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Synagogue and Jewish museum in Siena: discover 700 years of Jewish history in Tuscany

Synagogue in Siena exterior view Synagogue in Siena interior view Piazza del Campo - semicircular square in the centre of Siena

The Siena Synagogue was built in 1786 in neoclassical style and is located in the historic centre of the Tuscan city. The building style is typical of the synagogues in the ghetto, with no special external features but a rich interior. In contrast, the elegant interior of the synagogue is richly decorated. The rectangular hall contains rows of pews on the sides, while in the centre is the podium, built in 1756 and decorated with nine ten-branched candelabras. Opposite the ark is the women's gallery, the place reserved for women's prayers, as the Siena Synagogue follows the traditionalist rite. In this case, it is a kind of balcony closed by a wooden grille.

The entrance fee is already included in your Florence City Pass.

What awaits you at the Synagogue and the Jewish Museum in Siena

The Synagogue: 700 years of Jewish history in Siena

The architecture of the synagogue in Siena combines elements of rococo and neoclassicism. Old Torah scrolls, silverware and valuable paraments are kept in a hall next to the prayer room.

In Siena, the Jewish presence is linked to the district in which the Ghetto was locaed, a short distance from Piazza del Campo, where the Synagogue and the Jewish Museum still stand today. Established in 1571 by Cosimo I de' Medici and remaining in operation until 1859, the Ghetto constituted a true city within the city, in which Jewish daily life took place for centuries. 

The presence of ancient confraternities of assistance and rabbinical schools, active until the 19th century, made the Sienese Jewish Community particularly lively culturally and able to contribute significantly to the economic and cultural growth of the city. Much of the area was renovated in 1935 but some areas, such as the Temple, the Ghetto Fountain and the Jewish Cemetery, are still preserved and recognisable. 

The cemetary

The cemetery in Siena was founded in the 16th century, and the oldest grave markers in the cemetery today date back to the 17th century.

Synagogue: the building

The present synagogue was erected in 1786. Jewish communities in that era were prohibited from building houses of worship identifiable from the street, thus the stone facade of the four story building is plain, resembling neighboring residential buildings. 

 The interior with its elaborate neoclassical style and its lofty baroque ceiling is a different story. 

Siena: the city 

The picturesque town of Siena is located in the centre of Tuscany and has a population of around 55,000. The city is considered one of the most beautiful cities in Italy and is known for its great historical, artistic and scenic heritage and for the great stylistic uniformity of its medieval street furniture as well as for the famous Palio di Siena – a horse race held in the central square Piazza del Campo. In 1995, the historic centre was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. 



  • The Synagogue houses valuable pieces including the Prophet Elijah's chair, or circumcision ceremony chair, made of carved and inlaid wood, donated by Rabbi Nissim in 1860. 
  • The two-storey women's gallery overlooks the synagogue hall and houses the Jewish Museum. Protected by wooden gratings perforated with floral motifs, it is a cosy and evocative place. No longer used for ritual purposes, it complements the visit to the Synagogue and houses an itinerary of texts, images, prayer books and objects tracing the most significant aspects of the long Jewish presence in Siena
  • The synagogue is located near the Piazza del Campo and the impressive architecture and semi-circular shape are the hallmarks of this historic centre, which is particularly famous for the Palio di Siena horse race held here twice a year. 


Opening Hours

26 December 2023 to 31 March 2024
Monday to Friday: 10.30am – 3pm
Sunday: 10am – 1pm, 2pm – 6pm

1 April – 31 October 2024
From Sunday to Thursday: 10.30am – 1.00pm, 2.00pm – 6.00pm
Friday 10.30am – 3.30pm

1 November – 31 DECEMBER 2024:
Monday to Friday: 10.30am – 3.00pm
Sunday: 10.00am - 1.00pm, 2.00pm - 6.00pm

 Last entry 30 minutes before closing time 


Reservation / Ticket

After presenting the Florence City Pass at the ticket office you will get skip the line entrance. It is not necessary to book in advance.



  • On Saturdays and on Jewish holidays, the Synagogue and the Museum are closed to visitors.



How to get there

There are regular train and bus connections from Florence to Siena. 

From the bus station in Florence, you can reach Siena in just 75 minutes. Alternatively, you can also take the train. It takes around 1.5 hours from the main railway station in Florence to Siena. On weekdays, there are about two connections per hour for both modes of transport. Please note that there are fewer connections at weekends than on weekdays. 

If you are travelling by car: From Florence you can reach Siena in about an hour's drive, the distance is just over 70 kilometres.



Sinagoga di Siena
Vicolo delle Scotte 14
53100 Siena

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