Giotto’s Bell Tower in Florence is the “campanile” of the Florence Cathedral or Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Piazza Duomo, located in the heart of the historic centre and considered the most beautiful bell tower in Italy.
Thanks to its central location, it is easily reachable on foot in the restricted traffic area of the centre.
The bell tower is visible from many points of the city and from its top; you can enjoy a spectacular 360-degree view of the Florentine capital.
Its position detached from the Duomo, highlights more its structure and the fact that it is next to the facade and not disposed on one of the sides of the cathedral it is certainly a feature studied from the beginning of the project. In this way, it would not have hidden the majesty of the Dome of the Cathedral, later known as Brunelleschi’s Dome.
Features, curiosities and history of Giotto’s bell tower
Giotto’s Bell Tower in Florence is 84.70 meters high (333464,6 inches) and about 15 meters wide and to climb to the top there are 398 steps, to which you must add the 15 steps that are part of the first access ramp. It is an excellent example of Florentine Gothic architecture of the fourteenth century, with vertical momentum but with a solid appearance. It is covered with white, red and green marble.
The bell tower houses twelve bells: a concert of seven bells for the liturgical service and five old abandoned bells.
The four sides of the base of the bell tower are adorned with a grandiose figurative cycle of bas-reliefs. Those on the bell tower are copies. The originals are kept in the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo.
The bas-reliefs concern the Creation of man, the representation of his activities, the planets that regulate the course of his existence, the virtues that strengthen him, the liberal arts that instruct him and the Sacraments that sanctify him.
The initial project of the bell tower and the drawings of the bas-reliefs were made by Giotto, but on his death, the construction of the tower and the creation of the bas-reliefs were continued by Andrea Pisano and the artists of his workshop. Francesco Talenti finally finished them after the interruption of the works caused by the black plague.
On the second floor of the bell tower, you can admire statues positioned inside sixteen niches representing kings, patriarchs and prophets. Also in this case, those on display are copies and the original statues can be admired at the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo.
The stairs to go up and down are located inside the bell tower itself. They were not easy to build and in order not to weaken the walls; Andrea Pisano had to sacrifice the windows that would have provided light to the room on the first floor. However, the large windows made at the highest levels by Francesco Talenti made the structure of the bell tower even more beautiful together with the large terrace that acts as a panoramic roof to the bell tower.
Tickets to visit Giotto’s Bell Tower
You can buy a ticket to visit Giotto’s Bell Tower or a cumulative ticket that allows access to Brunelleschi’s Dome, Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Crypt of the Duomo, the Baptistery of San Giovanni and the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo.
Now, due to covid restrictions, Giotto’s bell tower cannot be visited and tickets for 2021 are not yet on sale.
When sales open, it will be possible to purchase tickets directly online from the official website of the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore and book the access time for the visit.
Before closing, the price of the combined ticket was 15 euros.
The opening hours and days were as follows: from Monday to Sunday from 8.30 to 19.30.
The ticket office closed 40 minutes before closing.
At the moment, it is possible to take a virtual visit to Giotto’s Bell Tower from the official site of the monument>
Hotel in Florence overlooking Giotto’s Bell Tower
The Brunelleschi Hotel is located in Piazza Santa Elisabetta, a few meters away from the entrance to Giotto’s Bell Tower and from many of its rooms and suites with a view you can admire its majesty and hear the tolling of its bells every day.
We point out that Giotto’s Bell Tower and all the monuments of the Opera del Duomo mentioned above are currently not part of the monuments that can be visited with the Firenze Card due to variations in the access methods due to the anti Covid-19 provisions implemented by the Opera management of the Duomo. The sale of entrance tickets to Giotto’s Bell Tower is managed only by the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore.