museum and cathedral complex as part of a city walking tour or on a day trip from Florence to Siena, Pisa, and San Gimignano. Inside the museum, highlights include the 13th-century sculptures by Giovanni Pisano, an early-14th-century altarpiece and stained-glass window by Duccio di Buoninsegna, and works by Donatello and Pietro Lorenzetti.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Modest attire is required to enter the cathedral, so be sure to cover your shoulders and knees if planning on touring the entire Duomo complex.
- Walking tours of the museum, cathedral complex, and city of Siena cover quite a bit of ground; comfortable shoes are recommended.
- The Duomo’s museum, crypt, and baptistry aren’t wheelchair accessible; the cathedral, however, is accessible via a secondary entrance to the left of the main staircase.
- Photography isn’t allowed inside the complex.
How to Get There
The Opera della Metropolitana Museum is part of the Duomo complex on Piazza Duomo in Siena’s pedestrian-focused historic center. It can only be reached on foot.
When to Get There
The Duomo complex, one of Siena’s most popular attractions, can get very crowded in summer. If you visit first thing in the morning or late in the afternoon, you’ll avoid the midday crowds and enjoy the view over Siena from the top of the facade of the Nuovo Duomo (accessed via a narrow winding staircase inside the museum) in the best light.
History of Siena’s Museo dell’Opera
The building housing the Opera del Duomo was originally constructed as part of the Nuovo Duomo, the expansion of Siena’s cathedral that would have made it the largest in Italy in the 14th century. The plague of 1348 put a stop to these grand plans, and today what was once a single nave now houses the Cathedral’s artistic treasures.