Giotto’s Bell Tower – Florence

Giotto's Bell Tower in Florence is about 85 meters high, 15 wide and is one of the largest examples of Florentine Gothic of the 13th Century. Giotto's Bell Tower is covered with white, red and green marble like the ones that adorn the Cathedral of "Santa Maria del Fiore".

The construction of the tower was begun in 1334, when Giotto was appointed foreman of the factory of the Cathedral, putting aside the church, he turned his attention to this new architectural element. After his death in 1337, the project was continued by Andrea Pisano, who ended the first two floors respecting the plan of Giotto; the Bell Tower was then embellished with the external decorations thanks to the intervention of Alberto Arnoldi. The works were then interrupted for two years (1348-1350).

Giotto's Bell Tower was completed in 1359 (after the years of the plague in Florence) by Francesco Talenti, who completed the work by building a large terrace, which is the panoramic roof, reachable via more than 400 steps and gave it the look that appears nowadays.

The structure, slender and elegant, has a square plan with angular buttresses, shaped polygonal columns that rise up to the top, and is horizontally divided by frames that delimit five superimposed levels. The first level, with the “cuspidata” door, is realized by Giotto. Andrea Pisano then led the construction of the tower up to the third ledge, respecting Giotto’s project. The three successive levels have been designed and built by Talenti: here the bands no longer present sculptural decorations but are adorned with mullioned windows, creating an impression of lightness and despite the variety of interventions, the Bell Tower appears a unitary structure coated with colored marble and slender angular buttresses.

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