Yesterday the sun passed through the Gnomone and lighted up a part of the Duomo.
This is a peculiar astronomical event that happens every year just for a few days between may and July and for a few minutes around noon. This year it happened yesterday and again on Thursday June 21st and 28th on a certain time between 12.30pm and 1.30.
The Gnomone is a particular astronomical instrument that was built in 1475 by Paolo Dal Pozzo Toscanelli. It is the largest on its kind in the world and allows to measure the exact position of the sun thanks to its shadow. The sun light hits the Duomo’s ground for a few seconds inside the Cross Chapel, near the main altar where there are a thin brass meridian enclosed into two marble circles onto the floor. The major circles measures 90 cm that is the largest sun shadow of the Summer solstice.
The event is free for a maximum of 150 people. The entrance is through the Canonici Door right in front of via della Canonica for the next Thursdays in June at lunch time. I strongly recommend you see this peculiarity of Florence!
And if you got to Florence don’t forget to download TooMuchFirenze, the unconventional guide about Florence for iPhone and Android!