This is one of the sights I was most excited to see in Italy, ever since I learned about it in my Visual History class at the U of Memphis. I’ll leave it to Wikipedia to tell the full story, but the size and weight of the dome required an incredible advance in the engineering of the time and was inspired by the shape of a chicken’s egg, which is a naturally strong shape.
The cathedral is covered in incredibly intricate art. It’s incredible the lengths that the Italians went to create a physical manifestation of their faith.
I climbed all 463 steps and was rewarded with a great view
After a short rest, I also climbed the bell tower that you see in the pictures above (Giotto’s Campanile).