Sky-high checks for Giotto’s bell tower

Maintenance monitoring of Florence Cathedral “pennone”

Editorial Staff
November 12, 2017 - 19:28

On Monday, November 13, 2017, a 135-metre-high crane and skilled workers will start checking the pinnacle rod, known as the “pennone”, of Giotto’s bell tower.





The work is part of restoration, which began in March 2017, conducted on the monument’s wooden roof.


Monitoring is ensuing on the facades of the cathedral complex, including the highest parts of Brunelleschi’s cupola; expect to spot experts attached to ropes to check the monument’s maintenance.


The “pennone” of Giotto’s bell tower is a 14-metre-tall red cypress tree originating from woodland in the Sieve Valley. In the past it was a fir tree from the Casentino forests, used by the cathedral’s administration from 1380 to 1838. The “pennone” has been replaced several times over the centuries, most recently in 2000. The wooden pinnacle is topped with a cross and golden ball, containing the relics of a wooden fragment of the Holy Cross, the stick of St. Joseph and St. Anne.


The bell tower will remain closed from November 13 to 17.

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