Il Duomo di Firenze

The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore (Basilica of St. Mary of the Flower), otherwise known as Il Duomo di Firenze, is one of the masterpieces of Italian Renaissance architecture. It was begun in 1296 and was completed in 1436 with the construction of its famous dome, engineered by Filippo Brunelleschi. The basilica is one of Italy’s largest and most beautiful churches, dominating the skyline of Florence with the largest brick dome ever constructed, a marvel of engineering and design. While the dome is the most recognizable feature of the Basilica, the cathedral complex features a campanile or bell tower designed by Giotto, one of the master painters of his time. It, too, is a showpiece of Florentine architecture.

An interesting story is told of how Brunelleschi won the contract for the construction of the dome. According to Vasari, a competition was held to determine who would be granted the commission. The contestants were given the task to stand an egg upright on a piece of marble, but no one was able until Brunelleschi, “giving one end a blow on the flat piece of marble, made it stand upright…The architects protested that they could have done the same; but Filippo answered, laughing, that they could have made the dome, if they had but seen his design.”i

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Vivaldi, Concerto for Mandolin

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Il Duomo New

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Il Duomo

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Il Duomo Interior

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Florence VII

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Baptistry

Baptistery

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Il Duomo Baptistry I

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iGiorgio Vasari, Lives of the Artists

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