After your visit of this cathedral is over, take Via dei Panzani, continue on Via de' Cerretani and make your way towards another religious milestone, one of the most ancient churches of this art city: Chiesa di Santa Maria Maggiore
(Church Santa Maria Maggiore). This Romanesque-style church was rebuilt in the thirteen century and restored 500 years later. Its interior is a beautiful contrast of stone pillars and colored frescos, especially those located in the main chapel. This church also houses the remains of Brunetto Latini, Dante's mentor. If you look up at the bell tower of this church, you will see a stone-made head of a woman, called "La Berta". Many legends exist about this poor head: apparently, the woman said something brutal to a man who had been sentenced to death, and this man reciprocated with a curse so that the head of the woman had immediately become petrified.
After just some more meters along Via de' Cerretani, you will get to the main religious and most important social center of Florence: Piazza San Giovanni
and Piazza del Duomo
. Here, you can visit three real historic treasures:
- first, you will notice the great Battistero di San Giovanni
(Baptistery San Giovanni), the twelfth-century baptistery built in compliance with the Florentine Romanesque style.
- right behind it, the majestic Chiesa di Santa Maria del Fiore
(Church Santa Maria del Fiore) stands, which is the most important church in the city. This Gothic-style church was built in the thirteen century while the beautiful cupola, the Brunelleschi's Dome
, was added 200 years later. The façade of this cathedral is an amazing combination of white, pink and green marble while the interiors are less decorated, but the beautiful floors and the frescos on the ceiling are still great things to see. We suggest you buy the ticket and climb up the dome: the view from here, both inside and outside the church, is absolutely amazing!
- another perfect look-out over Florence is the top of the bell tower, which lies right next to the church and displays the same beautiful colored marbles. It was built by Giotto
, one of the main Italian artists who led the way to the Italian Renaissance
. The finely decorated windows, the statues and the bells of this tower will leave you breathless!