There is a place in Siena that you should visit because is a masterpiece of Middle Age and rises on a hill which gives an amazing view above the city, a church which keeps many artworks and could be included in a touristic itinerary which combines art, history and oddities.
This venue is the Church of San Clement in Santa Maria dei Servi, located on a hilltop at piazza Manzoni, above Valdimontone, a nice overlook where to take pictures, admire the landscape and relax yourselves.
The former church of San Clement was acquired by the Servite Order in 1250, then they start to build a new cloister thank to the donations of the municipality and the Tolomei family; but the works continued until XVI century and the church was consecrated only in 1533, although the facade wasn’t completed.
The Church, now, features a great contrast between exterior and interior. The three aisles have a Renaissance style, the transept and the chapels have a Gothic style while the altars were added during the Baroque age. The Campanile, totally restored in 1926, was built in Romanesque style, so inside the Church you can see different artistic concepts and high value paintings among which the Madonna del Bordone by Coppo di Marcovaldo, the only one work of art by this author.
The oddity related to this painting is that the Florentine artist joined the battle of Montaperti and was imprisoned by the Senese winners. To get freedom he promised to realize a painting which now everyone can admire at the second chapel at the right of the Church. The iconography of this artwork inspired many others Senese painters, while here are held masterpieces as The Massacre of the Innocents and Madonna and Saints by Matteo di Giovanni, successful examples of Renaissance harmony.
At the end of the visit you can see the Grave of Matilde Manzoni, who died at the age of 26 in Siena; just when she lived here, she wrote a journal which documented her life in Tuscany, far away from her father Alessandro Manzoni and remembering the beloved mother Enrichetta Blondel. The Church of Santa Maria dei Servi is a landmark for travellers who want to know the true face of the town of Palio and desire to discover the origins of the prominence of Siena.