On trips to Europe there is inevitably the moment when I reach my cathedral quota. You know, that moment when you couldn’t possibly look at another gilded baptistry or stained glass window. Then there are the moments when unexpected greatness brings you to the verge of tears. Even if you think you’ve seen as many gargoyles as your European trip can handle, here’s an Italian one you shouldn’t miss.
On a trip to Italy two years ago my boyfriend and I drove from the airport in Rome north to Siena specifically to see the Duomo di Siena that we had heard so much about.
Now we’re not great historians, but we were amazed to find out that construction of this church began in the 1200s during the Dark Ages, the crusades, and before Marco Polo made his voyages to China. Even using today’s construction techniques this is a phenomenal structure that would take decades to build. The church evolved over hundreds of years. However, look at the design and color. It instantly looks modern and daring even today with its black and white striped marble columns.
The stripes are so reminiscent of many recent designs. This is a bag by Karen Young, founder of Hammocks and High Tea that incorporates black and white stripes.
This dining room from House & Garden UK uses the same design idea.
It appears again in this top in an image from Atlantic Pacific.
Then there are the amazing floor designs, making this church one of the most ornate in all of Europe. They were created in the church from the 14th to the 16th centuries.
The stars on the ceiling within the dome (with a lantern designed by Bernini) reminds me of the wallpaper designs of Audrey Sterk.
It looks like designers whether they realize it or not have been influenced by this amazing church for centuries.