Fun Facts about Tuscany – Filippo Brunelleschi
Imagine a typical spring day: the morning sun that brightens the awakening of Florence and the soft wind blowing while you wonder through the typical narrow streets of the old town. Then you reach one of the main squares: Piazza del Duomo and you need to lift your gaze just a little bit to be enchanted by the beauty of the famous Brunelleschi’s Dome! An outstanding building that has caught the attention and has aroused the curiosity of local citizens and tourists for ages. If you are curious about that, keep on reading because we will reveal you some secrets about the mysterious identity of the man who created this architectonic pearl: Filippo Brunelleschi.
Brunelleschi was born in 1377 in Florence and nowadays he is considered the father of Renaissance architecture: it seems the typical biography of a great artist, doesn’t it? Is there a curious detail about his life? Here it is: Brunelleschi did not begin his career as an architect, but he worked as a goldsmith and sculptor. In 1401 he joined a competition to win the assignment for the realisation of the second door of the Florence Baptistry. He placed first in the contest, but he was tied with Lorenzo Ghiberti who then actually completed the artwork. Lately, Brunelleschi travelled to Rome and he spent his time in the eternal city to deepen his knowledge concerning sculpture and architecture.
In 1418 the guild Arte della Lana held a competition with the purpose of choosing a project for the construction of the Dome of Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral. It was a challenging plan that implied many obstacles and problems and therefore it was very difficult to find a feasible project. Many people participated and, according to Giorgio Vasari, the most famous witness of that period, the majority of them suggested bizarre ideas. Brunelleschi had a revolutionary plan and he wanted to build the Dome without a wooden skeleton. This is the reason why he was dismissed twice. Yes, the commission did not believe in Brunelleschi’s plan, but he did not give up and guess what? He got the task! He dedicated the rest of his life working to build the Dome and he directed the construction yard in person. The extraordinary Dome was completed in 1434 and two years later Pope Eugenio IV blessed the work.
According to some sources of the time, Brunelleschi stated: “I propose to build for eternity”. A purpose that seems to show the vanity of a man who wanted to break the laws of time building an eternal work of art. It is difficult to defeat time, but Brunelleschi did it and he gifted Florence with a jewel that nowadays is one of the symbols of the city and, as if it was a picture, it preserves the memory of one of the most talented Florentine artists ever.
Just a little hint:
If you come to Florence, you cannot miss the breath-taking experience of climbing Brunelleschi’s Dome. You can buy a single great ticket that comprises the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Brunelleschi’s Dome, Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Baptistry of San Giovanni, the Crypt of Santa Reparata and the Opera Museum and trust us, it is totally worth it! We suggest you to book the visit in advance in order to skip boring long lines (keep in mind that reservation is obligatory to visit the Dome). The ticket is valid for 72 hours starting from its first use, so that you can enjoy and discover the beauties of the capital of renaissance at your leisure.