Thanks to this Brunelleschi Tour in Florence we will get to know the life and the work of one of the greatest genius of the Renaissance. He built the cathedral’s dome in 16 years. One cannot claim to truly understand the Renaissance without knowing its religious heart, where the Duomo is the protagonist. Hundreds of years of labor, an infinite building site that gathered into the city thousands of people curious to see the biggest dome of mankind reach the sky, centuries of history of one of the richest medieval cities in the world. Florence is its religious complex. Filippo Brunelleschi is the most innovative architect of the XV century, the inventor of geometrical perspective and the father of the rebirth of antiquity. With the Brunelleschi Tour in Florence we will climb the steps of the most famous dome in the world, we will visit the magnificent Duomo Museum and the Baptistery of St. John with its amazing dome, which inspired Brunelleschi. After this, we head to Spedale degli Innocenti, the Florentine orphanage projected by Brunelleschi in 1419, being the very first Renaissance architecture.
Founded in 1881, this museum has been completely renovated after 5 years of restoration costed 45 millions of Euros. It was re-opened in 2015, with a doubled surface. It was here that Michelangelo Buonarroti sculpted his famous David and also here Filippo Brunelleschi had the furnaces to make the bricks for the dome. Besides masterpieces like Michelangelo’s Pietà and Donatello’s Magdalene, the highlight of this museum is indubitably the Hall of Paradise (Sala del Paradiso). It’s a faithful reconstruction 1:1 of the original and lost facade of Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral, dismantled by the Medici in 1587. On the other side of this immense room there are the originals of the 3 doors of the Baptistery. The most famous one is the Gate of Paradise by Lorenzo Ghiberti, emblem of the perfection achieved by Renaissance art. This museum is really the highlight of the tour.
The Brunelleschi Tour in Florence also includes the Baptistery. When we get to the Duomo Square we are so amazed by the monumentality of the Cathedral that we don’t pay specific attention to that octagonal building in front of it. It’s the Baptistery of St. John (patron Saint of Florence), the most beautiful building of Florence in my opinion. To develop his idea of the dome, Brunelleschi studied in details the octagonal done of the Baptistery. It was mentioned by Dante Alighieri in the Divina Commedia (Il mio bel San Giovanni, he writes). It’surrounded by a halo of mystery about its obscure origins. There’s no other building in Florence capable to raise such a vehement debate between experts and historians. We’ll get to know its story and we’ll marvel at its spectacular 13th century mosaics representing episodes of the Bible, but also the fight between Satan and God.