Friday, February 21, 2014

The Duomo, Santa Maria in Fiore, the cupola most famous of Florence

Standing in the heart of the city, in all the splendour of their adornment the Duomo, that is Santa Maria in Fiore, which with its cupola of red flat tiles, has become the most famous  symbol of Florence.
It's the fourth biggest cathedral in Europe (after St. Peter’s in Rome, St. Paul’s in London and the Duomo in Milan) and it's still today the tallest building in the city.

Inside it's of extraordinary beauty. The inlaid polychrome marble floor, dating back to XVI century, is attributed to Baccio D’Agnolo. The marble enclosure around the altar was designed by Baccio Bandinelli in 1555. On the left is the door to the 463 stairs which lead to the cupola. The cupola, completed in 1463 by Brunelleschi, was the biggest to be built at that time without an inner support structure. Inside it, above the main altar, is the Last Judgement painted  by Vasari .

To the right of the Duomo is the Bell Tower designed by Giotto in 1334, it was completed in 1359, 22 years after the death of the artist. At a height of  85 metres, it is just 6 metres lower than the cathedral. It is completely covered in white, green and rose-coloured marble.

Florence offers a wide selection of hotels for every preferences and budgets. Find yours!