Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore

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INFO The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, otherwise known as the Duomo, is easily the most famous monument in Florence, Italy. The cathedral is the city’s main Gothic-style church and is located in the historic city center... ... read more

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Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore Information

The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, otherwise known as the Duomo, is easily the most famous monument in Florence, Italy. The cathedral is the city’s main Gothic-style church and is located in the historic city center. Its dome-like superstructure can be attributed to famous architect, Filippo Brunelleschi. Today the basilica is one of Italy’s largest.

Great Italian works of art in the Duomo include paintings by Paolo Uccello, Andrea del Castagno, and Giorgio Vasari.

Neighboring the massive basilica is the Baptistery and the Campanile, or bell tower, known for its engineer Giotto di Bondone. All three monuments stand together and dominate the Piazza del Duomo.

The cathedral is visited daily by thousands of tourists eager to take on the task of climbing the dome’s 463 steps. Once reaching the top of the monument, you can enjoy a view of the breathtaking cityscape.

Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore User Reviews

Average rating:
Must see
Claire M. Dec 12, 2012
Whether you commit the hours going to the top, spend time in daily or Sunday mass, or just walk in through the free entrance (make sure you're dressed appropriately) you cannot leave Florence without seeing the Duomo! It is very central to the city and you will most likely even drive past it on your way from the airport, but you must take the time to see it, take some pictures outside, and go to the top. The 463 stairs is worth the climb! You get an awesome view of the city and get to see the paintings on the ceiling up close. It's an amazing cathedral!
Life Changing
Adam F. Oct 31, 2012
Standing above all other structures in Florence, the prominent Duomo is a life changing sight. From anywhere in the city, this Cathedral can not only be seen, but can't possibly be missed. Simply strolling around the outside of this immense structure can take over an hour. The walls are an emerald green and white featuring unbelievable artistic talent, with gold plated engraved sketches of biblical scenes and relevant Italian culture. This structure is more than an religious monument, it is an architectural phenomena of its time. If familiar with Italian architecture, one would compare entering the Duomo to that of the Pantheon in Rome. Needless to say, it is unfathomable to speculate how such a structure came to be. Generally, tourists are impatient to reach the observatory on the roof and rush to the stairs. However, upon climbing the series of over 450 steps, it is impossible not to hear complaints on the physical stress endured on this journey skyward. Fortunately, there are many sights to see, giving a few opportunities to catch your breath along the way. Beautiful murals cover the entirety of the dome and walls, while featuring world renown Italian artists. If the artwork in itself is not breath taking, just wait until you reach the peak. Back on the staircase, you may notice graffiti of past tourists names, as wells as inspirational quotations. One of my personal favorites said "Compared to the Stairs in your life, this is NOTHING." Once you push through the final step, the appreciation of the workout instills a great feeling of accomplishment. Nevertheless, the breath taking and life changing views of the most beautifully designed city are now in reach. The top of the dome offers a 360 degree view of Florence and tranquility that could calm a frenzied mind. It is now that you realize you would climb the painful journey every day if given the opportunity, because it is paramount to nothing you have ever seen. Looking out over a sea of brick colored churches, buildings, and residential eliminates any anxiety and the troubles of the world disappear.
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