The bell tower, or campanile, of the Duomo in Florence. It is referred to as Giotto’s Campanile because it was designed by the famous painter Giotto, who had become the second Master of Works at the Cathedral after a 30 year gap following the death of his predecessor.
He created the polychrome marble scheme for the tower to match that which had already been designed for the cathedral itself, and saw the completion of the first floor of the tower before his own death in 1337. Today, the bell tower is as much a symbol of Florence as the dome of the cathedral or the Palazzo Vecchio.
Here is the famous dome of the Duomo, Florence’s main cathedral. Designed by Brunelleschi, one of the Renaissance’s greatest architects, and built using highly innovative techniques and equipment that other than the power source being humans and/or animals, any large construction crew today would recognize. The dome has stood as one of the most recognizable symbols of Florence, if not all Italy, for nearly six centuries.
There’s a terrific book out there on the dome and its design and construction, Brunelleschi’s Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture, if you want to read more about it. I’m actually going to go back and re-read it myself, now that I’ve re-visited the cathedral and have been reminded of just how magnificent and amazing it is. The dome and its lantern stand at an impressive 375 feet high, making it the largest dome in Western architecture until the modern era, and it still remains the largest ever built using brick and mortar.