Are There Crop Circle Designs on the Duomo?
By Matthew Bates

On May 1, 2003 I started a painting of the Campanile di Giotto, the bell tower of the Duomo, or Cathedral, of Florence, in Italy. The painting included all of the intricate details that are carved and inlayed in marble all up the entire length of the tower.Even though I have lived in Florence for many years, I had never really taken in the incredible artistic undertaking that the Florentines produced when they built the tower until I started the painting. I worked about 5 hours a day, everyday, until on August 31, 2003 I finally finished the painting. You can imagine the amount of effort that it took to create such a painting, and at what level of detail I was involved with. Most of the details of life are lost to us because, well, there are just too many details all around us. We train ourselves to focus on a few things at a time so that we can get through the day, in so doing, we miss some vital clues to what may be going on around us.

Several years ago I was watching an Italian TV station called La7 which was transmitting a show about the crop circle phenomenon. Up until then I had never heard of a crop circle, and during the transmission I became captivated. I had never seen anything like it and, as an artist, I could tell that there was some incredible mastery in the designs, and in the execution of the circles. I knew, instinctively, that whoever was making these creations had to have some fantastic tools at their disposal. These were not hoaxes, and although there are hoaxes, there are definitely real crop circles. Which brings us to question, why now, why are we receiving these messages and have they ever appeared before. History has a funny way of popping up when you least expect it. I think that I have found crop circle designs right on the top of the Campanile di Giotto, right there for us to see.

Florence is the birthplace of the Renaissance. From the ashes of the Medieval age, Florence was a light where human accomplishment was a valued prize. Among Florentine firsts we can include the invention of capitalism through its banks and trade, to the understanding of our place in the Universe thanks to Galileo, to the invention of eyeglasses, and the use of the fork at the dinner table. Also modern political practice was invented by Machiavellian thought, not to mention that Florence was the first city in the world to have paved streets. All of this and I didn’t even mention Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo because we all know who they are and what they did! Given all of this wealth and power, of the spirit, mind and pocket, is it outrageous to think that crop circles may have appeared to these pioneering men, as a guide? Certainly there is no record of crop circles, but why would there be, it would be dangerous at best to advertise such knowledge when the fear of excommunication was very real, and the other side of the city wall was a cold place to be.

Here are the pictures that I took myself of the top of the bell tower. I would have never noticed this myself if I had not painted it. You can judge for yourselves, and I certainly encourage debate.

Campanile di Giotto

"Campanile di Giotto" by Matthew Bates

All images are ©2005, Matthew Bates. If you would like to publish them in any way shape or form please contact me directly.

These are just a few of the designs on the bell tower. Others will be published shortly.

Visit Matthew Bates' official website to see his original paintings at

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