On the left side of Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence’s Duomo, you’ll see La Porta della Mandorla— The Almond Door (it’s the the second door down). The door is–easily–the most beautiful of the cathedral’s entryways.
The door is named for the almond shape framing the figure of the Virgin Mary above the mosaic. Like the majority of the cathedral, this door was completed in the early 15th century.
The mosaic lunette directly over the door was created by Domenico and Davide Ghirlandaio in the late 15th century.
Rich in color and gilt, it glows in rain and sun alike. One of my favorite pastimes in Florence is to park myself on the edge of one of the large planters in the piazza to watch the mosaic’s colors shift and shimmer as the sun changes its position.