Giotto’s Bell Tower

Giotto’s magnificent bell tower, flanked by the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore on Piazza del Duomo, Italy
Giotto’s magnificent bell tower, flanked by the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore on Piazza del Duomo, Italy

NEED TO KNOW

LOCATION Florence, in the Tuscany region of northern Italy

DATE OF CONSTRUCTION

1334–59

HEIGHT 278 ft (85 m) PURPOSE Bell tower (campanile) for the adjoining Basilica of Santa Maria del Fiore

This exquisite masterpiece of the Florentine Renaissance is the perfect accompaniment to Brunelleschi’s basilica dome on the Piazza del Duomo in Florence. An accomplished painter as well as an architect, Giotto di Bondone created a tower designed to look as if it were painted, incorporating his chiaroscuro (“light and shade”) style and perspective.

The tower is decorated in geometric designs of multicolored marble and adorned with sculptures. Giotto was 67 when construction began and at the time of his death three years later, only the first level was complete, but his design was carried forward by Pisano, Talenti, Donatello, and other master craftsmen and artists to glorious completion 22 years later.

Practical Information

Getting There and Around Florence has a regional aiport but most visitors arrive from Pisa’s international airport (1hr by train).

When to Go April and May are delightful in Florence, while July and August bring the biggest crowds. The campanile can be climbed all year.

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