Hi everybody! While we were in Italy, we got to go to Florence, and we can't wait to share about that with you. As many of you know, Florence was the center of learning and the arts during the Renaissance. And this impressive Cathedral certainly shows that off! This cathedral is called Santa Maria del Fiore. The dome, also called the Duomo, was designed by Filippo Brunelleschi. When designing the dome, Brunelleschi studied the Pantheon in Rome, which we also saw. He built the outer dome out of brick, because it was lighter and easier to shape than stone. We got to walk up the dome, which was so much fun, and we got a good view of the Florentinian landscape. The dome is still the largest brick dome in the world.
Along with the Cathedral, there are 2 other buildings that make up the complex, the Baptistery and a bell tower called Giotto's Campanile. In the Baptistery is a beautiful painted ceiling, depicting many scenes from the Bible, such as the creation of man. Also, on the exterior, are beautiful panelled doors, made out of bronze. They were designed by a young man named Lorenzo Ghiberti, who won a competition for his design to be put in to use. He managed to beat Brunelleschi, Donatello, and Jacopo della Quercia.
Whilst in Florence, we also went to the Museo Galileo, a museum which houses a large collection of scientific instruments. In the museum are 2 large collections, the Medici Collection and the Lorraine Collection. The Medici Collection contains many of Galileo's instruments which we saw, and the collection dates from the 15th to 18th centuries. In there we saw the map below, which is of the world, but is not very accurate. It does look better once you turn it upside down though, with Britain in the upper left hand corner.
We think our trip to Florence was EXCELLENT!