Sometimes I reminisce about the times I have seen the Duomo in Florence, Italy, for it was honestly the closest image I had of what a “magical” building looks like. This was primarily so not because how detailed the exterior of the Duomo was during the daylight, although it was certainly beautiful in it own right, but because of how the Duomo looked at night. Regardless of angle, the Duomo seemed to have an odd radiance in the way light was reflected through the curves of the building, the way light was contained through these very same curves that give the church shape while using this same light to complement the intricacies of the architecture, such as the fact that the Duomo is mostly white and green!
During the daytime, due to the contrast from the white primary color, the shade of green looks a bit darker than it really is, and I believe it is only until it is dark at night where the brightness of the green designs really come out. This sight always confused me since in person the Duomo looks almost completely different than how it does when the sun is out. It almost adapts to the vibe of the city, quaint and friendly when the sun is out, but it shows its different side when it hits the night.
Churches always seem so grand compared to the people that enter it, almost as to invoke the presence of a higher power when inside it. Usually in New York churches stand on their own in terms of architecture, it typically does not fall under the boxiness that the buildings surrounding it suffer from, But in Florence where every building is unique to each other yet similar in terms of size to each other, It’s hard to think about what is it that makes the Duomo stand out so much apart from everywhere else. I believe it’s because of the Plaza that encompasses it since it gives it the space it needs for people to truly appreciate its intricacies, such as the statues that practically guard the surroundings of the Church, or the carved out holes these statues reside in.
It really is because of the space of the plaza where one actually gets a better understanding of how big the Cathedral really is. The facade of the Duomo is much grander in size than it appears on its sides, yet it still retains its radiance from its green highlights in the night. The sides of the Duomo take away the intimidation of its grandness because it’s not that tall in height compared to the houses and stores nearby, while the facade serves as a reminder that it is something grand. The entrance to the Duomo transforms from a portal to another world in the daytime to something darker, something more grounded in the present almost. Maybe it is because of the amount of people drinking wine in front of the Duomo in the night, or maybe it’s from the very same radiance that entices us.