03
Mar
19

Italy: Giotto’s Campanile in Florence


CSC_0790The Piazza del Duomo is one of the most interesting places to visit in Florence and it is just a few minutes walk from the Florence central train station.

 

 

DSC_0792Florence’s main cathedral, the bell tower (campanile) and the Baptistery of St. John are all in the Piazza del Duomo.


 

 

DSC_0746Florence’s Duomo is the second longest church in Italy after St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican.

 

 

 

CSC_0755Ordinarily called Il Duomo di Firenze, this cathedral’s officially called The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore (Basilica of Saint Mary of the Flower).

 

CSC_0751Standing right next to the basilica is the bell tower which is one of the great showcases of Florentine Gothic architecture designed by Giotto di Bondone or simply Giotto.

 

 

DSC_0745When you are in Piazza del Duomo, you probably would, at one time, need to decide whether to go up the Dome of the Basilica of Santa Maria del Fiore or Giotto’s Campanile or do both or skip both.

 

 

 

 

DSC_0786My wife and I decided to go up Giotto’s Campanile instead. The tower would take us to a vantage point with a breathtaking view of the nearby cathedral’s dome towering over the city and the harbor.

 

 

 

We already bought the ticket to go up the campanile until we realized there was no elevator and we have to climb up 414 steps to the top of the bell tower!  We were not prepared but we did it anyway!

 

 

CSC_0761At the first of. five levels of the tower we got a view of the Baptistry of Florence, a religious building dedicated to its patron saint, John the Baptist. It was originally believed to be a Roman temple dedicated to Mars.

 

 

CSC_0766Halfway through our ascent we had this view of the dome, which dominates the cathedral exterior, and was engineered by Filippo Brunellesch.

 

 

 

DSC_0769We took from above snapshots of the place voted many times as the best city to live in……

 

 

DSC_0764….and the views were truly breathtaking.

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_0785Finally we reached the top of the bell tower and the cathedral dome (slightly higher than the campanile) is gloriously dominating the Florentine skyline.

 

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My wife and I took turns taking our photos with the dome. Unless one has a selfie stick, it’s rather difficult to take a selfie due to the narrow walkway at the top of the bell tower.

 

 

CSC_0759Going down the bell tower was definitely easier than climbing up.  When we reached the ground we explored the other side of the basilica.

 

 

DSC_0787We also checked the bronze door panels of the baptistery by Ghiberti.

 

 

DSC_0788It is said that when Michaelangelo first saw them, he supposedly exclaimed, “Oh door worthy of heaven!”

 

 

 

DSC_0791We walked away from Piazza del Duomo feeling awed and exhausted.

 

 

DSC_0793As we looked back I believe we made the right decision to climb up the campanile instead of the cathedral’s dome if we had to choose only one option.

 

 


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