The auditorium of Santo Stefano alla Lizza

The Church of Santo Stefano to the Contention

The Church of Santo Stefano alla Lizza depicted in a drawing dated to the early 1800s

The auditorium is quoted as Church of Santo Stefano alla Lizza, in several historical sources already in the 12th Century. The epithet “alla Lizza” comes from the outside square called “Lizza” as intended by the ‘500’s tournaments and equestrian exercises. In 1779 the square was affected by a redevelopment project designed by Antonio Matteucci, creating a public walkway and garden area, and then, in 1872, was enlarged and embellished.

The church has no Romanesque style, because it was rebuilt in 1671-1675; his classical statement, crowned by a pediment with oculus, is preceded by a staircase and ornate four- brick pilasters and an elegant rectangular window. The main entrance leads into a large hall with an apse; within the great nave flanked by two juxtaposed altars contains fine works of art:

  • Madonna col Bambino e santi by Andrea Vanni (1332 – 1414ca)
  • Storie di santo Stefano and Crocifissione con i santi Girolamo e Bernardino by Giovanni di Paolo (1398 – 1482)
  • Visitazione by Rutilio Manetti (1571 – 1639)
  • Deposizione di Cristo by Antonio Buonfigli  (1680 – 1750)
Visitation by Rutilio Manetti S. Stefano nursed from a Deer by Giovanni di Paolo
“Visitazione” by Rutilio Manetti “S. Stefano allattato da una cerva” by Giovanni di Paolo

After it was abandoned as a religious place, in 2009 the property was completely renovated and turned into an auditorium for cultural events.

Italian Opera in Siena in 2013 has made here its principal headquarters. The structural features and the excellent project of redefining the internal spaces, has optimized the acoustics inside the church, making it the ideal location for concerts and musical events.

The Auditorium of Santo Stefano alla Lizza, today