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Interior Designer, Cambridge, Boston, Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  


Il Duomo

Emily Pinney

As we approach summer I can't help but start to think and plan our next vacation. (It's a fun thing to do on a gloomy Saturday morning). Thinking back to our time in Italy makes me want to go back again! (and we might repeat it this year - it's on the table). Although we're thinking about a Northern Italy, Austria and Switzerland mountain combo. If I'm in Italy at all, I have to go to Florence - even if it's just for the day. That city draws me in like no other. 

Inevitably when I think of Florence I picture the skyline in my mind and see the Duomo with Fiesole hills in the background. Il Duomo is the most recognized building in Florence and it is an amazing architectural feat. 

florence italy pinney

I really love seeing how buildings are put together. I mean - really love it. It's what got me into design in the first place. Running through my father's residential construction sites as a young child and seeing / knowing how it all goes together is truly amazing. It's not often you can see how these old buildings are constructed or even dreamt up, since most of these buildings were the first of their kind. When they started construction on the Duomo they had no idea how they were going to finish the actual dome! It was the largest building of it's kind when built. Half way through the process they basically held a competition to see who had the best idea. And although they didn't fully understand Brunelleschi's idea of the Herringbone brick pattern being able to support the weight and size of the dome - it was the most radical and they went for it. CRAZY. 



On our last trip to Florence we lined up early to be some of the first ones up inside the dome. Which I recommend if A.) You don't like small spaces B.) Don't like crowding and C.) You don't like heights. Since I hit all of the above being first in line was key! The view makes it all worth it so I highly recommend it. While ascending to the top of the dome you walk through the two layers of the dome it's self. It's pretty amazing. On one side is the ceiling of the interior and on the other is the roof of the dome. Truly incredible. All the while being able to see the herringbone brick work of the men over 500 years ago. 

View of the bell town from the top of the Duomo

View of the bell town from the top of the Duomo

I highly recommend the book Brunelleschi's Dome about the history of the building. I also recommend the NOVA episode about the construction of the Duomo. 

The view is really worth the climb!