CLOSE-UP OF THE CITY’S RELIGIOUS HEART: SIX BUILDINGS FOR ONE CHURCH, THE FLORENCE DUOMO TOUR
One cannot claim to truly understand Florence without knowing its religious heart, where the Duomo is the protagonist. Hundreds of years of labor, an infinite building site that gathered into the city thousands of people curious to see the biggest dome of mankind reach the sky, centuries of history of one of the richest medieval cities in the world. Florence is its religious complex. With the Florence Duomo Tour we will disclose all the secrets of this unique square: the Duomo (Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral), the Baptistery of St. John with its amazing doors and mosaics, Giotto’s bell tower with its eschatology message, the Crypt of Santa Reparata, the former cathedral, the Dome by Brunelleschi and the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, recently re-opened after a major renovation.
THE NEW MUSEO DELL’OPERA DEL DUOMO
Founded in 1881, this museum has been completely renovated after 5 years of restoration costed 45 millions of Euros. It was re-opened in 2015, with a doubled surface. It was here that Michelangelo Buonarroti sculpted his famous David and also here Filippo Brunelleschi had the furnaces to make the bricks for the dome. Besides masterpieces like Michelangelo’s Pietà and Donatello’s Magdalene, the highlight of this museum is indubitably the Hall of Paradise (Sala del Paradiso). It’s a faithful reconstruction 1:1 of the original and lost facade of Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral, dismantled by the Medici in 1587. On the other side of this immense room there are the originals of the 3 doors of the Baptistery, in particular the Gate of Paradise by Lorenzo Ghiberti, emblem of the perfection achieved by Renaissance art.
NOT-TO-BE-MISSED: THE BAPTISTERY
When we get to the Duomo Square we are so amazed by the monumentality of the Cathedral that we don’t pay specific attention to that octagonal building in front of it. It’s the Baptistery of St. John, the most beautiful building of Florence in my opinion. Mentioned by Dante Alighieri in the Divina Commedia (Il mio bel San Giovanni, he writes), surrounded by a halo of mystery about its obscure origins, there’s no other building in Florence capable to raise such a vehement debate between experts and historians. We’ll get to know its story and we’ll marvel at its spectacular 13th century mosaics representing episodes of the Bible, but also the fight between Satan and God.
How long? 3 hours
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