The Basilica of St Bernardino all'Osservanza


Moving north-east from Siena’s old town centre, past a road flanked by centuries-old plane trees, we reach the so-called Colle della Capriola where, next to the friary and with a magnificent scenic setting, stands the most important church outside the city walls: the Basilica dell’Osservanza.
Saint Bernardino of the Franciscan Order of Friars Minor, most eminent preacher of the fourteenth century, endorsed the construction of the new convent on this hill where peace and silence reigned, two features that matched the spirit of the Observants perfectly. Saint Bernardino lived in this place for several years: his cell has been recreated inside the friary and the museum housed in the sacristy displays some of his precious relics, including his robes and the tablet with the HIS trigram he used to display to his followers during his sermons.
On the outside, the basilica is extremely plain and almost unadorned, while its interior is exceptionally elegant and harmonious, in typical Renaissance style; its remarkable works of art are important testaments to the Sienese and Florentine art produced between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries.
  • Basilica of St Bernardino all’Osservanza, panoramic view.
  • Basilica of St Bernardino all’Osservanza, view of the interior.