Piazza Salimbeni

Piazza Salimbeni (10)

This small rectangular square consists of three buildings, of which the Palazzo Salimbeni is undoubtedly the most important, as it houses the headquarters of Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena. And if we consider that it was created in 1624 by annexation of the Monte Pio bank, we can say that the bank already has more than 500 years of history. Hardly anything. The name Monte dei Paschi is derived from the Italian word, pascoli, meaning pasture. This is because, in the beginning, financial transactions were guaranteed by taxes on the pastures of the district of Maremma, which then belonged to the government.

Initially, however, this palace was the residence of the powerful Salimbeni family, whose possessions were confiscated in 1419. It was not until the late 19th century that Banca Monte dei Paschi bought the building.

The Palazzo Salimbeni is an elegant palace dating from the 14th century and underwent restoration and expansion work in 1879. Inside, in addition, you can find a large collection of works of art that you can see, if you ask for an appointment.

Another of the buildings forming the square is the Palazzo Spannocchi, built in Renaissance style by the Florentine architect Giuliano da Maiano in 1470. And opposite it is the Palazzo Cantucci, by Bartolomeo Neroni, known as Il Riccio, built in 1548.

In the middle of the square, there is a statue by the sculptor Tito Sarrocchi of an important person with great religious, political and economic power in Siena. It is Sallustio Bandini, who gave the city his vast collection of books and manuscripts just a year before his death in 1759.

But the square as you see it today is the result of a restoration and expansion in the Neo-Gothic style, designed by Giuseppe Partini in the late 19th century, and other remodelling carried out just 30 or so years ago. This set of buildings is certainly a collection of towers, fortress, palaces and works of art that are well worth visiting. 

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