As the city's skyline symbol, the legendary Duomo is famous above all for its dome: Filippo Brunelleschi's Renaissance ... More
Santa Maria del Fiore
As the city's skyline symbol, the legendary Duomo is famous above all for its dome: Filippo Brunelleschi's Renaissance masterpiece, completed in 1436, created a double dome shell so that the dome is entirely self-supporting. It still stands as the largest masonry dome in the world, containing over four million bricks. Climb to the top (all 463 steps) to get an unforgettable panoramic view of the city, which has changed little in the past 500 years. Construction started in 1296 on the site of the Roman basilica of Santa Reparata, of which there are still visible remains with a design by the great Florentine architect, Arnolfo di Cambio. The existing neo-Gothic facade was added in the 19th Century by Emilio De Fabris. Covering a massive 3600 square meters (38,750 square feet), the frescoes inside the dome depict the Last Judgment, painted by Giorgio Vasari and Federico Zuccari.
Visiting Santa Maria del Fiore was a dream come true. Everything about it was absolutely beautiful. The stairs to reach the top are tiring but absolutely worth it when you get up there and see the gorgeous view of Fienze. The artwork in the dome is amazing. The architecture and craftsmanship of the building are incredible. Pictures do not capture the delecate, ornate detail within the marble on the outside of the building. Someday I plan to return so I can have my breath taken away once again.
I was dragged with my parents who forced me to climb it. I am claustrophobic and afraid extremely of heights which is a bad combination for this trip. On the way up the stairs i had numerous panic attacks because of the closed spaces and i couldn't look out the window because it reminded me of how high up we where (also its a spiral staircase so it feels like you're going in a never ending circle). When you get close to the top you have to walk on a plexiglass floor - you have to there is no way around it. the problem is that this floor is very high above towards the top of the dome. It made me face my fears and the view is incredible but I wouldn't recommend it to people who are claustrophobic and afraid of heights.
This was definitely my favorite sight in Florence. They were doing renovation work while we were there, so we couldn't go inside, but the view from the outside is absolutely breathtaking. We walked around the corner into the San Giovanni Plaza and just stopped. We couldn't even see that much of the building yet and we were completely amazed.
There is so much detail in the building. Every place you look there is another painting or carving or design in the building that just blows your mind.
I LOVE ALL OF IT TOP TO BOTTOM. IT'S A WALK THROUGH HISTORY AND IT'S A PHENOMENAL CHURCH. I ATTENDED MASSES THERE REGULARLY AS I WAS GROWING UP. I HAD THE PLEASURE OF LIVING IN FLORENCE FOR 13 YEARS AND I TRULY APPRECIATE THE EXPERIENCE AND I MISS IT. THE DUOMO STANDS OUT AS A CASTLE IN A FOREST AND IT HAS BEEN RESTORED, CLEANED UP AND OFFERS REFUGE TO MANY TOURISTS AS THEY ADMIRE ALL THE DETAILED ARTWORK AND ARCHITECTURE OF EACH PART OF THE BUILDING. TRULY AMAZING AND A MUST SEE!
I climbed all the way to the top of the Duomo. Let me just say it was definitely a workout but it was worth it for the view. It is the highest point in Florence, I believe, so you can see everything. I went during Twilight and it was beautiful. The climb down was definitely easier as well. If you visit, you MUST climb to the top or else why go?!
I did not climb the dome, so I can't give a true comparison, but by climbing the tower instead I got two great benefits:
- No line for the tower
- Fabulous views of Florence that include the Duomo! From the dome itself I think the views would be much less interesting as you can't look at the dome.
There are several stops with views along the way to the top of the tower, so I actually thought I was at the top several time. :-) Keep climbing until your outside on the roof! The only hard part of the climb is the narrow stairs above the bell.
The Duomo brings together all the magnificent things that Florence has to offer ; art, architecture, science and history. Standing in front of it looking up is surpassed only by standing at the top of the dome and looking down. The facade is vibrant with red, green and dazzling white marble, ornamented with larger than life sculptures. Upon entering the cathedral the mood changes to magnificent dignity and grandeur. Walk slowly up the center of the cathedral and look both up to the towering ceiling and down to the intricate floor patterns. Upon arriving at the alter the dome's artwork shows its luminance. Afterwards, climb the stairs to the top of the dome, for a wonderful insight into the construction of this landmark, and enjoy your reward of a spectacular view of all Florence. This city is the center of the western world's art and science, and this structure has been the center of the city for over half a millennium. Savour it.
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