Secret Siena – Discovering the Hidden Treasures of the Medieval Town

A Lecture by Professor Luca Bonomi

Professor Luca Bonomi, President of the Societa` Dante Alighieri in Siena, will describe the most unusual and hidden aspects of his city, Siena. Drawn in by the “visible and evident” beauty of the city and its artistic treasures, visitors often overlook Siena’s less accessible aspects, which make up its grandeur. First Professor Bonomi will discuss the very roots of the city, when during the 13th and 14th centuries, unknown and brilliant designers created a complex network of canals for collecting rain water, which was then used by the residents. The second half of Professor Bonami’s journey will lead us to the analysis of the mosaics that adorn the floor of the Duomo of Siena, created by the most well-known artists of the late 15th century. This pavement can be seen only one month per year in its entirety. The symbols and the surprising selection of characters represented in the mosaics, and their placement along the path from the entrance to the high altar, remain today only incompletely understood. Giorgio Vasari considered this mosaic to be technically unachievable from an artistic point of view because of its incredible beauty.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010


The University of Chicago, Stuart Hall 102

5835 South Greenwood Avenue


Organized by: IIC