Florence’s Duomo is one of the most iconic, recognizable structures in the world. Seeing it from the ground floor is awe inspiring. The attention to detail combined with the period built (we’re talking 1436 here) makes you marvel at what humans can accomplish with little resources. Seeing it up close and personal requires a little bit of planning, patience, and sturdy walking shoes. Trust me; it is worth any inconvenience you may feel.
With no elevator options available (remember, 1436) the climb to the top is 463 steps. Is getting to the top a dangerous endeavor? No, I wouldn’t say that at all. I will say that the journey to the top is tight – literally, the stairway is incredibly narrow- and hot. For vast stretches, there are no windows to allow fresh air flow at all times. Occasionally you have to come to a stop to let those coming down to pass. The same way up is also the same way down. Despite the massive amounts of tourists who climb Florence’s Duomo every year, they have not tweaked the structure to accommodate the modern tourist. I appreciate that most about Florence’s Duomo – it is unapologetic about being a historical site.
So what’s waiting for you at the top? Beauty like you have never seen before. Not only do you see unobstructed views of Florence, but climbing to the top of Florence’s Duomo also allows you to circle through the top layer of the dome. Here you get an up-close viewing of Giorgio Vasari’s frescoes of the Last Judgement.