Campanile di Giotto: a special point of view to enjoy the Duomo
Campanile di Giotto, the Florence Cathedral bell tower, is one of the beautiful features of the monumental complex of the “Duomo”, along with the Baptistery (Battistero di San Giovanni) and the recently refurbished museum of the Cathedral.
The Campanile di Giotto – Giotto’s bell tower – is, as it often happens in Florence, a “masterpiece made of masterpieces”: let’s discover it!
Campanile di Giotto: the “other” Giotto’s job
Maybe you know Giotto (around 1267 circa – 1337) as a painter: for his frescoes in Padua (Cappella degli Scrovegni) or the magnificent Madonna Enthroned, or Ognissanti Madonna, in the Uffizi.
But Giotto was an architect as well, and the Campanile named after him is his most important architectonic achievement.
Actually the works for the bell tower – not much more than the foundation, but – started in 1298 under the direction of Arnolfo di Cambio, in charge of the renovation of the Cathedral.
According to Giorgio Vasari, Giotto became the new Master of the Works in 1334 (Arnolfo had died in 1304 and the works for the bell tower had been interrupted).
Giotto designed the Campanile and restarted the work.
His vision was to reconnect the new building with the style of Arnolfo and of the Cathedral, with a Gothic pattern reinterpreted by the use of marble.
Giotto died in 1337, when only the first “cube”, the ground floor of the bell tower, was finished. Andrea Pisano replaced Giotto.
Then the troubles started: the second floor works under Andrea had problems to balance the need of strong walls and the way to build up the stairs.
According to what recorded by Antonio Pucci, Andrea was fired. Then the Black Death hit Europe and Florence as well and the works were interrupted.
The Campanile will be finished by Francesco Talenti in 1359.
The hexagonal panels, the lozenges and the statues of the bell tower’s niches add beauty to beauty. But they definitely deserve another post!
The Giotto’s Bell Tower is part of the Opera del Duomo complex.