Are you visiting Florence? One of the top things to do is climb Florence’s Duomo for magnificent views over this beautiful city. Climbing the Duomo will make you breathless from the exertion and also from the views once you reach the top. It is well worth it.
Florence stuns everyone who visits. The architecture, the history, the markets and of course, the great food. We have the perfect 2 days in Florence itinerary for you with more sites and experiences to enjoy.
Florence’s historical centre was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982. You can understand why when you wander around it. It can be busy at the height of the summer season so we would recommend visiting during Spring or Autumn.
Florence is the capital city of the Tuscany region. The historic centre is enclosed in medieval walls that were constructed during the 14th century. We loved the food markets and the leather market where we had to purchase beautiful leather goods. Don’t miss out on visiting markets in Florence.
Read More: A Day Out in San Gimignano
San Gimignano is a great day out from Florence – our article explains how to travel there and what to do and see.
Rome Travel Tips – Discovering the beauty and history of Rome
There are 3 reasons to visit the Piazza del Duomo in Florence.
The Duomo has been the religious centre of Florence for over 1600 years.
It houses the 3 magnificent structures of the
- Baptistery of San Giovanni,
- Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (the Duomo)
- Giotto’s Bell Tower.
- Access to Florence Duomo Complex
- Access to Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
- Access to Giotto’s Bell Tower
- Access to Brunelleschi’s Dome
- Access to The Opera del Duomo Museum
- Access to Florence Baptistery
- Live tour guide
- Access to Crypt of Santa Reparata
The views are magnificent from the top and on a clear day the stunning Tuscan countryside will have you in awe
It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in fact, the whole city is a UNESCO site.
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Where is Florence
Florence is located in the middle of Italy and is the capital of the Tuscany region.
Travel distances from:
- Rome to Florence – 274 km
- Milan to Florence – 305 km
- Venice to Florence – 258 km
- Bologna to Florence – 106 km
- Naples to Florence – 473 km
What To See When Visiting the Duomo in Florence
1. The Baptistery in the Piazza del Duomo
The Baptistery is the oldest building in the square and was constructed in the mid-11th century. Between the 14th and 16th centuries, the Gates of Paradise were constructed by Lorenzo Ghiberti from a commission by the Baptistery, who wanted the panels depicting the stories of the Old Testament.
These doors are copies of the original doors that were commissioned. The panel shown above depicts the Old Testament story of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.
The ceiling made up of 13th-century mosaics shows the giant figure of Christ. Other panels show mosaic decorations of stories that relate to St John the Baptist, Christ, the Patriarch Joseph and the beginnings of human life – Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel and Noah and his family.
2. The Cathedral Duomo Florence
The Cathedral was constructed during the last decades of the 13th century. Florence wanted its Duomo to be larger than the cathedrals of Pisa and Siena. The exterior was to be constructed in marble with carved figures and statues. The first stone was laid in 1296 and it took over 170 years to complete.
Unlike the mosaics of the Baptistery’s ceiling, the Duomo ceiling shows painted frescoes depicting scenes from The Last Judgement.
There are 463 steps to the top of the Cupola. There is an entry fee for this, but no charge for entrance to the Cathedral.
The Cathedral is the fourth largest in the world. St Peters Cathedral in Rome is the largest, followed by St Paul’s in London and the Duomo in Milan.
3. Giotto’s Bell Tower in the Piazza del Duomo
The Bell Tower’s construction was started in 1334 by Giotto. During its construction, Giotto passed away and the Tower was finished in 1359 by Francesco Talenti.
You can climb the Duomo, there are 414 steps to reach the top of the 84.7 metres tall Tower.
Climb the Bell Tower at 87 meters. Explore the Baptistry and the Duomo Museum with an expert guide. Book here
Florence Tours Available
FAQs on Visiting the Piazza Del Duomo
When is the best time to visit the Piazza del Duomo?
Plan your climb to the Cupola first as tourists start queuing at 8 am. During summer it is highly recommended to climb both the Cupola and the Tower first thing in the morning.
When is the high season for visiting Florence?
The busiest months are from May to October.
How long will it take to visit the Piazza del Duomo?
We would recommend allowing one day to visit the Piazza del Duomo. Florence has a lot more to see and do and with some great day trips available, we would recommend adding another 3 – 4 days to your itinerary.
What are the Duomo opening hours in Florence?
When visiting the Duomo we recommend starting early in the day.
The Cathedral is open from 10.00 am to 4.30 pm.
For the Dome and the Bell Tower times vary from 8.15 am and 7.00 pm depending on the month. They are open from Monday to Saturday.
Visiting hours are limited on Sundays.
What is a Duomo?
Duomo is the Italian word for cathedral.
Does Florence have a city card with discounts to Museums and its top tourist attractions?
From the website of the Firenze Card:
How Firenzecard works
- Buy Firenzecard online or at authorized outlets in the city
- If you shop online, you can choose to download the Firenzecard app to your device, enter your voucher code and obtain the digital Firenzecard or print the voucher received by email, deliver it to the staff at the collection points on your arrival in Florence and collect your Firenzecard physics.
- It is activated the first time you enter a museum in the circuit
- When purchasing, add Firenzecard + to take advantage of city public transport and dedicated commercial offers.
- You can visit each of the participating museums and sites only once.
“You can also buy the Firenze Card at the Uffizi, Palazzo Pitti, Palazzo Vecchio, Bargello, Santa Maria Novella museum, Brancacci Chapel, Bardini Museum and Palazzo Strozzi as well as at the tourist info points located at Piazza SMN and Via Cavour.”
For the latest prices click here.
Hotels in Florence Italy near the Duomo
Hotel Spadai at Via dei Martelli 10 is a 4-star hotel and offers guests free Wifi, a bar, lounge, evening happy hour and a good breakfast. Set in the heart of Florence, 2 minutes’ walk from Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral, Hotel Spadai is housed in a historic building next to the Palazzo Medici Riccardi.
Guest review: Great location within easy walking distance to the Duomo, Central Market, and the train station. The breakfast spread was excellent, and the room was spacious, comfortable and clean.
Hotel Renaissance located at Via della Condotta 4 offers guests free breakfast and wifi on the first floor of a historical building 2 minutes away from the Cathedral.
Guest review: The rooms were very clean and spacious, and they were very beautifully decorated. The breakfast was lovely with some traditional pastries, cereals and fresh fruit. The staff were always on hand to help and made us feel very welcome.
Hotel Duomo Firenze located at Piazza del Duomo 1 is 0.2 km from the Duomo and 15 minutes from the train station, and rooms have a private balcony. A sweet and savoury continental-style breakfast is provided daily including bacon, eggs, cold cuts, fresh croissants, and different types of cereal.
Guest review: We had a balcony room facing the street in front of the Duomo. I have never had a more breathtaking view in my life. The Duomo was right there–across the street–and so magnificently large and detailed that I will never forget the view. The staff were friendly, professional, and willing to help with unforeseen problems: one of our suitcases died and we had to replace it; the hotel disposed of the carcass of the dead suitcase without complaint. The breakfast selection was complete and of high quality. You could take your meal outside to the balcony to eat and bask in the magnificence of the Duomo. You cannot find a more central location in Florence; five blocks toward the river takes you to the Uffizi Gallery; five blocks in the other direction takes you to the Academia. We saw Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus” in the morning and Michelangelo’s “David” in the afternoon. It doesn’t get better than that.
Hotel Maxim Axial located at Via dei Calzaivoli 11 is 0.3 km from the Cathedral.
Set on the 3rd floor reachable with elevator of a 19th-century building ,the Axial Hotel has many of its original features, including large windows and beamed ceilings.
A continental breakfast is available until 10:00 and includes fresh fruit and croissants. Guests can enjoy drinks from the bar outside in the courtyard.
Guest review: Incredible breakfast! Great location.
For more Florence Hotels:
Getting In – Florence
Florence Airport (FLR) is 4 km from the city centre.
Cheap Flight Deals to Florence
Find the cheapest flights with Skyscanner our go-to when researching and booking flights throughout the world.
Car Rental for Italy
We use AutoEurope for our car rental throughout Europe.
We recommend taking out travel insurance as soon as you book your flights and pay deposits on any cruises, tours or hotels.
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