Santa Maria del Fiore

Santa Maria del Fiore is our main Cathedral in town, religious and economic centre since the Middle Age. It has been consacrated to the St. Mary of the Flower, for many reasons, for example cause the white lily is symbol of Florence, or because of the shape, but mainly cause she was the mum of Jesus.

An ancient church, Santa Reparata, was already there since the IV century a.c. but it was replaced by a new gigantic Cathedral, which was started on September 8th 1296 by the knowledgeable architect Arnolfo di Cambio, who actually at the same time was working on Palazzo Vecchio, Santa Croce and the city wall, so refreshing the style all over Florence!

It took more than 150 years to accomplish this beautiful church - in 1436 Brunelleschi just finished the famous Dome, the largest and biggest dome ever built after the roman Pantheon one.

It took actually even more to finish the Cathedral, if you consider that the façade was made only at the end of 19th century!!!

The Duomo is the 3rd larger church in the world, after St. Peter in Rome and St. Paul in London. Inside, it possible to stand up to 40,000 people!

While the decoration of the outside is super rich, the inside is very plain and great inspiration for prayers - you feel so "small" inside, compared to the bigness of this church.

Entrance is free of charge.

the Beautiful Cupola

Amazing façade, finished at the end of 19th century!

Huge and plain interior

Frescoed Cupola by Giorgio Vasari

Representation of Divine Commedy of Dante

Arnolfo di Cambio - the architect who restyled Florence


Brancacci Chapel

On the right side of the transept of Santa Maria del Carmine church you can find a jewel of first Renaissance painting: Brancacci Chapel, painted by a young Masaccio,his older master/collegue Masolino da Panicale, and some 50 years later additions by Filippino Lippi.
Brancaccis were an important florentine family, connected to the Medici family - Felice Brancacci commissionated the cycle based on Saint Peter, because of his ancestor named Pietro and mostly because at those times depicting St. Peter, being the first Pope of Catholic Church, meant basically being connected, very well connected, to the Papacy.
Two main painters worked on this chapel: Masolino da Panicale, and a 23 years old Masaccio, much younger than Masolino, and recently considered as collegue instead of pupil, because of his outstanding and innovate artistic talent, so different from Masolino.

Brancacci Chapel is the perfect place to understand and appreciate the changing from late Gothic Style to the early Renaissance, that introduce a new body study, basing on classic measures, and a new emotion of the faces, plus a considering skill to represent tridimension and perspective.

Check how differently Adam and Eve are represented. Amazing.

Left side: Masolino right side Masaccio (photo source voxnova)

This chapel miraculously survived to a tragic fire that in 1771 destroyed all the Church. Frescos were all blacken by smoke and soot - it was not possible to see how the real colours were... until behind an altar they discovered an undamaged piece of fresco, and that helped to restore and give new life and brilliance to this incredible masterpiece.

If you have the bad idea to visit by yourself instead that with me :) just kidding of course, then I suggest you to see the dvd that is shown before entering in the Chapel, interesting and impressive, seeing closer the frescos with music in the background.

Brancacci Chapel

Masaccio's Adam and Eve

Two stylish Florentine - by Masolino

My favourite: this body seems so real


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