Giotto's Campanile is the bell tower of Florence's Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral. On 9 July 1334, in his work "Le Vite" (Lives), Giorgio Vasari tells us that Giotto di Bondone took over from Arnolfo di Cambio in order to build a majestic bell tower that was aligned with the facade of the Cathedral. Giotto wanted to impress a profound verticality on the stone, that would be placed between the Baptistery and the Cathedral, erecting a pillar as a symbol of human will stretching towards the sky.
Giotto's Campanile is one of the most important monuments in the city of Florence: the refined white marble cladding from Pietrasanta, green serpentinite marble from Prato and red marble from Siena make it a great feat of figurative sculpture. The eighty-five-metre building was built as a symbolic flight of steps connecting the ground to the sky: 413 steps along which, through fatigue and willpower, man can ascend to God. This ascent is depicted in the tiles created by Andrea Pisano and his workshop. The originals are kept in the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo (Museum of the Works of the Cathedral). This was a very important moment for Florence. From the 11th century onwards, the focus on the rebirth of the human being burns brighter and, around the Bell Tower, a cycle of hexagonal tiles, the six days of creation, narrate how man can climb the ladder of wisdom and knowledge through work, the manual arts, the intellectual arts, the practice of virtues and the support of the sacraments to reach the top and rise up to where he can have a vision of God. The last part of the ascent is represented by the statues of the Sibyls and the prophets, which indicate and remind us of Eternity, that point of infinite present reflected in the extensive view of the city from above, the place where time seems to have no past or future.