Florence Cathedral

The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence (better known as Florence Cathedral or Duomo) is an imposing Gothic-style church that was built on the site of Florence ancient cathedral, the Church of Santa Reparata, whose remains can be seen in the crypt.

Construction began in 1296 and at its completion it was the largest church in the world. Over the years it has been surpassed, but surely remains one of the most impressive and beautiful.

The symbol of the Cathedral is Brunelleschi's enormous dome where you can climb to admire a splendid panorama of the city of Florence.

Next to the dome is Giotto's bell tower, 84.70 metres high and about 15 metres wide, which houses twelve bells. It is considered the most beautiful bell tower in Italy and its creation was begun by Giotto in 1334.

Near the Duomo is the Baptistery of San Giovanni, patron saint of the city of Florence. Characterized by splendid bronze doors, it is built on an octagonal plan. Some of the masterpieces of art that were originally kept inside can now be admired at the Opera del Duomo Museum, located in a corner of the square.

Cathedral’s dimensions

The Cathedral boasts an incredible size: the external length is about 160 metres, the vaults reach 45 metres and the naves 43 metres.

Brunelleschi's Dome, which can only be reached by climbing 463 steps, is 90 metres high internally and 116 metres high externally, including the cross on the lantern.

Entrance tickets for the Cathedral

Access to the Cathedral usually involves long queues, which can be quite troubling, especially in summer when temperatures in Florence exceed 30 degrees.

Access to the Cathedral is free of charge, but if you book tickets in advance you can skip the line and gain access to the four buildings of the complex, visit the museum and climb up the dome to enjoy the enchanting view.

How to get to Florence Cathedral

The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore is located in the historical centre of Florence and is easily accessible. The walking distance is only 10 minutes from Santa Maria Novella railway station, less than ten minutes from Piazza della Signoria and just over 10 from Ponte Vecchio.

Piazza del Duomo is a pedestrian zone as is the entire surrounding area where it is impossible to access by car. Buses stop a few dozen metres away.

An ecological alternative is to hire bicycles.

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