Author's Note: Here I am, in June, in Florence, in our tiny unit, writing about the Duomo.
Photo credit: Neil Creighton
You come upon it suddenly, meandering through narrow streets, past beige, time-coated buildings, turning down the curve of Via de’ Martelli, casually drawing near to the street’s end and then you gasp. You come upon it unprepared, seeing at first only the soaring facade and the enormity of its tower, but turning into Piazza del Duomo you see its length, the immensity of its domes, and again you gasp. You come upon it in amazement, seeing it as glistening white marble with geometric patterns in pink and green, embroidered, scrolled, balanced, harmonious, exquisite in scope and detail, and again you gasp. You come to it in awe, its front a composition in threes: three great doors rise in elegant curves; above them three circles spoked like sunbeams; always the one in the center is highest or largest and you think you understand. You come to its details: complex, embroidered patterns in stone; paintings in colored stone above each door; lines of sculptured figures in porticoes of blue and circular inlays glinting with gold and you feel overwhelmed. Perhaps later you will walk through the doors and again feel its power and artistry, or you will climb the narrow stairwell to the dome’s dizzying height but now, in this first sudden moment you are overcome by its beauty and, dimly realizing its complex grandeur, praise the vision that conceived it, the capabilities that built it, the artistry that embellished it, the materials that adorn it and you stop, stand still, and stare.
Originally published in Silver Birch Press
©2021 Neil Creighton
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