Suggesting that you should see the Duomo when visiting Florence is like suggesting that you should breathe, it is almost unavoidable. Not only does it dominate the skyline, but almost all of the roads will lead you there as well. With that said, it is truly one of the most stunning cathedrals in all of Europe. Officially called the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore or Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower, the Duomo has the largest brick dome in the world. The façade of the cathedral is as equally beautiful with its intricate details and uniquely white coloring compared to most other cathedrals.
Construction began on the church in 1296 and it would take about 140 years to complete. The complex is made up of three buildings, the cathedral itself, the Baptistery, and Giotto’s Campanile, which is the bell tower. The Piazza del Duomo is definitely a crowded location as tourists flock to the area to see the Duomo of Firenze. You could spend hours looking at the details of the façade, which is made up of marble panels of pink and green with white borders. The artwork above the doors of the cathedral is as beautiful as the artwork that can be found in the city’s museums. You can also get tickets to enter the Baptistery, but even if you don’t enter, the ornate doors cannot be missed.
To truly get an understanding of how impressive the size of the Duomo is, visit the Piazzale de Michelangelo which overlooks the city. Although there are other towers and churches in Florence, nothing compares to the magnificence of the Duomo. Between the dome and the bell tower, the cathedral truly dominates the historic city. There are many reasons to visit Florence, but seeing the Duomo is high on the list of things to see not only in Florence, but also in all of Italy if not Europe.