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Loggia della mercanzia

Occupying an important site at the Croce del Travaglio where three main Sienese streets connect, the Loggia della Mercanzia is a perfect demonstration of the city's slow translation from medieval Gothic to Renaissance elegance.

Today it appears as a seamless blend of the two architectural styles. Its main design was the work of Sano di Matteo and Pietro del Minella in the early 15th-century. The spacious loggia is graced with richly embellished columns and capitals topped with three elegant arches.

It contains statues from the 15th-century including Vecchietta's Saint Paul and Saint Peter as well as Antonio Federighi's Saints Savino and Vittore. Federighi was also responsible for one of the seats that sit underneath the loggia's arches. Unusually, these benches are decorated with secular rather than religious scenes. One depicts Hercules and Omphale while the other features Egyptian-inspired Sphinxes.

The ornate decoration of the Loggia della Mercanzia also includes stuccoes and frescoes dating from around 1549.