Monday, 13 July 2015

A Walking Tour Of Florence Pt 1: The Cathedral Square (Piazza del Duomo)

Florence is a beautiful Italian city steeped in history and rich in arts and heritage. It may take days to discover all that Florence has to offer as this city is fairly large. Unfortunately I didn't have that much time in Florence. To compensate for the lack of time given to appreciate the gems and treasures of a place, I normally take as many photos as I possibly could with the hope that when I've finally returned to the comfort of home, I could savour and delight in the beauty captured at my own leisurely pace. And that's what I did when I was in Florence.
The best way to see Florence is to do a walking tour. For this we had an Italian guide to help us along. Our walk started near Via Ricasolini (Ricasolini Street) and we were heading for the Cathedral Square. 
We walked past Galleria Della Accademia, an arts museum established in 1784. This museum is home to many sculptures created by the great Renaissance artist, Michelangelo. His famous piece, the sculpture of David is also housed here.
After walking through the quieter streets we finally arrived at a very happening square. The Cathedral Square or Piazza del Duomo is where some of Florence's top attractions are found. My heart sank a little though, as the famous Baptistery of Saint John which I had looked forward to seeing was all covered up. It was undergoing renovation. Anyway I am posting a photo of the Baptistery below which is not taken by me.
The Baptistery of Saint John. Photo Credit:
The Baptistery of Saint John is a very old building with a unique architecture. It has an octagonal design and its construction started in 1059. The only thing we managed to see was its famous bronze door.
This is one of the 3 bronze doors of the Baptistery. This door designed by Lorenzo Ghiberty is also known as Gates Of Paradise.
The various panels within the door depict the various scenes from the Bible.
Small sculptures of the designer's self portrait are also embedded into the door.
Just nearby stands Florence's largest cathedral. Officially known as Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, this cathedral is also the fourth largest in the world. Its construction started in the 13th century.
The bell tower of the cathedral, also known as Campanile di Giotto measures 85m high.
The magnanimous dome which was added to the cathedral in the 15th century is one of the largest domes in the world.
If you have the energy to climb 463 steps to reach the top of the dome, I am sure it will be a very rewarding experience.
I have captured the details to appreciate the great architecture and impressive works of arts in this stupendous building.
The exterior is a decorative mix of pink, white and green Tuscan marble.

No matter where you stand at Cathedral Square it is impossible to take a photo of the entire cathedral. To be able to do this I had to take the photo from Michelangelo Square, located far away on an elevated plain.
This is Piazza San Giovanni which merges with Piazza del Duomo and where Saint John Baptistery is located.
A stall at the square
Shops in the vicinity.

Related Posts: Click To View
A Walking Tour Of Florence Pt 2: Piazza Della Signoria
A Walking Tour Of Florence Pt 3: Mor Glimpses Of Florence City
A Walking Tour Of Florence Pt 4: Ponte Vecchio
Florence: Michelangelo Square

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