Climbing the Duomo of the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore

| October 8, 2009
florence italy duomo

The Duomo from Pitti Palace

It’s tough to take a picture in Florence without a crane or scaffold somewhere in the frame. Go figure, the buildings can be over 1000 years old! Although the view of the Duomo of the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, Italy can be easily photographed with a long lens from the Piazzale Michelangelo, there was a large section of green sheathed scaffolding covering part of the cathedral. Plus, as seen in my first picture of the Ponte Vecchio, the atmosphere was quite thick that day, which obscured some of the detail I was hoping to capture on film. Fortunately, while Donna and I were wandering the Pitti Palace a couple of days later, I noticed the Duomo though a palace window, sparkling in the distance with a conveniently placed building covering the green scaffolding. The air was crisp that day, providing near ideal conditions for a nice photo of Florence’s most distinguished architectural wonder.

climbing florence italy duomo dome

Climbing the Duomo was quite an experience. Basically, you pay 8 Euro a piece to climb 463 steps to the top of the dome. It was no surprise that even though we were visiting in mid-season, It was not really all that busy. There was a huge line to get into the cathedral itself, but not to climb the steps to the top. You realize once you begin climbing the steps, you are really walking between the inner dome and the roof. I can see how some may not be comfortable in such a small space, especially when you encounter a bunch of folks trying to come down at the same time. It was a bit wam that day so by the time we got to the top, it looked like we had just taken showers. Although Donna is pretty particular about her appearance in public, she took it quite well when I had a hard time controlling my snickering in light of the situation. At two locations, you can exit the stairs and take a catwalk around the inside of the dome. The first time we exited, we saw frescoes. Please click the picture below to see the detail.

Interior of the Florence Duomo

Interior of the Florence Duomo

Once you get to the top, you get a pretty awesome view of the city. Although there were a few people up there, everyone was polite and patient, creating an enjoyable experience for everyone. Below are a few more shots of the views from the top. I think I will post some landscapes next, featuring our side trips to Siena and San Gimignano.

florence italy duomo

Looking down a rib on the Dome

giottos tower florence italy

View of Giotto’s Campanile from the top of the dome

florence italy duomo

Tourists admiring the Florence skyline


Category: Italy, Travel

Comments (3)

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  1. Nicole says:

    I’m so enjoying visiting Italy vicariously through your marvellous photos and stories. Thank you!

  2. pam says:

    I haven’t been to Italy in 30 years. After reading these I can’t wait to go back.

  3. Lee says:

    Good morning ladies. Glad you are enjoying the pictures! I love the process of going back into the photos and writing a bit about them. It brings back memories for me and forces me to do more research on the subjects. I really appreciate your comments! More to come soon. I hope you both have a great weekend. /Lee