The Complex of Santa Maria della Scala, in front of Siena's grand Duomo, is one of the oldest 'hospitals' in Europe. As one of the first places to offer lodging and food to pilgrims and abandoned children, it's an important historical and cultural icon. It's now a significant museum complex. Skip the line and explore it all.
Santa Maria della Scala was once a welcoming sanctuary for orphans, the sick, and pilgrims. Its artistically rich interior says a lot about how the under-privileged were treated in those times. It has paintings and frescoes from important Medieval and Renaissance artists including Simone Martini, Ambrogio and Pietro Lorenzetti.
Several museums and monumental areas are spread across four floors, so allow yourself some time to explore.
Enter at Piazza del Duomo on level four and work your way down. Highlights are the Pellegrinaio - boasting a huge wall of 14th-century frescoes depicting the Life of the Virgin - plus the Old Sacristy. The Children's Museum has exhibits for youngsters, and the many altarpieces. The third-floor courtyard has a medieval hayloft with a marble Fonte Gaia by Jacopo della Quercia.
Plus, the Archeological Museum on the first floor is a treasure trove of unearthed relics. Pilgrims have been coming here for hundreds of years, now it's your turn.
Swap your smartphone voucher for a paper ticket at desk 1 or 2 at the ticket office.
Tickets for Santa Maria della Scala: Skip The Line