"Il Duomo" Il Duomo - Santa Maria del Fiore Tip by leffe3
Il Duomo - Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence: 251 reviews and 528 photos
Nothing prepares you for the sheer magnitude of Florence's Il Duomo. This is, in part, due to the proximity of the buildings in the Piazza del Duomo, crowding, as they do, the 5th biggest church in the world. No wide open spaces for this church, to be gazed upon in awe. Add the likelihood of thousands of tourists and locals at any given time, and you're lucky to be able to take much of it in!
But it is extraordinary. Begun in 1302 as a new cathedral befitting the wealth of the city, the Santa Maria del Fiore was to be greater than anything seen in the civilised world before. Arnolfo di Cambio was entrusted with the project, but his death 8 years later saw the work temporarily halted. But successive architects did follow his original plans and by 1418 the nave and other buildings were completed. But there was one problem - the dome was to be the biggest ever constructed - but no-one knew how to do it. Enter Brunelleschi and a reluctant partner, Ghiberti. By 1436, the dome was in place and, on Annunciation Day of that year, the cathedral was consecrated by the Pope. It wasn't 100% finished, and Brunelleschi died before completion, but the exterior of the cathedral and its red, green and white marble is a stunning sight (although the main facade is a 19th century addition).
The interior is the complete opposite to the decorous exterior - a vastness of emptiness.
Address: Florence Cathedral, Piazza del Duomo, Firenze, Italy
Directions: Near Giotto
Phone: +39 055 230 2885
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