Designed by Giotto, the bell tower to the right of Santa Maria del Fiore was begun by the artist in 1334 but continued by ... More
Giotto's Bell Tower
Designed by Giotto, the bell tower to the right of Santa Maria del Fiore was begun by the artist in 1334 but continued by Andrea Pisano (who modified part of the design) following Giotto's death in 1337. Francesco Talenti finally completed it in 1359. Originally the tower was linked to the Duomo via a passageway situated at the level of the first cornice but this was demolished before 1437. Reliefs carved on the side where the passageway once existed are later works by Luca della Robbia; Andrea Pisano's original stone reliefs can be seen in the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo. The concepts of universal order and redemption are recurrent themes; hexagonal tiles on the tower's lower level (now replaced by copies) portray scenes from daily human life whilst diamond-shaped reliefs on the upper level illustrate more ethereal subjects in the form of the Planets, Virtue, Liberal Arts and the Sacraments. There's no lift, but climbing the 414 steps to the top of the 85m tower is well worth the effort!
Unlike the trip to the top of the Duomo, the Campanile di Giotto offers 4 levels where you can enjoy the view, including a roof level which is the equivalent of 42 stories high. You also get unique views of the Duomo itself, where you can see all of the incredible details up close and from a bird's eye view. Also, unless there is a large group, the wait to enter is among the least cumbersome of all of the monuments in Firenze.
Built on the site of an Etruscan settlement, Florence, the symbol of the Renaissance, rose to economic and cultural pre
eminence under the Medici in the 15th and 16th centuries. Its 600 years of extraordinary artistic activity can be ...