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“Climbing the Dome”

Duomo - Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore
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$62.61*
and up
The Duomo Complex and Its Hidden Terraces
Ranked #3 of 443 things to do in Florence
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: Designed by Arnolfo di Cambio at the end of the 13th century, the Cathedral's trademark dome is now the symbol of Florence.
Arlington Texas
Level Contributor
27 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Climbing the Dome”
Reviewed October 19, 2013

We waited in line over an hour for the opportunity to nearly kill ourselves climbing the tiny staircase to the top of the dome. Be warned that it is very strenuous and once you begin the climb, it is nearly impossible to change your mind and go back down because it is one way and there is a steady stream of people coming up behind you. There are a few spots you can rest a bit but don't count on going down. It is a great feeling to reach the top and the view is fantastic. Going up and down, you get a chance to walk very close to the ceiling frescoes and peer down into the cathedral. Very beautiful and impressive. You are climbing hundred of steps between the inner and outer domes. It is a great experience but not for the weak, knee, hip, or heart patients, or those who hate close spaces.

Visited September 2013
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1 Thank MSG68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Durham, North Carolina
Level Contributor
213 reviews
66 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
“Surprise!”
Reviewed October 19, 2013

If you're planning a trip to the Duomo in Florence, I'm sure you'll already know a bit about the history and have seen all the details in the guidebooks. I'll use this review to strongly suggest that you bring a pair of binoculars!

Vasari's "Last Judgment" fresco on the ceiling is spectacular. There is a lot going on and you'll miss a lot if you don't have binoculars. You'll see a pretty detailed (and sometimes gruesome) scene of people ascending into Heaven and those left behind being taken to Hell. You'll see things you may be surprised to see ... like the devil dragging one man to Hell by the testicles, and one naked man falling into Hell with his legs up, exposing an orifice one would not normally expect to see on the ceiling of a church!

The other way to get a closer look at the fresco is to take a trip to the top of the dome via a narrow winding stairway. I did that at St. Peters in Rome and once was enough for me, so I was happy with the binoculars.

You'll find a good pair of binoculars essential in many of the larger cathedrals on your trip. Trust me!

Visited June 2013
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1 Thank Dgtl1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
“Just stunning!”
Reviewed October 19, 2013

Be prepared to strain your neck...you will not able to stop looking up at the unbelieveable group of buildings. Everything I saw in Italy was impressive beyond anything I could imagine, and this was definitely in that group. Pictures do not truly show how magnificent the detail, materials, color and design of the Duomo and surrounding structures. You MUST see it in person!

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank Holly T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexandria, Virginia
Level Contributor
28 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“chiesa”
Reviewed October 19, 2013

So different than another other church I visited on my trip. A great spot for reflection and the art work, detail and the architecture is not to be missed (even if you aren't catholic). It is so worth it.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank 747Kathy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lincoln, California, United States
Level Contributor
4 reviews
“Amazing”
Reviewed October 19, 2013

Pay the extra, get over your claustrophobia and climb the 462 steps to the top, the view unforgettable.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank Diana B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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