In brief

A Facelift Will Brighten Up Florence’s Piazza del Duomo

The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, the Florence Cathedral. Photo: Sarah Cascone.

The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, the Florence Cathedral.
Photo: Sarah Cascone.

Florence’s central square, the Piazza del Duomo, characterized by its multicolored marble facades, is getting spruced up this summer, reports the Art Newspaper. A €30-million restoration project from the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore will clean and restore the iconic monuments that make up the Florence cathedral: the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, the Battistero di San Giovanni, and Giotto’s Campanile.

The Basilica is the city’s main church, known for its impressive domed cupola, designed by Filippo Brunelleschi in a major feat of engineering. The eight-sided Battistero, or Baptistry, is notable for the Gates of Paradise, a golden set of doors designed by Lorenzo Ghiberti that are now housed in the museum of the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore along with most of the cathedral’s external statues. Towering over the rest of the square is the Campanile, or belltower, designed by Giotto.

The restoration, the first in 70 years, will be funded by ticket sales to the site’s 8 million annual visitors. In addition to carefully removing years worth of accumulated dirt and grime from the marble walls, conservators will remove and clean the stained glass window panels in the cathedral.

Sarah Cascone