Centre District, Florence, Italy


If you are a visitor to Florence, Italy you must be certain to spend some time in the Centre District. Many of the city’s most impressive sights are here in the center of the city, and you won’t want to miss the opportunity to see them for yourself. Conveniently, the district is not very spread-out, so you can see several fantastic landmarks within just a few blocks of each other. If you have only a day to spend in Florence, this would be an excellent place to spend it since you will be able to see so much in such a short time.
The Duomo, Centre District, Florence, ItalyThe Cathedral, otherwise known as the Duomo, is found in the center of Florence, along with the baptistry. Its proper title in English is the Basilica of Saint Mary of the Flower, and the cathedral reflects that lovely name. Along with the richly ornamental doors and the finely sculptured marble walls, the cathedral boasts 44 gorgeous stained glass windows created in the 1300s and 1400s. Construction on the cathedral began more than seven centuries ago, and several noted artists and architects had a hand in the design of this beautiful building whose golden dome towers over central Florence.

The Cathedral Square, or Piazza del Duomo, also includes the beautiful spectacle of Giotto’s Bell Tower, a splendid example of Gothic architecture, and the Museum of the Works of the Cathedral, which houses magnificent works of art connected with the cathedral, including the handiwork of Michaelangelo and Donatello. With its rich history, this is a definite must-see for any art enthusiast.

Another impressive sight in this district of Florence is the Ponte Vecchio, which is the bridge that stands over the Arno River. In addition to its structural beauty, which dates back to medieval times, the bridge is notable because it is lined with shops. While many bridges of that time were similarly lined with shops, that is not the case for many bridges that stand today, so it’s especially fun to wander these stores and buy the art, jewelry and souvenirs that is sold inside of them.

If you are planning a visit to Florence and looking for accommodation in the Centre District or all over the city, check out Oh-Florence where you can find a huge selection of apartments to suit your every need. Clearly, this central portion of Florence has a great deal to offer any visitor with a deep and abiding interest in art, culture and history, and its magnificence is such that it is likely to foster such an appreciation in others as well.


Giotto’s Campanile, Florence, Italy

The Giotto’s Campanile, Florence, Italy is a freestanding campanile or bell tower that is part of the buildings that comprise the Florence Cathedral located on the Piazza del Duomo. The tower is a primary example of the Gothic architecture of Florence. Giotto became the Master of Works of the cathedral in 1334. He focused on designing and building the bell tower to go along with the cathedral. In his plan, he used an exterior configuration of colored marble.

The tower is slight in structure standing on a square with sides of over 47 feet. It is 277 feet tall and is supported by four many-sided buttresses at each corner. The four vertical lines of the tower are traversed by four horizontal lines, so the tower is separated into five levels.

Giotto's Campanile, at the Florence Cathedral, in Florence, Italy.Because of Giotto’s efforts on the Campanile, he has become known as one of the founders of Italian Renaissance architecture. Andrea Pisano continued building the tower using Giotto’s plan. He added a second façade which has decorated panels to Giotto’s lower level. During the Black Death in 1348, building of the tower stopped. Francesco Talenti, who replaced Pisano, constructed the three top levels, including large windows. The bell tower was completed in 1359. He did not include the spire that had been designed by Giotto. Visitors can climb the 414 steps to reach the top to view Florence and the Tuscany hills surrounding the town.

The Campanile has seven bells. They vary in size, tone and age. The Campanone is the largest bell. The Misericordia is the mercy bell. Other bells include Annunziata, Apostolica, Mater Dei or God’s Mother Bell, L’Immacolata, and L’Assunta.

The arts on the Campanile are copies as the original art was removed during the 1960s. They are displayed in the Museo dell’ Opera del Duomo, which is located behind the cathedral. The hexagonal panels on the lower levels represent the history of man as inspired by Genesis. On the second level are four statues in niches. Each was sculpted during different time periods. The upper three levels were constructed by Francesco Talenti, who was the Master of Works from 1348 until 1359. Each of these levels is larger than the one below it. Each extends beyond the previous one in every measurement so that, while each level is different in size, all the levels look as if they are the same in size. The windows are vertical, and that opens up the walls. Talenti included a projecting terrace instead of a spire.