Things to do in Florence

Ultimate guide to climbing Brunelleschi’s Dome at Duomo Florence

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Built between 1420 and 1436, Brunelleschi's Dome is a remarkable architectural achievement by Filippo Brunelleschi. Standing at 114.5 meters tall, it was the world's largest dome during its construction and remains a highlight of Renaissance architecture. The Florence Duomo boasts the distinction of being the largest brick dome globally and the first double-dome structure of its era. If you're planning a visit to the Florence Cathedral, ascending Brunelleschi's Dome is an unforgettable experience that shouldn't be missed!

Quick facts about Brunelleschi's Dome

Handy information

👉 Age:600 years
👉 Building years: 16 years
👉 Height:376 ft
👉 Materials:Bricks, sandstone, and marble
👉 Architect: Filippo Brunelleschi
👉 No. of steps: 436

Opening hours

  • Monday to Friday: 8:15am to 6:45pm
  • Saturday: 8:15am to 4:30pm
  • Sunday: 12:45pm to 4:30pm
  • Last admission: Forty minutes before closing time.
  • Closed on: New Year’s Day | Epiphany | Holy Thursday | Good Friday | Holy Saturday | Easter | St. John the Baptist (24 June) | Assumption (15 August) | Nativity of the Virgin (8 September) | All Saints’ Day (1 November) | Immaculate Conception (8 December) | Monday and Tuesday of the first week of Advent | Christmas Day | Boxing Day (26 December)

Is it worth climbing the Brunelleschi's Dome?

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The climb up Brunelleschi's Dome is truly rewarding, thanks to the breathtaking city views and the chance to admire the dome's intricate paintings up close. The staircase leading to the Cupola is narrow, twisting, and full of mystery. It comprises 463 steps, adorned with graffiti left by past visitors, offering a unique journey. Climbing a dome may seem unusual due to its round shape, but ascending one of the world's largest domes is a rare opportunity not to be missed! Climbing Brunelleschi's Dome is not advised for individuals with heart conditions, dizziness, or claustrophobia.

Recommended tickets to Brunelleschi's Dome climb

When visiting the Florence Cathedral, don't miss the chance to climb Brunelleschi's Dome. This experience, along with exploring the Opera del Duomo Museum, Baptistery, and Crypt of Santa Reparata, adds depth to your visit. Ensure you customize your ticket to include the dome climb and choose your preferred time slot, as there are limited slots daily.

Architecture of Brunelleschi's Dome

Széchenyi Baths

The Florence Duomo's structure is octagonal, made of stone and brick masonry, with an external diameter of 54.8 meters and an interior diameter of 45.5 meters. It consists of two domes: an internal and an external one, each made up of eight "sails" or pendentives. These are connected by 24 meridian and 10 parallel ribs, with a stairway of 463 steps between them leading to the lantern. The bricks are laid in a herringbone pattern, and the external dome is covered in terracotta tiles, bordered by eight marble ribs that converge towards the top ring, supporting the large lantern.

Tips to visit Brunelleschi’s Dome

Széchenyi Baths
  • Book Tickets in Advance: Reserve your tickets online well ahead of your visit, especially during Italy's peak summer season, to avoid missing out.
  • Choose the Right Time: Opt for morning or late afternoon climbs in summer to dodge the heat and crowds.
  • Dress Wisely: Wear light, comfortable clothing adhering to the dress code, as limited ventilation can make the climb hot.
  • Footwear Matters: Select comfortable footwear suitable for walking and climbing.
  • Take Breaks: Pace yourself during the 463-step climb, especially in narrow and steep sections. Don't hesitate to take breaks.
  • Store Large Items: Use the cloakroom near the Opera del Duomo museum to store bulky items before your climb.
  • Respect Time Slots: Stick to your reserved time slot to avoid disruptions, as only a few climbers are allowed at once.
  • Consider Physical Fitness: Be mindful of the physical exertion involved, especially if you have heart issues, vertigo, or claustrophobia.
  • Skip the Ticket Line: If you've purchased tickets online, bypass the ticket line and enter the Dome through the Porta della Mandorla entrance.
Brunelleschi's Dome
Brunelleschi's Dome