Climb Florence Duomo’s Giotto’s bell tower | Florence Cathedral

Giotto’s bell tower: What to See in Florence

Giotto’s bell tower or Giotto’s Campanile is undoubtedly one of the symbols of Florence and the Italian Renaissance. Visitors flock here to climb the splendid panoramic terrace and enjoy marvelous views of the surrounding monuments and palaces. Let’s now discover the history and architecture of this Florentine bell tower.

History of the Giotto’s bell tower

The construction of the foundations for Giotto’s bell tower began in 1298, coinciding with the Florence Cathedral building under Arnolfo di Cambio‘s supervision.

The actual construction of the Giotto’s bell tower started only in 1334, with Giotto di Bondone leading the project. Until then, Giotto was famous mainly for his paintings. However, the artist passed away three years before the completion of the works, having only reached the first level.

Andrea Pisano and Francesco Talenti continued the construction and reinforced the tower due to structural deficiencies. They also modified Giotto’s design, initially including a pointed spire that would have raised the tower by 30 meters.

The outbreak of the plague delayed the completion of the works by another two years, resulting in the Giotto’s bell tower being finished in 1359.

Architecture of the Giotto’s bell tower

Santa Maria del Fiore‘s bell tower exhibits Gothic-Renaissance architecture typical of the 14th century.

With a height of 84.70 meters and a square base measuring 15 meters on each side, the tower features colors inspired by the marble used in the nearby church. These colors include the Carrara white, the Maremma red, and the Prato green, which were also the colors of the Florentine Guelphs at that time.

Giotto's bell tower
Giotto’s bell tower (Giotto’s Campanile)

A decorated tympanum with a statue of Christ and two side prophets marks the entrance to the tower, detached from the church and aligned with its façade. This decision was made to give it the necessary prominence while allowing a view toward the apse and the dome.

Hexagonal and lozenge-shaped reliefs decorating the lower part of the tower depict human life and work, virtues, and sacraments. However, the currently present are copies, as the originals are housed in the Opera del Duomo Museum.

Subsequently, 16 statues created by renowned masters such as Donatello and Luca della Robbia are placed in niches, portraying patriarchs, sibyls, and prophets. These statues are also replicas.

A marble relief of the Madonna del Sollecito reminds us of the past existence of a suspended passage connecting the tower to the church.

Two double-lancet windows characterize the facades of the two upper levels, while the bell chamber features a triple-lancet window. All of these openings are adorned with tympanums.

Giotto’s tower culminates with a projecting platform adorned with a molded balustrade, also accessible during the visit.

Giotto's bell tower
Giotto’s bell tower (Giotto’s Campanile)

Visiting Giotto’s bell tower

The visit to Giotto’s bell tower starts in the ground floor hall, where the ticket office and a gift shop are located. The hall features Gothic pilasters and vaults, culminating with a central medallion depicting the Lamb of God.

A narrow passage consisting of 414 steps within the walls leads up to the panoramic terrace.

Along the way, you will come across two rooms with paired lancet windows, and finally, you will enter the bell chamber. In this open space adorned with triple lancet windows, the Apostolic bell from 1405 is completely decorated.

Ticket Office – for Giotto’s Belltower Tickets

Piazza del Duomo, 14/a

Helpful Tip: Don’t forget to Bring water for the wait in line during the summer months – there is no shade mid-day!

Bells of Giotto’s Campanile

Giotto's bell tower
Giotto’s bell tower (Giotto’s Campanile)

The tower’s bells are located beyond the wooden ceiling of the third-level room. For safety and structural stability reasons, they are encased. There are seven bells, each bearing a name related to the figure of the Madonna. Among them are:

  • The Mercy bell.
  • The Apostolic bell.
  • The Beona bell.
  • The Maria Anna bell.
  • Two smaller bells.

However, the largest bell is the Santa Reparata bell, named after the saint to whom the original Santa Maria del Fiore Church, or the Florence Cathedral, was dedicated.

The visit concludes with the beautiful terrace, offering a stunning panorama and a close-up view of Brunelleschi’s magnificent dome. Despite protective nets, many beautiful photographic views of Florence and its narrow streets exist.

Giotto's bell tower (Giotto’s Campanile)
Giotto’s bell tower (Giotto’s Campanile)

virtual tour of Giotto’s bell tower

You can do a virtual climb tour if you’re curious/worried about the stairs or want to see how the platforms/stairs are fenced in.

Climbing Giotto’s Bell Tower | Florence, Italy

Is Giotto bell tower free?

No. You have to buy tickets to climb Giotto’s bell tower. It’s called GIOTTO PASS (Giotto’s Campanile) and GIOTTO PASS (Bell tower, museum, baptistery, Santa Reparata)

How Much Does It Cost To Climb Giotto’s Bell Tower?

2023 Duomo complex ticket prices:

you must reserve time to climb Giotto’s bell tower. You must do more than show up and wait in line to climb it.

BRUNELLESCHI PASS (Duomo, bell tower, museum, baptistery, Santa Reparata)40€
GIOTTO PASS (Bell tower, museum, baptistery, Santa Reparata)20€
GIOTTO PASS REDUCED (children 7-14)7€
GHIBERTI PASS (Museum, baptistery, Santa Reparata)15€
GHIBERTI PASS REDUCED (children 7-14)5€
FREE (children 6 and under)FREE

How Tall Is The Florence Bell Tower (aka The Campanile Di Giotto)?

The official Opera del Duomo Museum says it’s almost 85 meters (84.7 meters), 277 feet. A sign at the top of the bell tower climb states that it’s 82 meters tall.

Florence Bell Tower Opening Hours

Giotto’s bell tower (Giotto’s Campanile) is usually open daily from 8:15 to 19:45, with the last entry at 19:00.

What is the dress code to climb Giotto’s bell tower in Florence?

The bell tower is part of the Duomo (Florence Cathedral), so you must dress respectfully (covering your knees, shoulders, etc.) or risk being denied entry.

Is this the Florence bell tower from Assassin’s Creed?

Yes it is.

Is this the Florence bell tower from Dan Brown’s Inferno?

Yes it is.

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