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Florence – The Cathedral

The Cathedral dedicated to Santa Maria del Fiore overlooks the town centre with its imposing mass. Its construction started at the end of the thirteenth century, carried out at first by Arnolfo di Cambio, then by Giotto and finally completed by Brunelleschi, author of the peculiar dome, in the middle of the 15th century.
Even if the overall structure is homogeneous, it includes different styles.: Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance; it is completely covered with white, green and pink marble. The facade has been rebuilt in the second half of the nineteenth century in Gothic-Florentine style, it has a big rose window and a relief of Maria in Gloria on the cusp of the main portal.
The inner part is divided into a nave and two side aisles with three pillars that support ogee arches. The Cathedral conserves an extraordinary artistic heritage: works of Donatello, Michelangelo, Benedetto da Maiano, Domenico Ghirlandaio and other famous artists.
Of particular interest are also the stained glass windows and the bronze door of the sacristy. The Crypt preserves the remains of the pre-existing building, fragments of fourteenth century frescos and  it gives shelter to some tombstone within these there is the one of Brunelleschi.
The bell tower is a masterpiece of Gothic art for the architectural momentum and for the rich decoration of polychromatic marbles. The Dome, which is one of the most important projects of that period, includes two calottes, an external one and an internal one. From the top it is possible to admire an extraordinary view over the town.