In Italy, Duomo of Florence is formally known as Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore (in English – Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flowers). It is one of the most iconic structure and largest cathedral in the world. From its name you cans sense that cathedral of Florence is dedicated to Santa Maria del Fiore.
Designed by Arnolfo di Cambio, Santa Maria del Fiore is the third largest church in the world after St. Peter’s in Rome and St. Paul’s in London. It was the largest church in Europe in 15th century.
Cathedral of Florence has the largest masonry dome in the world, weighing over 40 thousand ton with over 4 million bricks.
Visit to Duomo also includes the following places related to it:
- The crypt and a climb up the cupola
- The Baptistry
- The Bell Towerand a trip to the top
- The newly renovated Museum of the Duomowith it’s incredible collection of artwork (including work by Donatello and Michelangelo)
These monuments and cathedral are the soul of Florence and religious center of city.
Cathedral of Florence, as a religious site you should respect it and you are advised not to wear inappropriate and disrespectful clothes.
When to visit?
Early morning is the best time to visit Duomo in Florence, or in the afternoon right before 50 minutes before it shuts. The Museum is closed on the first Tuesday of each month and on key religious days like Easter Sunday.
Entry to the Cathedral Dome starts from 8:30 in the morning and is closed all day Sundays.
Entry to the Bell Tower starts from 8:30 in the morning also and visitors are required to climb through 414 steps.
Entry to the Crypt starts from 10:00 in the morning and is closed all day Sundays and can close at any time for religious events.
Entry to Baptistry which is directly opposite the front of the Cathedral opens most days at 11.15 AM
The Opera Museum opens at 9:00 in the morning, but closed on Sunday afternoons
Address: Piazza del Duomo, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Tickets and Guided Tours
For accessing Duomo we will recommend you to book ticket or tour in advance.
Tickets: Purchase Duomo Ticket from official ticket office, after the purchase it will valid for next 72 hours. As the day progress, line for ticket counter will get insane so its better to book ticket in advance via online platforms and avoid standing in long queues.
A single ticket for Duomo has the to access to Brunelleschi’s Dome, the Baptistry of San Giovanni, Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Crypt of Santa Reparata and the Opera Museum. Entrance into the Duomo itself is free.
Guided Tour: Guided tours are the best option for exploring everything in Cathedral. Expert guide will help you to explore the history of Duomo and drag you 1500 years back. Ticket is included in Guided tour and Headset will be given to you to hear the Guide.
Book Tour Guide online and save your money and time.
Audio Guided Tour: With the help of Audio Guided Tour, once can explore Duomo at his/her own pace.
Interesting Facts about Duomo Florence:
A trained goldsmith, Fillipo Brunelleschi was the man behind this masterpiece dome. He had no experience whatsoever and never built anything in his life before building this breathtaking cathedral dome.
On completion it was the largest cathedral in 15 century. Now it is the third largest cathedral in the world behind St. Peter’s in Rome and St. Paul’s in London.
For building Duomo giant dome, Fillipo had invented the technology and machine called OX Hoist for making workers life easy.
With the help of OX Hoist the dome took 16 years to complete and the whole cathedral took 140 years to complete.
Excluding dome which is covered with tiled bricks, every inch of exterior is covered in marble.
Stairs which are use to climb up the dome for visitors were originally built for workers to construct the dome and for maintenance purpose.
Brunelleschi didn’t leave any document or drawing plan or sketch behind on how he manage to do such an extraordinary design work.