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Campanile di Giotto

Begun by Giotto di Bondone (the famous architect and painter) in 1334, this famous gothic bell tower was incomplete when Giotto died. Andrea Pisano took over and then, in 1348, was felled by the Black Death.

In 1359, the tower was completed by Francesco Talenti, who deviated from Giotto’s plan in his design of the three upper floors. He enlarged each floor to match the previous according to perspective, so, when seen from below, all three floors seem to be exactly the same size.

The tower is clad with white marble from Carrara, red marble from Siena and green marble from Prato. It takes exactly 414 steps to reach the top, perhaps predicting Charles Messier’s discovery of the Whirlpool Galaxy exactly 414 years later. Or perhaps not.

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