Vicolo delle Carrozze

23 luglio - vicolo carrozze

One of the most unique alleys in Siena.

There’s a place in Siena that was banned from the public for centuries because it was believed it led to sin.

A narrow, isolated, dark place with no escape routes. The Vicolo delle Carrozze is a very peculiar alley in the city that was only reopened in 1982.

The dead-end alley once flowed into today’s vicolo di Vallepiatta, an access that still exists today through a doorway.

At the end of the 13th century, the alley was closed with a gate on the Diacceto side.

A section of the road network statute of 1298 ordered the alley to be closed on both sides. The motivation behind this drastic decision was that the street was so dark that many peccadilloes were committed there, and ill-intentioned people who wanted to kill or injure someone were hiding there and during the evening they could act undisturbed sheltered by the dark.

The municipality would have preferred to sell it or rent it out to privately, but this didn’t work out, so it was decided that it should be walled up permanently so that no one could have access to it.

The current name meaning alley of carriages refers to its use at the end of the 17th century, when its entrance was in Piazza San Giovanni, opposite the Baptistery steps. Its proximity to one of the most important hotels in the city, La Scala hotel, gave the alley a new role as a car park for the carriages and coaches of the gentlemen staying in the city.

Today the alley can only be accessed from via Diacceto while all other entrances were closed in the early 19th century when the gate was only opened for the passage of carriages and horses.

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