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Palazzo Chigi Saracini

Palazzo Chigi Saracini is one of the most beautiful medieval buildings in Siena. The most ancient part was built by the Ghibelline Marescotti family in the 12th century, while the building became larger in the middle of the fourteenth century, absorbing all the adjacent houses and buildings. The council of the Rulers of the Republic of Siena was located here, when in the 16th century it was purchased by the Piccolomini del Mandolo family.
It was at this time that the medieval tower that had belonged to the Marescotti family was enlarged: a statue of Pope Julius III by Giulio Signorini was placed in the atrium, and the courtyard and vaulted portico were embellished in Renaissance style with frescoes and grotesques by Giorgio di Giovanni. It was after the middle of the 18th century that the Saracini family further enlarged the building, lengthening the fourteenth-century facade with a row of triple lancet windows as fare as the Vicolo di Tone alley. In 1877, the property was bequeathed to Fabio Chigi, who took on the surname of Chigi Saracini Lucarini. It was his nephew Guido who, in 1932, established the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in the building, which has now become an important school of advanced music studies. The building contains a beautiful gallery in which there are important Sienese works of art from the thirteenth to the twentieth century, including a Madonna dating back to the early thirteenth century by the Master of Tressa, an Adoration of the Magi and fragments of a painted cross by Sassetta, a small triptych with doors by the Master of Osservanza, and a Madonna by Matteo di Giovanni.

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