Construction of the Campanile began in 1334 under the direction of Giotto di Bondone. The Campanile is often called Giotto’s Bell Tower, even though the famous Renaissance artist only lived to see the completion of its lower story. After Giotto’s death in 1337, work on the Campanile resumed under the supervision of Andrea Pisano and then Francesco Talenti.
Like the cathedral, the bell tower is sumptuously decorated in white, green, and pink marble. But where the Duomo is expansive, the Campanile is slender and symmetrical. The Campanile was built on a square plan and has five different levels, the lower two of which are the most intricately decorated. The lower story features hexagonal panels and reliefs set in diamond-shaped “lozenges” which depict the Creation of man, Planets, Virtues, Liberal Arts, and Sacraments. The second level is decorated with two rows of niches in which there are statues of prophets from the Bible. Several of these statues were designed by Donatello, while others are attributed to Andrea Pisano and Nanni di Bartolo. Note that the hexagonal panels, lozenge reliefs, and statues on the Campanile are copies; the originals of all of these works of art have been moved to the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo for preservation as well as up-close viewing.