Italy, webcam at peregrine falcon nest on Dome of Florence

This video is called Brunelleschi, Dome of the Cathedral of Florence, 1420-36.

From ANSA news agency in Italy:

Falcons nest on Florence Duomo

Webcam to catch upcoming hatching

FLORENCE – A pair of falcons have chosen an unusual home to nest and bring up their young – the top of Florence cathedral.

A webcam has been set up to follow the peregrine falcons, who have been named after two heroes of Florentine history – the great painter Giotto and Monna Tessa, Italy’s first nurse and the founder of a famous religious order.

Bird lovers and others can follow the birds’ movements in the run-up to the appearance of the first additions to their family, expected towards the middle of this month.

The bird-watching world has been waiting with bated breath since Monna Tessa laid four eggs on March 8.

Thanks to the webcam – a tangerine-sized ball painted the same brick-red colour as the Duomo’s tiles – they’ll be able to see the fledglings’ first steps towards becoming, like their parents, one of the fastest creatures on the planet.

The peregrine falcon, which risked extinction in Italy because of pesticides until DDT was banned in the 1970s, was first spotted in the skies over Florence in 1993.

A pair of hawks were spotted a few years ago on another great city landmark, the imposing tower of Palazzo Vecchio.

Experts say it could have been the first visit by a younger Giotto and Monna Tessa, already showing their taste for fine architecture.

The new webcam, funded by Florentine civic and artistic authorities, can be accessed via, … and

Peregrine falcon nest with webcam in The Netherlands: here.

Barcelona peregrines: here.

7 thoughts on “Italy, webcam at peregrine falcon nest on Dome of Florence

  1. Father of Italian painting gets big Rome show

    Associated Press Writer

    ROME (AP) — For the father of Italian painting, Rome is putting on a mother of all shows.

    An ambitious exhibit of works by Giotto and his pupils, the first on such a scale in Italy since the times of Mussolini, opened in the Italian capital on Friday.

    Twenty masterpieces by Giotto, including wood paintings, frescoes and stained glass, are on display through June 29 in the monumental Vittoriano Complex near central Piazza Venezia.

    Another 130 artworks help visitors appreciate Giotto’s revolutionary influence on his pupils and other artists of the early 14th century.

    If Dante gave Italy a new literary language, Giotto, who lived in most of the same decades, gave his homeland a new pictorial language.

    Giotto pioneered a fresh approach to painting, breaking with centuries of Byzantine art. His paintings show the psychological state of his subjects. The spatial techniques experimented by Giotto, who was also an architect, left a legacy for Renaissance artists, said Alessandro Tomei, a medieval art professor and one of the exhibit’s curators.

    Behind the great artworks of the Renaissance, “probably there is Giotto” in some aspect, remarked Tomei during a preview Thursday for VIPs including Italy’s president, Giorgio Napolitano.

    The exhibit explores the variety of Giotto’s commissions by noblemen and churchmen up and down Italy, from Naples to Padua and Milan. Works by his pupils and others in the late 1200s and during the 1300s in Italy reflect how much they absorbed and admired the master.

    On display are works by Arnolfo di Cambio, Cimabue, Giovanni Pisano, Taddeo Gaddi, Giottino and Simone Martini.

    Before this show, it was the Uffizi Gallery in Florence that mounted the last major exhibit on Giotto and painting in Italy spanning the end of the 13th century and the first half of the 14th. The 1937 exhibit marked the 600th anniversary of Giotto’s death in that Tuscan city.

    © 2009 The Associated Press.


  2. Giotto’s Saint Francis goes digital

    Touch-screen panels to explain Assisi fresco cycle

    09 April, 18:46

    Giotto’s Saint Francis goes digital (ANSA) – Assisi, April 9 – The glorious colours and meticulous detail of a famous fresco cycle by Renaissance father Giotto are spotlighted in a new initiative getting under way this Sunday in Assisi.

    The Umbrian town is focusing on a series of 28 paintings depicting the life of St Francis, in commemoration of the 800-year anniversary since the saint set out the key principles of his order, the Rule of St Francis. The St Francis Cycle, located in the Upper Church of the Assisi Basilica, is famous for its naturalistic style and is considered one of the founding works of modern art. Detailed new explanatory boards will be unveiled on Sunday at the fresco itself, designed to give visitors a more in-depth understanding of both the saint and the artwork. But the focus will be on a stunning virtual reconstruction of the cycle opening at the newly restored Palazzo Del Monte Frumentario. Entitled Giotto Com’Era (Giotto As He Was), the high-definition reconstruction is the result of months of research by the Central Restoration Institute.

    Its creators have sought to reproduce the fresco as it would have appeared when freshly painted in an environment designed to resemble the basilica. The fresco is now so fragile and has been so altered by time and human intervention that restorers say this is the only way viewers will ever get a true sense of its original glory.

    A number of touch-screen panels in different parts of the site provide comparisons between the high-definition ‘original’ and its current appearance, while another section of the exhibition will allow visitors to ‘enter’ the fresco.

    The poster image of the initiative, showing Pope Innocent III officially approving the Rule of St Francis, has been transformed into a full-scale three-dimensional installation. The life-sized scene depicts animated characters, including the pontiff welcoming the saint and his followers, which react to the movements of visitors ‘entering’ the image.

    Back at the Basilica, the Giotto initiative will also give visitors to the Chapel of St Nicholas a chance to experience the live restoration of other Giotto works in the Lower Church. Extensive scaffolding footbridges will allow the public to study restorers at work, learning about their techniques and seeing the original artwork up close.

    La Basilica di Assisi tra Restauro e Restituzione Virtuale (The Basilica of Assisi, Restoration and Virtual Reconstruction) runs from April 11 until September 5.


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