In July I took a trip to Florence, Italy to celebrate my parent’s 40th wedding anniversary. It was a fantastic trip, a place all three of us had wanted to visit for many years. There are some stand out moments that I would love to share with you, starting with our visit to the Duomo:
You get a ticket for all three buildings in the square for €15 – the Duomo, Cathedral and Baptistery.
We visited the cathedral first which is free on the ground floor; but it is worth the ticket price to visit the crypt excavations.
The Baptistery is ornate and very decorative both inside and outside, consisting of a single floor to view. The ceiling is its most spectacular feature…
However, when visiting the Duomo itself be mindful of the standard 2 hour wait to be admitted. It consists of 432 narrow steps up to the top of the dome.
The first level of just over 200 steps takes you on a circular walk close to the ceiling to appreciate its artistry. You can at that point turn off and climb back down, but the exit sign is poorly placed and heavily graffitied so we missed it and climbed the rest of the steps to the top.
Panoramic views are promised. The steps up and around the dome are very narrow so if you struggle with claustrophobia it is not for you. I struggled a bit on the way down where it is two way traffic but not the width to allow for it. It is also worth mentioning if you are bigger than a UK size 18 this is not for you unless you’re prepared to sidestep the entire way (I honestly do not mean this harshly). I’m a generous UK14 and even I got (literally) stuck a few times getting around. Its all very narrow.
Overall the triple ticket is great value. I can promise you some terrific architecture and art. Well worth a visit but I would offer caution for the Duomo. You need to be aware of what it entails along with the steps in narrow stone staircases, little air, steep climbs and a lot of effort.
The main area of the Duomo downstairs is closed to visitors for confessional appointments only.
Have you visited Florence and taken on the Duomo? I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments!