Centre District, Florence, Italy


If you are a visitor to Florence, Italy you must be certain to spend some time in the Centre District. Many of the city’s most impressive sights are here in the center of the city, and you won’t want to miss the opportunity to see them for yourself. Conveniently, the district is not very spread-out, so you can see several fantastic landmarks within just a few blocks of each other. If you have only a day to spend in Florence, this would be an excellent place to spend it since you will be able to see so much in such a short time.
The Duomo, Centre District, Florence, ItalyThe Cathedral, otherwise known as the Duomo, is found in the center of Florence, along with the baptistry. Its proper title in English is the Basilica of Saint Mary of the Flower, and the cathedral reflects that lovely name. Along with the richly ornamental doors and the finely sculptured marble walls, the cathedral boasts 44 gorgeous stained glass windows created in the 1300s and 1400s. Construction on the cathedral began more than seven centuries ago, and several noted artists and architects had a hand in the design of this beautiful building whose golden dome towers over central Florence.

The Cathedral Square, or Piazza del Duomo, also includes the beautiful spectacle of Giotto’s Bell Tower, a splendid example of Gothic architecture, and the Museum of the Works of the Cathedral, which houses magnificent works of art connected with the cathedral, including the handiwork of Michaelangelo and Donatello. With its rich history, this is a definite must-see for any art enthusiast.

Another impressive sight in this district of Florence is the Ponte Vecchio, which is the bridge that stands over the Arno River. In addition to its structural beauty, which dates back to medieval times, the bridge is notable because it is lined with shops. While many bridges of that time were similarly lined with shops, that is not the case for many bridges that stand today, so it’s especially fun to wander these stores and buy the art, jewelry and souvenirs that is sold inside of them.

If you are planning a visit to Florence and looking for accommodation in the Centre District or all over the city, check out Oh-Florence where you can find a huge selection of apartments to suit your every need. Clearly, this central portion of Florence has a great deal to offer any visitor with a deep and abiding interest in art, culture and history, and its magnificence is such that it is likely to foster such an appreciation in others as well.


The Duomo, Florence Italy

The Duomo or the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore is Florence, Italy’s main cathedral. It is famous for its unique Renaissance dome. The name Saint Mary of the Flower is symbolic of the lily that represents Florence. Its construction began in 1296 and was completed in 1436. The set of buildings includes the cathedral, Giotto’s Campanile bell tower, and the Baptistery. It is in the Piazza del Duomo. The complex is part of UNESCO World Heritage Site that takes in the historical center of Florence. The church is one of Italy’s larger churches and, until recently, had the largest dome in the world.Duomo Cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, Tuscany, Italy

The Duomo offers many works by Italian artists. The immense interior of the church is of Gothic design and is noted for the stained-glass windows. Many of these windows were planned by Lorenzo Ghiberti, Paolo Uccello and Donatallo. Some of the artists whose work is included are Andrea del Castagno for his fresco on the north wall, Luca della Robbia for his reliefs of the Resurrection and Ascension, Donatello for heads of a prophet and sibyl in the Museo del Duomo, and Davide and Domenico Ghirlandaio for their mosaics on the south side exterior. Domenico di Michelino painted a famous fresco of Dante and the Divine Comedy.

The Crypt is open for a visit for an admission fee of €3. The crypt holds the ruins of the earlier Santa Reparata cathedral, the tombs of the first bishops of Florence and the tomb of Brunelleschi, the architect who designed the dome.

The interior of the dome has a fresco painted by Giorgio Vasari, who started the painting in 1568 and died in 1574. Frederico Zuccari finished in the painting in 1579. The best way to view the fresco of the Last Judgment and other parts of the dome are by a tour. Visitors can view the exterior of the dome and wide-ranging scenes of both Florence and surrounding Tuscany. The tour of the dome can be daunting, as visitors must climb 463 steps to the pinnacle of the dome. In addition, the dome has balconies both inside and outside and could cause alarm for those afraid of heights.

The Duomo is open daily, except Tuesdays, with varying hours according to the month. It is open Sundays and religious holidays but is closed on Epiphany, which is January 6. Visitors can visit the cathedral without a fee, but there is a cost to visit the dome and the crypt. Guided tours are provided for the Duomo, the dome, terrace and Santa Reparta, each of which has a fee. Each of the tours takes about one hour.