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.


Speak Your Mind