The Giotto's Bell Tower - 84.70 meters high and 15 meters wide - soars above Piazza Duomo in Florence.
Like the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, it is clad in white, red and green marble and is a splendid testament to 14th-century Florentine Gothic architecture.
Giotto began construction on bell tower in 1334, but after his death its execution was carried on by Andrea Pisano and completed in 1359 by Francesco Talenti, who created the upper levels' large windows.
The sculptural decoration is extremely rich and represents one of the most complex figurative cycles of the Middle Ages, with 56 relief carvings in two registers, and 16 life-size statues in the niches, the work of Florentine masters of the 14th and 15th centuries, including Andrea Pisano, Donatello and Luca Della Robbia.
In the hexagonal panels and lozenges are depictions of the Creation of Man, his Activities, the Liberal Arts, the Planets, the Virtues and the Sacraments. The statues in the niches represent patriarchs, prophets, kings of Israel, and pagan sibyls; the beautiful group of the Sacrifice of Isaac by Donatello, a splendid example of 15th-century naturalism, stands out.
The originals of the sculptures are all inside the Opera del Duomo Museum.
Finally, to enjoy a marvelous view of the historic center of Florence, you can climb to the top of the Campanile: 414 steps will let you gain access to a large terrace, with the Brunelleschi's Dome almost at your fingertips and the city at your feet.