Florence, often called “the birthplace of Renaissance”, “the Athens of the Middle Ages”, is one of the most charming, quaint and picturesque cities in Italy. The entire city, literally, feels like a piece of art with its beautiful sights, Renaissance architecture, cobblestoned streets and relaxed small-town vibe. There is much to see and experience here, in the capital of Tuscany, including one of the most famous churches in the world, the ‘Duomo Di Firenze’ or the Florence Duomo.
The Florence Cathedral, although famous for its sheer size, look and beauty,it has a ton of history and is one of the most popular and well-respected monuments in all of Italy. The Duomo is as emblematic of Florence as the Eiffel Tower is of Paris, so a trip to this city definitely warrants a visit to this magnificent masterpiece.
Duomo Florence Cathedral In A Nutshell
Things to know
Number of visitors per year: 7 million
UNESCO World Heritage Site designation: 1928
Architect: Arnolfo di Cambio, Filippo Brunelleschi, Emilio De Fabris
Architectural styles - Renaissance, Gothic, Romanesque, Gothic Revival
Height - 114 m
Opening Hours And Address
10:15 AM to 04:15 PM from Monday to Friday
Address : Piazza del Duomo, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Why Visit Duomo Florence Cathedral
The Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore or the Florence Cathedral is a monument dedicated to the Virgin of the Flowers. Initially designed by Arnolfo di Cambio, the construction of this church began in 1296. Interestingly enough, the cathedral took 140 years to complete and the project was worked on by a number of different architects such as Giotto di Bondone, Andrea Pisano, Alberto Arnoldi. Out of all the people who worked on the cathedral, perhaps none are as famous as Filippo Brunelleschi, a goldsmith, who won a design competition and thus was commissioned to design and construct the dome of the church. Today, the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, is the 4th largest cathedral in all of Europe, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Duomo Florence Cathedral - History & Architecture
As mentioned earlier, Florence is considered the Cradle of the Renaissance, and the construction of the dome of the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore more or less paved the way for this movement.
Initially, when Arnolfo di Cambio first began the project in 1296, it followed more of a Gothic style of architecture, with characteristics of Tuscan-style Romanesque architecture, as seen with the inlaid marble panelling. It wasn’t until Filippo Brunelleschi became part of the construction, that the new method and style - an ingenious and artistic combination of Gothic-style architecture and the principles of classic Roman architecture - was implemented and used. Brunelleschi proposed, with his design, to create a self-supporting dome. His design involved creating two domes - an inner and outer dome, with the inner shell being self-supportive using masonry blocks, brickwork and embedded chain supports. Ultimately, this dome turned out to be a massive success and set the tone for the new style, method and spirit of scientific and aesthetic enquiry - the key feature of the Renaissance movement.
The interiors of the cathedral are vast and breathtaking. From beautiful frescoes, paintings, statues and stained glass designs to ornate doors and complex mosaics, the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore is truly an inspirational work of art, from both outside and in.
Duomo Florence Cathedral Tickets
Brunelleschi’s Dome Tickets
How to Skip The Long queues at Duomo Florence Cathedral
1. Purchase Skip the Line tickets online
The Duomo is the most famous tourist spot in the whole of Florence, and you are bound to encounter crowds of people exploring the Cathedral. You can opt for Skip the Line Tickets to avoid the long entry queues and head straight inside to admire the magnificent Cathedral, the bell tower, and the dome.
2. Take a guided tour
A guided tour ensures that you not only get skip the line entry into the Cathedral, but also an insight into the history of the Cathedral and its significance to Florence. Your expert guide comes with the knowledge of many phases of construction that the Florence Cathedral has witnessed so far. If you are looking for a holistic experience of exploring Cattedrale di santa maria del fiore, consider booking a guided tour.
5 Easy Hacks To Skip The Lines at Duomo Florence
Duomo Florence Tour Deconstructed
Taking a guided tour of the Duomo is definitely the way to go, as it is the best way of experiencing, embracing and understanding this magnificent monument.
With a guided tour, you not only get a knowledgeable, local guide by your side, but also skip the line access to the cathedral itself (which is very, very handy). But before entering, just stand outside and take in the beauty of the dome and facade of the church. This dome is perhaps the most well-known aspects of this cathedral and for good reason. Once inside, there is much to see, admire and learn. Stroll through the cathedral as your guide explains to you all the nuances and tiny aspects of the church. Learn about how it was built and about the main man behind this - Filippo Brunelleschi.
Although the interiors may seem bare at first glance, there is actually quite a bit to see. Keep an eye out for the 44 stained glass windows that depict saints from the Old and New Testaments. There are also a number of exquisite paintings and frescoes in the cathedral, including ‘Dante Before the City of Florence’ by Domenico di Michelino, and a colossal rendition of ‘The Last Judgement’ painted by Giorgio Vasari, right below the dome. Apart from the paintings, there are also quite a few sculptures and statues worth taking a look at.
The highlight of a guided tour is definitely visiting the terrace. From here, you not only get a wonderful, panoramic view of the City of Florence, but you also get a chance to look at the dome, or ‘cupola’ more carefully, and see the intricate work that went behind creating it.
Florence Duomo Guided Tours
What's Inside Duomo Florence?
Here is a glimpse of what you can expect inside the Cathedral Of Santa Maria del Fiore:
The interior of the Cathedral is vast with tall pillars. You can see the works of Lorenzo Ghiberti on the stained glass designs, the bronze shrine of Saint Zenobius, and marble revetments on the outside of the cathedral. Many of the art of the Cathedral have been lost in time or have been moved to the Museum Opera del Duomo like the cantorial pulpits of Luca Della Robbia and Donatello. Nevertheless, the frescos are a thing to look up to (pun intended), depicting paintings of The Last Judgment.
The staircase leading up to the Cupola is narrow, twisted, and mysterious. There are 463 steps to the top, with graffiti left by previous tourists along the way, and offers a one-of-a-kind experience. The top of the Dome presents you with panoramic views of Florence. Get your hands on the Dome Climb - Access Ticket to make sure you do not miss this adventure and sight!
The Florence Baptistry, also known as the Baptistry of Saint John, was completed in 1128 and is older than the Cathedral itself. The mosaics are very detailed, dominated by a huge figure of Christ, surrounded by images of salvation, and the stories of St John, the baptist. The work took 60 years to complete and was made by many artists of the Florentine School of Painting.
The best-kept secret of the Duomo is the basement that lies a few feet underneath it. It dates back to 780 AD and underwent excavations in 1965 and 1974. The remains of Roman houses, an early Christian pavement, ruins of the former cathedral of Santa Reparata, and successive enlargements of this church were found in the crypts. One of the most famous of all the tombs found here is of Filippo Brunelleschi, one of the chief architects of the Duomo.
Duomo Florence Cathedral Practical Information
Duomo Florence Opening Hours
- Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
- Thursday: 10 :00 AM – 3:30 PM
- Saturday: 10:00 AM – 4:45 PM
- Sunday and public holidays: 1:30 PM – 4:45 PM
- Please note the Dome is closed to the public on Sundays.
Getting to Duomo Florence
Piazza del Duomo, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Florence Train Station is located about 800-900 meters from the Piazza del Duomo. From this station, it will take you roughly 10-minutes to reach the cathedral, on foot.
Since the Piazza del Duomo is located in the heart of the city, there are a number of paid-parking services and garages nearby. The closest car park is near the Santa Maria Novella (SMN) train station.
The following bus lines stop near the Piazza del Duomo: 2, 22, 6, C2.
• Wheelchairs are available at the entrance to the museum and cathedral.
• There is special access to the cathedral for people with reduced mobility. It is located on the right side of the cathedral.
• Inside the monument, there is a TouchAble path for easier movement.
You will find all the basic facilities (male and female washrooms, coffee shop, bookstore, ticket office and changing rooms) at the Museum, before entering the cathedral.
Although there is no specific dress code, you must remember that at the end of the day it is a place of worship. Both men and women must wear clothing that cover both, shoulders and knees. To be on the safer side, always carry a shawl or jacket with you.
Insider Tips on Visiting Duomo Florence Cathedral
- Buy your tickets for the cathedral online! This not only saves you a ton of time at the venue itself, but you also get to avail special discounts and offers.
- Remember, this is one of Florence’s most visited and popular monuments! I recommend taking a tour of this cathedral early in the morning or late afternoon. Coming at these times will help you avoid the crowds and enjoy the church in relative peace.
- Make sure you visit the Cupola! The lines can get really, really long for this but it is definitely worth the wait.
- Take a guided tour of the cathedral. Only when you understand and learn about the history of this great structure will the visit be worth it, wholesome and immersive. If you choose to do it without a guide, make sure you read up on the cathedral before making a visit.
- Visit the other monuments and places in the Piazza del Duomo. This includes the Baptistery, the museum and Giotto’s bell tower.
- Carry your camera! You are going to have a ton of great photo opportunities so make sure you carry your smartphone or camera.
Things to do around Piazza del Duomo, Florence
One of Florence’s most important religious buildings, the Battistero di San Giovanni, is dedicated to patron saint, John the Baptist. It is one of the oldest buildings in Italy and is constructed in the Tuscan-Romanesque style. The Florence Baptistery is especially renowned for its artistic east doors created by goldsmith Lorenzo Ghiberti, dubbed by the great Michelangelo as the “Gates of Paradise”.
Orsanmichele is a slightly unusual church in Florence, built on the site of the kitchen garden of the monastery of San Michele. It was initially a grain market, but in the 1300’s was rebuilt into a church after an image of Virgin Mary was discovered on one of the pillars inside.
II Porcellino is the local name for the bronze fountain of a boar. Located close to Piazza del Duomo, this figure has gained popularity amongst tourists and locals alike for its mystical and ‘luck-bringing’ powers. Tradition has it, that if you put a coin inside the mouth of the boar, while making a wish, and the coin slides down into the grate below, your wish comes true!
Perhaps the most famous and most visited building in all of Florence is the Uffizi Gallery. This museum houses one of the greatest art collections in the world and is a must-visit for all art-aficionados. Some of the paintings here include The Ognissanti Madonna by Giotto, Doni Tondo by Michelangelo, The Battle of San Romano by Paolo Uccello and countless others.
Hotels Near Duomo Florence
Duomo Florence is located in the northern part of the city which is where most of the attractions lie. Here are a few hotels you should consider staying in to catch the best views of Duomo Florence and other attractions:
If you want to stay in a hotel that is closest to the Duomo, head to Hotel Duomo Firenze. The windows open into the beautiful sight of the Duomo and the Florence skyline. The suites are well equipped with modern amenities, a minibar and they offer all their guests the pleasure of dining right under "Brunelleschi's Dome".
Distance from Duomo Florence: 100 meters
Grand Hotel Cavour is a 1300 building with a majestic hall with colonnades and stucco. The suites are very elegantly designed and well kept. You can also admire the frescoes by Galileo Chini at their Restaurant American Bar.
Distance from Duomo Florence: 200 meters
Hotel Bavaria is an elegant yet rustic hotel immersed with the artistic treasures of Florence. Their suites have all the modern amenities, with large windows in each room, providing you with the best views of the Duomo. It is also the hotel best suited for you if you want a unique experience without burning a hole in your pocket.
Distance from Duomo Florence: 100 meters
If you want to taste true royalty, head over to Bernini Palace Hotel. The hotel stands true to its name and reminds you of a Palace. You are treated like royalty with every room you move to. They also have the best amenities and service in town.
Distance from Duomo Florence: 500 meters
Restaurants Near Duomo Florence
Florence is the capital of Tuscany, whose food is rich and abundant with local produce. Here are a few top Tuscan restaurants near Duomo Florence that you should check out:
Lo Scudo offers an incredible dining experience and is located just a stone’s throw away from the Duomo. They serve everything from tasty Tuscan to Italian, Steakhouse, and Mediterranean cuisines. You can sip on their excellent local wine collection while sitting opposite the Florence Cathedral and admiring its beauty.
Must try: Pizza, lasagne, steak
Osteria 45 is another gem of a restaurant across the Duomo. They, too, serve the best of Italian flavors, in their most authentic form and taste along with a glass of great Tuscan wine.
Must try: Steak, Baked Salmon, Tortelli with potato filling
VETRERIA Ristorante Pizzeria Boutique is one of the most famous fine dining restaurants in Piazza del Duomo. They serve delicious local Florentine, Tuscan, and Italian recipes. Their rustic ambiance with a full stacked bar makes you feel warm.
Must try: Pizza Vetreria, taco, amatriciana in a ravioli
You cannot walk out of Florence without their amazing Gelato to complement their humid weather. Edoardo Il Gelato is an ice cream shop that sells authentic creamy and smooth Italian gelato in a rainbow of flavors.
Must try: Granita mango, pistacchio, stracciatella, Riso e Amarena
Duomo Florence FAQs
Is there a ticket to visit the Duomo in Florence?
No! The entrance to the cathedral is free. Nevertheless, there are Duomo Florence tickets of EUR 22 that reserves you an entry to the Duomo with a guided tour by an expert. Also inclusive of entry ticket to the Museo della Misericordia. There are tickets also available for the iconic Duomo climb.
Is there a dress code for Duomo Florence?
Since it is a religious site,bare shoulder clothing,skirts and shorts above knees,plunging necklines are not allowed.Sunglasses and hats must be removed before going in and you must avoid wearing flip flops or sandals to the site.
What are Duomo Florence timings?
Duomo Florence Timings are :
Open from 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursdays: 10:00 AM - 4:55 PM (varies on season)
Saturdays: 10:00 AM - 4:45 PM
Sundays and religious holidays: 1:30 PM - 4:45 PM
Closed - January 1, Epiphany, Easter, Christmas Day
Timings differ during holy week
How do I get to Duomo Florence?
Duomo can be reached by train(the nearest is Florence station, about 800 mts), car(the closest car parking space is the Santa Maria Novella (SMN) train station) or bus(bus lines 2, 22, 6, C2 stop near the Piazza del Duomo).
What are the facilities available inside Duomo Florence?
There is a special access for people with reduced mobility and wheelchair services for cathedral and museums.There are also basic facilities like washrooms, coffee shops, ticket centre and changing rooms before entering the cathedral.
Why is the Duomo in Florence famous?
Florence is considered the ‘Cradle of Renaissance’ and the dome is said to have paved the way for this movement.It is also one of the most visited places in Europe.
Are there any rules in Duomo Florence?
The basic rules to be followed in Duomo are dress codes since it is a religious place of worship.Certain attires like bare shoulder clothing like spaghetti tops, tank tops and tubes are not allowed and also shorts and skirts above the knee.
What are the things to do around Duomo?
You can go around Piazza del Duomo and visit Florence Baptistery, Giotto's Campanile, Orsanmichele, Porcellino, Uffizi Florence (one of the most popular and most visited places in Florence).
How long does it take to climb up the Duomo?
It takes around 10 minutes to climb 463 steps (depends on the crowd) and a queue time of about an hour. This path gives you a view of Giorgio Vasari's frescoes of the Last Judgment up close.
What is included in the Firenze card?
Firenze card includes access to Florence’s 76 museums and sights, access to priority entrance lines, and unlimited use of Florence’s public transportation.It costs 85 Euros.
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