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St Catherine


St Catherine Sanctuary Wheelchair Accessible tours Siena Excursions

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Our Adapted Van

St Catherine Sanctuary Wheelchair Accessible Tours

The remarkable Caterina Benincasa, daughter of a rich Sienese dyer, took a nun's veil ( but never an order's vows ) in 1355 at the age of 8 after her first of many visions of Christ.

In 1375, a Crucifix in Pisa cinched her holiness by giving her the stigmata of Christ's wounds.

She persuaded the pope to leave civilized Avignon and return the papal seat to Rome, which was then a medieval backwater rife with the armed squabbles of noble clans.

Caterina died in Rome in 1380, at age 33, and was canonized 80 years later. In 1939, she was declared patron saint of Italy, and in 1970, together with St Teresa of Avila.

St Catherine and St Teresa of Avila became the first women ever elevated to Doctor of the Church.

Touring Siena

Siena handicapped St Catherine Sanctuary accessible Tuscany tours house in Siena where she was born was converted into an sanctuary in 1466, and it remains a peaceful, reflective spot.

The entrance is a small brick-lined courtyard where you can occasionally see a pair of Goose contrada teenagers practicing the complicated art of flag tossing for The Palio.

Beyond this is a small but pretty little loggia built in 1533 by Peruzzi or his student Giovanni Battista Pelori.

The church opposite the oratory was built in 1623 over Catherine's orchard to house the 12th-century Pisan-school Crucifixion in front of which the saint received the stigmata.

Back under the loggia, the stairs lead down past Catherine's cell, frescoed in 1896, toward the Goose contrada's church, the Oratorio dell'Oca ( seldom open, but containing works by Sodoma ).

Booking & Travel

Siena handicapped St Catherine Sanctuary accessible Tuscany tours unmissable visit at it with our Siena Accessible Tours specifically tailored to wheelchair users, reduced mobility persons and disabled with an adapted van.

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