Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence

4.7
#1 of 56 in Historic Sites in Florence
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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20,563 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • August 18, 2017
    Experience? Indescribable ... admittedly much better looks from the outside than the inside but worth the watch also in the middle of the
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  • August 18, 2017
    The Duomo is incredible. 3rd largest in the world behind the St. Peter's (Vatican) & St. Paul's (UK).........you have to see it to believe it.........my only struggle was with the constant street vend...  more »
  • August 18, 2017
    The dome is beautiful, and offers excellent views of the city. It is a strenuous climb, however. You have to climb over 400 steps to the top, and the natural resting places are few. There are no eleva...  more »
Google
  • A very crowded tourist place but definitely worthy to visit. The architecture is beautiful and historically very rich. The crowds are exhausting but they have become part of the place and come with the richness of the place. There are plenty of small sandwich shops around to grab a quick bite. All in all a great experience.
  • A must see when in Florence and well worth it. Best to try and avoid the busiest time as the queue can be pretty long. If you're staying locally then head down early evening as the day trippers seem to have gone and the queue was not bad for us at all.
  • Really a step back in time. I mean, there was a demon eating a guy, but I think it was only a painting. Loved the orderly setup. Would recommend a stop here and to the crypts below for any visitors of Florence
  • Definitely must go place. Can't say a lot when you come to this place. Amazing *better to make reservation for the bell tower if you wanna go up. We couldn't..
  • Extraordinary cathedral. The building is enormous and a testament to the vision and perseverance of it's medieval architects and builders. Expect to wait a long time in line to get in if you wish to.

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Where to stay in Florence

Variety is not a problem when deciding where to stay in Florence. The compact town center is packed with hotels, hostels, and small inns. The drawback of this upmarket central area is that even family-run B&Bs often cost as much as luxury hotels. For more affordable lodgings, explore the area outside the tourist-driven city center. Staying in one of the city's residential neighborhoods allows you to immerse yourself in the daily life of local Florentines. B&Bs and hotels outside the center offer private parking and spacious rooms, all within walking distance of the main tourist sites.
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