"Duomo (Santa Maria del Fiore) in Florence" Italy Things to Do Tip by Paul2001
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The Duomo of Florence dominates it's skyline with its huge dome. The church was dedicated to Santa Maria del Fiore and designed in the 13th century by Arnolfo di Cambio. It was intended to build a cathedral that would rival the cathedrals of Siena and Pisa. It was actually begun in 1296 and the builders continued to construct the structure in the Italian Gothic manner for the next 150 years when it was decided to attempt something different. A massive octagonal cupola or dome was added designed by Filippo Brunelleschi, the famed architect. This was completed in 1436.
The duomo also has tall bell tower designed by Giotto di Bondone while the very famous Baptistery was built in the 11th century accompanying an earlier church on the site.
The facade and exterior of the church is spectacularly decorative with all the white, green and red marble. The facade, which is rather gawdy, was designed in the late 19th century in the neo-Gothic style. With all this build up by the extraordinary exterior one is surprised to find that the interior of the duomo is rather barren. In fact I found it dumbingly sterile. There are several memorials dedicated to Florentine artists, political and military figures but nothing really jumps out at you as astonishing.
Address: Piazza del Duomo, Florence, 50122 Italy
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