The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, also known as Florence Duomo, is not only the spirit of Florence but also the most iconic building in the city.

Dominating the skyline with is magnificent Renaissance dome master-crafted by Filippo Brunelleschi, the Cathedral catches your attention as you walk along the winding maze of narrow lanes and alleys. Built on the site of the 4th century remains of the church of Santa Reparata, this vast Gothic structure took almost 170 years to complete.

While the whole of the Cathedral’s eye-catching façade is engineered to perfection, it is the massive Duomo which is regarded as the most ambitious architectural feats of its time. With a mammoth 502-feet length, 295-feet width and 295-feet height, Florence Duomo is the second largest church in Italy only after Saint Peter’s Basilica in Vatican.

And the best way to appreciate the brilliance of Brunelleschi’s work—and admire the dome from close proximity—is to climb the 463 steps through the narrow corridors and step atop to enjoy the incredible views of Florence!

After relishing the mega structure from close-up, you can walk along an interior walkway and admire Giorgio Vasari’s frescoes of the Last Judgment.

As you enjoy an elaborate sightseeing tour around the Florence Duomo, you could also mark your visit at Saint John’s Baptistery and the Museo dell’Opera Del Duomo, which boasts of thousands of original artworks from the greatest artists including Michelangelo, Donatello, and Ghiberti, in addition to fascinating exhibits about the design and history of construction of the Duomo.

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