Six hundred years ago, on August 7, 1420, the first stone was laid in the construction of the dome of Florence Cathedral, based on plans by Filippo Brunelleschi. Still the largest masonry ever built in the world, the cupola is visited by about one million people every year.


A lineup of events will be held throughout the year to mark this important milestone. Florence lovers can expect concerts, shows, talks, book presentations and virtual tours, but the real draw for 2020 will be night-time 3D video mapping on the dome’s exterior for the first time in the cupola’s history.



The full line of events can be viewed here (currently in Italian only).




Concerts + shows



Salvatore Sciarrino
ph. Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore/ Claudio Giovannini




On October 8, head to the Cathedral for the premiere of the play titled Con il cielo dentro, written by Davide Rondoni and directed by Giancarlo Cauteruccio.



On November 20, enjoy the performance Oltre l’azzurro. Il sogno di Brunelleschi, with music by Silvia Colasanti and lyrics by Maria Grazia Calandrone. The piece was commissioned by the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore and will be performed by the Orchestra Giovanile Italiana from the Fiesole Music School, under the baton of French conductor Pierre-André Valade, alongside the Cappella Musicale della Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore and Pueri Cantores.




3D video mapping



Roberto Corazzi for the projections on the cupola of Florence Cathedral
Courtesy: Roberto Corazzi for Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore



For the first time in its 600-year history, 3D video mapping will be projected onto Brunelleschi’s Dome during nights throughout September. The images will display some of the most important moments in the monument’s construction. The Impossible Machine is the project’s name, which has been designed by architects Roberto Corazzi and Samuele Caciagli, and draws upon innovative technology provided by Stark, a leader in major architectural projections and 3D video mapping. The projects will be visible from piazzale Michelangelo and the south side of the city.



Talks + conferences


On September 25 and 26, scholars will gather for the international conference Around Brunelleschi’s Dome: comparing cathedral constructions (Italy, France and Spain), held at the Antica Canonica di San Giovanni. On November 19 and 20 (also at the Antica Canonica di San Giovanni), interested parties can attend the conference titled Filippo’s Egg. Brunelleschi’s Dome through history, luck and preservation.



These events have since been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.


Article updated August 6, 2020, 19:30

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