I can’t write of my recent time in Florence without paying homage to the Duomo and the amazing dome designed by Brunelleschi.
This was of special interest for my son. He is an architect and could appreciate all the structural and aesthetic problems that went into the building of the dome. He couldn’t believe that we were actually there ... following in the steps of the builders and of Brunelleschi himself.
I couldn’t believe it for another reason. We were about to take the 463 steps to the top of the Dome and I was now 7 years older than the last time I’d made that difficult climb. Would I make it to the top?
Well, I did, but it was slow going. I stopped many times along the way to peek out of the tiny windows that dotted the walls... giving me a chance to catch my breath and to view Florence from a variety of angles.
The dome consists of two layers, an inner dome spanning the diameter and a parallel outer shell to protect it from the weather and give it a more pleasing external form.
After climbing up to the dome itself we found that we could walk the interior of the cupola and we got a very close look at the “Last Judgement” fresco, among others. Then it was a climb through the shell of the dome and we were outside.
It was a highlight of our trip to Italy to be standing high above the city of Florence on this magnificent day in November. I’m sure that neither of us will ever forget it.