Trip Planner:   Europe  /  Italy  /  Tuscany  /  Province of Florence  /  Florence  /  Religious Sites  /  Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence
(4.6/5 based on 17,000+ reviews on the web)
The symbol of the city and its main church, Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore is renowned for its huge dome engineered by Filippo Brunelleschi, one of the foremost architects of the Italian Renaissance. This Gothic structure, begun in 1296 following the design of architect Arnolfo di Cambio, was completed in 1436. The elaborate facade is a 19th-century addition that represents the Gothic Revival style prevalent across Europe at the time. The cathedral complex, which includes a baptistery and a bell tower, is part of a World Heritage site covering the historic center of the city. In the piazza in front of the cathedral, a statue of Brunelleschi looks upwards towards his dome. You can climb the 464 steps to the dome through the entrance on the side of the church, but be prepared for a long line. A visit to Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore represents just the start of the adventure when you use our Florence trip itinerary maker to plot your vacation.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Beautiful Cathedral with its famous dome. Is more beautiful on the outside than on the inside. The visit is expendable.
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  • This is an impressing building, the outside is magnificent, the inside magnificent by its sheer size. This is a building you are compelled to visit. Do not miss the Crypt. 
  • After visiting many cathedrals, it has nothing in particular to do it highlight, the only thing, the ancient Cathedral is just under this and the remains can be visited.
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Google
  • This is a must see if you visit Florence. The dome itself is an architectural marvel AND an artistic masterpiece (inside). The top of the dome offers one of the best views of Florence besides the Piazzala Michelangelo from an astounding 92 meters. If you go, make sure you get the all inclusive ticket (for the bell tower, museum, cathedral, dome, and baptistery) it's WELL worth it. Another tip: BOOK a time in advance. The lines for people without bookings/reservations can take 1-2hrs easily. The other attractions won't require a booking. They never have a line except maybe the weekends.
  • Firenze is one of the most beautiful cities. Filippo Brunelleschi has created a masterpiece that endures for centuries. It's a beautiful church and worth waiting in line to see. You really need to climb the tower at the time of sunset for an incredible view.
  • Impressive cathedral!! The way the dome was built by Brunelleschi set the scene for the Renaissance architecture. Very much recommended its visit.
  • The inside and outside of the church are stunning. The Cathedral of Santa Maria is definitely a must-see when visiting Florence! The church itself doesn't require an entrance ticket, but you'll need one if you'd like to see the small museum underground. It shows some of the excavation work done underneath the church where a smaller, order structure (~5th century) once existed beforehand. It's actually quite interesting, and I definitely recommend visiting it as well.
  • Be aware you can get into the Cathedral itself for free (appropriately dressed) but may have to queue. Entrance to the bell tower, dome and museum is EUR 15 but you have to be fit and OK with heights to cope with the climbs - you won't see much of the inside of the Cathedral at ground level with the dome ticket as you're led straight to the stairs up to the dome. If you do go for the ticketed parts, get them from the ticket office on the north side of the Piazza opposite the Battistero and book 'skip the line' slots if you can. You will still have to queue in the 'skip the line' queue, it just won't be as long as the normal queue. Just make sure you're in the right one, it's not very clear and there are always people being turned away.