Of all the tours to take in Florence, Duomo is perhaps the most archetypal landmark to visit. While “Duomo” literally means “cathedral”, it refers to an entire complex within Florence city centre. This encompasses the cathedral, the crypt, the dome (the subject of time availability), the museum, the bell tower and the baptistery.
Your tour begins at the wonderous Baptistery of St John. This is the oldest religious site in the whole of Florence, Inlaid with patterns of coloured marble. It also has two doors made of bronze with biblical scenes carved into them. They were dubbed the “Gates of Paradise” by Michelangelo. Next, your guide will take you, past the cathedral, to the Opera del Duomo museum. Here, they’ll show you all the beautiful artworks on display. Many of the paintings here were originally created for the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. [readmore] After this, you will be free to explore the rest of the Duomo in your own time. You will be given tickets to all of the rest of the attractions in the Duomo complex. Walk around the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and the crypt inside. The crypt, which allows you to see into Santa Reparata and many archaeological findings are well worth having a look around.
For 120 years, the cathedral had no roof but eventually ‘the dome’, the crowning glory of the cathedral, was added. Your tickets will enable you to climb the Bell and see its breathtaking views of the city. You must make a reservation to go up, however, as there are a limited number of people allowed at any one time. If reservations are full you can always try again later. In the meantime, you can go to Giotto's bell tower, built in 1359. It is just next to the cathedral and boasts similarly spectacular views to the dome.Read more
No shorts or sleeveless tops allowed. Knees and shoulders must be covered for both genders
Skipping security check is not possible (due to safety measures)
The Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral was designed by Arnolfo di Cambio in 1296. It was the biggest cathedral in the world until the completion of St Peter’s Basilica. It has been built over the remains of a different church: Santa Reparata. Some of the remains of this church are accessible through the crypts in Santa Maria del Fiore. Sitting above the cathedral is a ginormous dome, designed by Filippo Brunelleschi. It is, therefore, sometimes referred to as the “Brunelleschi dome”.
The Baptistery of St John is one of the oldest building in Florence. Construction began in 1059. It is most famous for its bronze “gates of paradise” with biblical scenes designed by Lorenzo Ghiberti. The doors currently in place are replicas. The originals are on display in the Opera del Duomo museum. The nearby bell tower was designed by Giotto in 1334 and completed in 1359 (over two decades after the artist had died).