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Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (Duomo)

The “Saint Mary of the Flower” cathedral and its towering dome have come to symbolize Florence.

The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore is also known as the Duomo, which is an Italian term for cathedral. Dominating the Florence skyline is the Duomo’s magnificent dome, considered by many to be the most important architectural achievement of the Renaissance. Inside the cathedral, you’ll find stained-glass windows and frescoes by Italian masters, and one of the oldest examples of an hora italica clock in the world. For many, the most impressive part of a visit is a close-up view of the building itself.

Plans for the cathedral were first drawn up in 1294 by the architect Arnolfo di Cambio and construction started two years later. The building was consecrated in 1436, following contributions from several different architects. Arguably the most significant was Filippo Brunelleschi, who designed the dome. At 149 feet (45.5 meters) in diameter, it was the largest structure of its kind anywhere in the world, and remains the largest brick and mortar dome in the world today. Climb the 463 steps (there’s no lift) of the dome for a superb panorama of the city. There is a fee to visit the dome.

Join the crowds in the Piazza del Duomo and pause to take in the cathedral’s impressive exterior. The pink, white and green marble of the façade was actually a late addition to the cathedral and completed in the late 1800s.

The 44 stained-glass windows depicting scenes from the Old and New Testaments are among the highlights inside the cathedral. Don’t miss the giant clock above the entrance on the inside of the church. Designed in 1443, this clock is one of the last working examples of an hora italica timepiece, a 24-hour clock on which the last hour falls at sunset.

Santa Maria del Fiore is open daily, except for January 6 (Epiphany). Entry is free. While the lines to enter can be long, they generally move fast. If you are traveling in a group of more than four you may be required to take an audio or radio guide.


Guide to Exploring Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore


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Hotel Pendini
Hotel Pendini

Hotel Pendini

Via Strozzi 2, Florence, FI
     
    3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Duomo, this romantic hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Piazza della Repubblica and Piazza della Signoria. Palazzo Vecchio and Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore are also within 10 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is 10 minutes by foot and Stazione Porta al Prado, Florence, Italy is 18 minutes.

    Hotel Costantini £115
    Hotel Costantini

    Hotel Costantini

    Via Calzaiuoli 13, Florence, FI
       
      2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Duomo, this hotel is steps away from Via de' Calzaiuoli and Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore. Piazza del Duomo and Piazza della Signoria are also within 5 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is 10 minutes by foot and Stazione Porta al Prado, Florence, Italy is 22 minutes.

      Hotel Bonciani Palazzo Pitti Broccardi
      Hotel Bonciani Palazzo Pitti Broccardi

      Hotel Bonciani Palazzo Pitti Broccardi

      Via Panzani 17, Florence, FI
         
        3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Santa Maria Novella, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore and Piazza del Duomo. Piazza della Signoria and San Lorenzo Church are also within 10 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is only a 4-minute walk and Stazione Porta al Prado, Florence, Italy is 15 minutes.

        Tornabuoni Boutique £179
        Tornabuoni Boutique

        Tornabuoni Boutique

        Via Rondinelli 5, Florence
           
          0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Duomo, this townhouse accommodation is within a 5-minute walk of Via de' Tornabuoni, Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore and Basilica of Santa Maria Novella. Piazza del Duomo and Piazza della Signoria are also within 10 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is 7 minutes by foot and Stazione Porta al Prado, Florence, Italy is 17 minutes.

          Palazzo Alfieri Residenza d’epoca – Alfieri Collezione £101
          Palazzo Alfieri Residenza d’epoca – Alfieri Collezione

          Palazzo Alfieri Residenza d’epoca – Alfieri Collezione

          Lungarno Corsini 2, Florence, FI
             
            0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Duomo, this residence is within a 5-minute walk of Via de' Tornabuoni and Ponte Vecchio. Piazza della Signoria and Palazzo Vecchio are also within 10 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is 12 minutes by foot and Stazione Porta al Prado, Florence, Italy is 18 minutes.

            AM Collection Florence
            AM Collection Florence

            AM Collection Florence

            Via Del Sole, 7, Florence
               
              0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Duomo, this townhouse accommodation is steps away from Strozzi Palace and Basilica of Santa Maria Novella. Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore and Piazza della Signoria are also within 10 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is 8 minutes by foot and Stazione Porta al Prado, Florence, Italy is 16 minutes.

              Zip b&b in Florence £141
              Zip b&b in Florence

              Zip b&b in Florence

              Via Sant'Antonino 1, Florence, Città Metropolitana di Firenze
                 
                0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Santa Maria Novella, this bed & breakfast is steps away from Via Faenza and Basilica of Santa Maria Novella. Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore and Piazza del Duomo are also within 10 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is only a 4-minute walk and Stazione Porta al Prado, Florence, Italy is 15 minutes.

                Old Florence Inn £96
                Old Florence Inn

                Old Florence Inn

                Largo Fratelli Alinari 11, Florence, FI
                   
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Santa Maria Novella, this bed & breakfast is within a 5-minute walk of Via Faenza and Basilica of Santa Maria Novella. Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore and San Lorenzo Church are also within 10 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is only a 4-minute walk and Stazione Porta al Prado, Florence, Italy is 15 minutes.