414 Steps to the Clouds above Florence
This climb in not for the faint of heart and most of my workshop participants opted to enjoy an espresso in a comfortable cafe while myself and one other brave soul set out to conquer the 414 winding, steep, and claustrophobic steps.
The photo above is Giotto's Campanile, part of the Florence Cathedral on the Piazza del Duomo. The structure stands 277.9 feet above the city and was completed in 1359. For more history on this amazing structure, check here.
While I do just fine in tight spaces, the walls are so narrow that it's nearly impossible to pass someone going down while you head up. Foot traffic is self-policed where you let a group go by, and then make your way to the next landing spot.
Despite these minor inconveniences, the view is just unbelievable, if not one of the best in all of Florence. At the very top, you are greeted by a 360 degree panorama, secured by bars that are wide enough to fit and rest your camera on. We arrived mid-morning and the sky was a brilliant blue with partial cloud cover adding an extra element of interest.
A circular polarizing filter was an ideal tool for bringing out the deep blues and the contrast of the white clouds. I used my wide angle 17-40mm for this capture at about f11 for great depth of field.