Florence, located in north central Italy, is famous as the birthplace of the Renaissance, a period that began in 1300 and lasted 300 years. During the Renaissance some of the greatest artists, writers, and sculptors in history were attracted to Florence. The eight-sided dome of the cathedral known as the Duomo was designed by Filippo Brunelleschi and completed in 1436.
The Gothic campanile (bell tower) of Florence Cathedral, Italy, is a seven-story marble structure designed by Florentine artist Giotto and completed, after his death, in 1359. Many of the sculptures and reliefs originally on the campanile are now housed in the nearby Museo dell’Opera del Duomo.
For the Pazzi Chapel, built next to the Church of Santa Croce in Florence, Italian Renaissance architect Filippo Brunelleschi chose a square plan and elongated it into a rectangle by the addition of two vaulted bays at the sides. A dome tops the central square. Moldings and pilasters (ornamental columns attached to the wall) in dark grey contrast with the white background of the walls. Michelangelo Park affords a view of the historic city of Florence. As a sculptor, architect, painter, and poet, Michelangelo (1475-1564) was a major influence in the Italian High Renaissance. His tomb lies in the church of Santa Croce, also in Florence.