Brunelleschi promised that the new dome would actually contain two domes – one resting inside the other. He refused to disclose how he planned to achieve this feat of engineering, insisting that, were he to do so, another rival would steal his design. In this day and age, it‘s unthinkable that a man like that would ever win a project of such importance – but we don’t live in Renaissance Florence.
The men of the council knew that Brunelleschi was a genius. From an adolescent apprentice at a goldsmith’s studio, he went on to excel at many different creative fields – stone, bronze, enamel work, work with gears. If you can name it, Brunelleschi had mastered it. So, they awarded him the project.
It took Brunelleschi 16 years to complete the dome; 16 long years that were rife with rivalries, failures, and even imprisonment. Many thought the dome would never be complete, but Brunelleschi – master engineer and architect – made it happen.
Today, the dome still stands proud on the Tuscan skyline. On this private Florence tour, our expert, local guide will reveal even more details behind the fascinating history of the Duomo, as well as the secrets behind the Cathedral and Baptistry.