Italy has long been on my Bucket List, particularly the medieval city of Florence, capital of Tuscany region. Although I was interested in the history of this area beginning in my late teens, my interest was really piqued by reading novels by Dan Brown and Steve Berry in particular. I’ve recently been following the Italian adventures of my Aunt Edwina via Facebook during what I believe is her first overseas journey and was very happy to receive this postcard from her earlier this week.
The postcard portrays La Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore (“Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower”), more commonly called Il Duomo di Firenze. The word duomo is a word for an Italian cathedral church. According to Wikipedia, “the formal Italian word for a church that is now a cathedral is cattedrale; a duomo may be either a present or a former cathedral (the latter always in a town that no longer has a bishop nor therefore a cathedral, as for example Trevi). Some, like the Duomo of Monza, have never been cathedrals, although old and important.”
Construction of the Cathedral of Florence began in 1296 in a Gothic design by Amolfo di Cambio and was completed structurally in 1436 with the dome engineered by Filippo Brunelleschi. The cathedral complex, located in Piazza del Duomo, includes the Baptistery and Giotto’s Campanile. The three buildings are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site covering the historic center of Florence and are a major attraction to tourists visiting the region of Tuscany. The basilica is one of Italy’s largest churches, and until development of new structural materials in the modern era, the dome was the largest in the world. It remains the largest brick dome ever constructed.