“Rising above the ancient city of Florence is the magnificent Santa Maria del Fiore, the great cathedral that burst from the age of the Renaissance in the early fifteenth century, well before Columbus sailed. It wasn’t Gothic. It wasn’t Romanesque. It was something new and there it is still, rising 350 feet into the sky, beautiful as ever, truly numinous.
“The architect of the cathedral done was the incomparable Brunelleschi. But when praised for his genius in what he had done, he said… the credit did not belong to him but to Florence.”
Santa Maria del Fiore is not Brunelleschi’s, although we must give him homage. Nor, does it belong to Florence, although it is safe to say that in Florence all streets lead to the Duomo.
I am not the only one in awe of this cathedral. Its fan base includes the millions of people who return to Florence again and again to experience being the presence of the Duomo. I have plans to return in September to do just that: gaze from the streets, sit in its nave, pray in its chapels, climb its 463 steps, and continue to ponder the profound, yet mysterious, wisdom it has to offer me.