Giotto’s bell tower is one of the four principal monuments on the Piazza del Duomo.
84.7 metres tall and approximately 15 metres in breadth, it is the most eloquent example of 14th century Gothic architecture in Florence, combining a strong vertical thrust with the principle of sound solidity, its corner buttresses rising the full length of the tower to the projecting terrace at the top.
Clad in white, red and green marble like the cathedral adjacent to it, the majestic square bell tower, considered to be the most beautiful campanile in Italy and probably designed more for decorative than for functional purposes, was begun by Giotto in 1334.
Note: These photographs (especially the wider shots) look much better when larger. To see larger versions in an inline overlay slideshow gallery viewer click any of the images.
Louise waited in the queue to climb the tower for… well lets just say it was somewhere between one and two hours.
It is 414 steps to the top – so brace yourself for a fairly strenuous climb.
Duomo from the Belltower
The view from the top is of course pretty good. However there’s a metal mesh fence all around the top which significantly restricts your view and makes taking photographs very difficult.
If you are pressed for time in Florence and need to choose either climbing the Duomo dome or Giotto’s Campanile then definitely do the Duomo. The view there is better and uninterrupted, even if it is more crowded and the climb up is more tedious.
Within the Belltower