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Duomo (Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore)

#2 in Best Things To Do in Florence

Il Duomo picture in Florence
zodebala / Getty Images

Key Info

Price & Hours

  • 15 euros (about $18) for adults; 3 euros (about $4) for kids 6-11
  • Hours vary

Details

  • Churches/Religious Sites Type
  • 1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.5
Overall
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Scorecard

  • Value
    4.5
  • Atmosphere
    4.5

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The Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore (known simply as the Duomo) is not only Florence's religious center, it's also the city's most recognizable attraction. Occupying the Piazza del Duomo in the heart of the city, this massive Gothic cathedral was erected during the 14th century on the former site of the Roman church, Santa Reparata. You'll know you're in the right place when you find yourself straining your neck to see the church's massive, iconic dome. The red-tiled cupola was designed by Brunelleschi and is described as a must-see by experts and travelers alike.

Visitors like to joke that the cathedral was designed inside-out: its exterior boasts intricate designs and breathtaking features while the interior is surprisingly plain. For many, the main reason to visit is to climb to the top of the dome (the cupola) where you'll find spectacular views of the city. (Be aware that there is no elevator and some of the narrow walkways require you to stand to the side while people pass in the opposite direction.) However, if you are interested in looking around inside, guided tours are available.

The Duomo is open to visitors Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to either 4 or 5 p.m., while the cupola climb is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:40 p.m. If you're mostly there to climb the 463 stairs, it's best to try and get there as soon as the doors open to beat the crowds. The 24-hour OPA pass costs 15 euros (about $18), and grants you admission to all five monuments in Piazza Duomo, including the cupola climb. You are also welcome to attend Mass and other religious ceremonies. For more information, visit the Duomo page on Florence's tourism website.

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Benivieni Hotel

Benivieni Hotel ...

  • None Miles Away
  • 3.0-star Hotel Class
Hotel De Lanzi

Hotel De Lanzi ...

  • None Miles Away
  • 3.0-star Hotel Class
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#1 Piazza della Signoria Loggia dei Lanzi, in the Piazza della Signoria, is an open-air (and free) museum that was designed in the 14th century by Orcagna, an influential architect and artist. Below the ... Read more » Toni Almodóvar Escuder / Flickr

#2 Duomo (Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore) The Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore (known simply as the Duomo) is not only Florence's religious center, it's also the city's most recognizable attraction. Occupying the ... Read more » zodebala / Getty Images

#3 Piazzale Michelangelo Overlooking the city from its perch in the Oltrarno district, the Piazzale Michelangelo is one of the most popular viewpoints in the city, and it's definitely worthwhile if you ... Read more » NiccoBando / Getty Images

#4 Uffizi Gallery (Galleria degli Uffizi) Occupying the top floor of the U-shaped Palazzo degli Uffizi along the banks of the Arno River, the Uffizi Gallery was Europe's first modern museum, created by the Medici ... Read more » Snob Mine Olivari / EyeEm / Getty Images

#5 Baptistry (Battistero) The Battistero is the oldest building in the city, and although the current façade dates from the 11th century, historians have dated the Baptistery back to the 5th century. It ... Read more » mackdaknife / Getty Images

#6 Galleria dell'Accademia If you only have a limited amount of time for art museums while you're here, devote some of it to the Galleria dell'Accademia for one simple reason: the ... Read more » Chetroni / Getty Images

#7 Palazzo Pitti If you're headed to Oltrarno for a stroll through the Bóboli Gardens, it's worth it to take some time to tour the Palazzo Pitti (Pitti Palace) as well ... Read more » Sean Shen / EyeEm / Getty Images

#8 Basilica di Santa Croce Santa Croce is similar to the Duomo in style (both churches represent dominant Gothic traits), but most visitors aren't drawn here by Santa Croce's looks:  Come here to ... Read more » HarshLight / Flickr

#9 Giotto's Bell Tower (Campanile di Giotto) Designed by Giotto in the early 14th century, this ornate 277-foot high bell tower is part of the renowned Duomo in central Florence's Piazza del Duomo. Although it is ... Read more » fiorigianluigi / Getty Images

#10 Ponte Vecchio Much like London's Tower Bridge, the Ponte Vecchio was built to replace an earlier bridge. Once dominated by butchers and bakers, the original bridge was washed away during a ... Read more » WEKWEK / Getty Images

#11 Boboli Gardens (Giardino di Boboli) Originally, these beautiful gardens belonged to the Boboli Family; it wasn't until the late 18th century that the gates opened to the public. Today, Boboli Gardens (located in the ... Read more » irisphoto2 / Getty Images

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The David picture in Florence
Pitti Palace picture in Florence
Basilica di Santa Croce picture in Florence
Giotto's Bell Tower picture in Florence
Ponte Vecchio  picture in Florence
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Piazza della Signoria picture in Florence
Il Duomo picture in Florence
David in Piazzale Michelangelo picture in Florence
Crowds at the Uffizi picture in Florence
Florence Baptistry picture in Florence
The David picture in Florence
Pitti Palace picture in Florence
Basilica di Santa Croce picture in Florence
Giotto's Bell Tower picture in Florence
Ponte Vecchio  picture in Florence
The Boboli Gardens picture in Florence

Statues line the square of Piazza della Signoria. Toni Almodóvar Escuder / Flickr

The Duomo is easily recognized by its massive red dome. zodebala / Getty Images

Statues and city views draw tourists and locals alike to Piazza Michelangelo, especially around sunset. NiccoBando / Getty Images

The Uffuzi is a popular gallery, so it is best to book tickets in advance to avoid waiting in the long line. Snob Mine Olivari / EyeEm / Getty Images

Once you enter the Baptistry, look up. The ceilings are covered in detailed mosaics. mackdaknife / Getty Images

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Six musuems, including the Boboli Gardens, comprise the Palazzo Pitti Sean Shen / EyeEm / Getty Images

Some say the Santa Croce is home to the most important art collection in all of Italy, including some spectacular frescoes by Giotto. HarshLight / Flickr

Admire expansive city views from the top of Giotto's Bell Tower. fiorigianluigi / Getty Images

This medieval bridge – which crosses the River Arno at its narrowest point – supports numerous jewelry shops. WEKWEK / Getty Images

The Boboli Gardens are peppered with sculptures. irisphoto2 / Getty Images

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