Florence is a city where the period of Renaissance has boldly left its mark, and on the 10th October I was able to see this first hand with a visit to the Piazza del Duomo, where Santa Maria del Fiore and the Battistero di San Giovanni are situated.
Opposite the east door of the Baptistery is the cathedral named Santa Maria del Fiore. The cathedral was built to replace what had stood in its place beforehand – the Basilica de Santa Reparata. The side facades are largely a 19th century addition after the shoddily made walls of the Medici era where no longer adequate. Construction began in 1296, engineered in the gothic style by Alnorfo Di Cambio after which a handful of architects would take his place. Two prominent features of the cathedral are Giotto’s campanile (14th century) and Brunelleschi’s Dome (15th Century). In order to understand how to construct the dome, Brunelleschi studied the Pantheon (Hadrian, 125 AD), and from there incorporated a double shell structure of the dome using herringbone (Opus Spicatum) brickwork into Santa Maria del Fiore. The underbelly of this construction was to then be painted under the leadership of Vasari.