No more graffiti at the Duomo

Autography project extends to cupola

Editorial Staff
February 26, 2017 - 14:45

“Welcome to Brunelleschi’s Dome. We have been protecting masterpieces for centuries: starting from today we are going to remove graffiti from the Campanile’s walls. But if you – virtually – leave us a message we will preserve it: just like a masterpiece.


After Giotto’s bell tower, now the Autography project is being extended to Brunelleschi’s Cupola. The application was developed by the cathedral’s administration, Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore, to advise visitors against acts of vandalism while at the same time enabling them to leave a “mark”


The campaign, which started a year ago, has proven a success among visitors to the bell tower, who have left more than 18,000 digital messages. Subsequently, there has been a sharp decline in graffiti on the internal walls of the thirteenth-century structure.



Until now the 800,000 people who climb the 463 steps to the top of Brunelleschi’s masterpiece have encountered walls covered in scrawl. Now visitors can make use of two Autography points, one during the climb adjacent to the statues of the bishops and another one on the way down, in the space where some Renaissance building tools are exhibited.


Write your message in the style of pen, pencil, spray paint or felt-pen, in whatever colour you like and even choose the monument material, such as stone, wood or brick. The Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore downloads the digital signatures, catalogues and stores them in the archive where the cathedral’s documents have been preserved for more than 700 years.


When your holiday or visit is over, you can reminisce by looking up your message online. The writing may no longer be on the wall, but now it lasts forever and doesn’t spoil the view.

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