I was a college student, between my sophomore and junior years... and was on a school trip to Italy... where I would study the language and conversation at a school just 3 doors down from the Duomo... and live with a local family in the city for a month during the courses.
Going to Italy was a dream come true. Truly. I had always wanted to go to Italy... see the country... see where my dad's side of the family is from... and learn the language. (The fact that I have lived in Italy for almost a year now is still beyond me at times!)
The very first night that I arrived in Florence (after having spent a couple days in Rome... and tearing up as I walked into the Colosseum)... another girl from the group and I decided to find our way to the school where we would begin the next morning. We were armed with a map of the city and it was beginning to grow dark.
After walking for 25-30 minutes or so (I lived about a mile and a half from the Duomo)... it was like I turned a corner into Alice's Wonderland! There was a HUGE, HUGE cardboard building in front of me... or so I thought...
We had found the Duomo - Florence's cathedral at the center of the city. What I thought was patterned cardboard - giant sized... was really this church (below) when the city was growing dark... and I didn't know my way around. It was almost as if I had turned into a cartoon or something... the huge structure seemed that fake. It was awesome.
I walked closer and realized that this was real and it was the Duomo! Not only was I laying eyes on this magnificent structure for the first time... but I had also successfully found school! Ha!
It felt great to come up to the Duomo again this past weekend. I really love this city's Duomo. (The last time I was here was with my family during our visit the summer of 2007.)
Also... I recommend this book about Florence's Duomo's dome... very interesting! -->