Your trip to Florence isn’t complete without a visit to the city’s beautiful Gothic cathedral. Visible right across the city, the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore is best known for its huge Renaissance dome, added to the original building in the 15th century.
Arriving at the cathedral, you’ll be greeted by the statues of Arnolfo di Cambio and Filippo Brunelleschi, two architects who designed different elements of the building during its 200 year construction. Now the fourth biggest cathedral in the world, with its intricate details and huge dimensions it’s hardly surprising it took so long to build.
Spend some time exploring the outside of the building with its ornate pink, green and white marble decorations, before stepping inside Florence Cathedral where you’ll find a relatively plain yet grand interior. Follow the beautiful mosaic pathways as you discover the artwork inside, with the Giorgio Vasari’s Last Judgment fresco on the domed ceiling being the biggest attraction.
After exploring inside, don’t miss the chance to go up to the domed cupola. With 463 steps to climb, it’s hard work but worth the effort as you see the frescoes up close. Going out onto the lantern, you’ll see amazing views right across Florence.
To make the most of your visit to Florence Cathedral, rent an audio guide or take a group tour to learn more about the building and its fascinating history. After visiting, go back to Piazza del Duomo to see the Florence Baptistery, Giotto’s Campanile and the Opera del Duomo Museum.