The Palazzo Tolomei is the oldest surviving private palace in Siena. It is located in the square of the same name. At the moment, part of the building is being used as the seat of the bank Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze. The hallway of this bank is decorated with ancient architectural elements discovered during restoration works.
Palazzo Tolomei Siena
Address: Piazza Tolomei, 11 – 53100 Siena. Phone: +39 0577 246111. Opening times: From 07:30 till 16:30 (Sundays till 19:30). (Note that prices and times may be subject to change.)
History and description
The Tolomei were a family of bankers and merchants who had become wealthy and influential in the 11th and 12th centuries.
The Palazzo Tolomei was constructed in the very beginning of the 13th century. The first major restoration took place in 1267, after the family had returned from exile.
The exile had been imposed by Provenzano Salvani, a leader of the Ghibelline faction in the fight against the Guelphs, to whom the Tolomei belonged. After their return to Siena, the Tolomei retaliated by having the property of Salvani razed to the ground.
What to see
The building style of the palace, which consists of two floors, is Gothic. It is characterized by a massive portal and trefoil mullioned windows.
On the square in front of the building you can see an ancient column. The she-wolf on top of this colum was sculpted by Domencio Arrighetti.