The sign of the fall of Verrocchio’s golden ball

Every tour of Florence can be surprising. Florence is an open air museum where you can admire the great buildings and wonderful sculptures while walking through the streets and squares, but beyond these maginificent works of art, the city has lots of secret stories to tell.

If you walk in the east side of the piazza del Duomo, in the part of the square situated behind the apse, you will find on the pavement a circular stone made of white marble. It’s not so evident and you could pass on it without seeing it or giving it any particular meaning, but the stone has been put there for a reason.

sfera lanterna cupola firenze

You probably know that at the top of the Brunelleschi’s Dome (or Cupola) there’s a golden sphere upon the lantern. That sphere was realized by Florentine sculptor Andrea del Verrocchio and it was made of sheets of copper, hammered and gilded, and because of its copper structure it was “victim” of many storms during the centuries.

In 1601 the sphere was struck by a big lighting and fell down. The lantern and the roof of the church were heavily damaged and the noise of the impact was terrifying. Thankfully no person was hit or injured and the sphere was quickly restored and put on the top of the Dome again. But the Florentine wanted this episode to be remindend and laid the stone in that place, where the sphere fell.
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If you want to visit Florence and learn all its stories, and make of your visit an unforgettable experience, please choose one of our tours of Florence.