Thursday, April 30, 2015

Travelogue Thursday: Europe 2015: Florence, Capitolo Primo

We arrived in Florence and checked in to our hotel: the Hotel Brunelleschi. The area was once owned by Filippo Brunelleschi...

 ...the genius responsible for this: Il Duomo. This is Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore (Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower), also known as Il Duomo di Firenze. It is the iconic structure of Florence. Construction began in 1296 and it was completed, at the height of the Renaissance, in 1436 with the dome engineered by Brunelleschi (the pink and green travertine facing was added much later).

Brunelleschi was not a trained architect...he was a goldsmith by training. The story of the Duomo is so complex and fascinating that I cannot even begin do it justice here. Please do yourself a favor and Google it to read about its creation and construction; there is also a PBS documentary about it that is well worth seeing (available online).  
 The campanile (bell tower) is by Giotto.
 It is so immense and so beautiful that it literally took my breath away the first time I stood before it. It is so picturesque that I was stopped in my tracks every time I walked by it (at least once a day during our stay).

 The doors.

 The stairs--463 of them--leading to the top, where you step out to a glorious view of Florence.

Pictures and words are inadequate: you need to stand in front of it, go inside, and climb up to the top. For me, it was an unforgettable experience (I'm getting goose bumps just looking at these photos!).


vivi said...

These pics really are beautiful!

Annette said...

What gorgeous pictures you took. It sounds like you enjoyed yourself very much and that makes it more fun for me to see the pictures. My mom had always wanted to go to Florence but never made it. So happy you had such a wonderful trip!