Across from the cathedral is Florence's 11th-century Romanesque baptistry, an octagonal striped structure of white-and-green marble with three sets of doors conceived as a series of panels in which the story of humanity and the Redemption would be told. Buy tickets from the ticket office opposite the northern doors at Via de' Cerretani 7.
Andrea Pisano executed the southern doors (1330), illustrating the life of St John the Baptist, and Lorenzo Ghiberti won a public competition in 1401 to design the northern doors, today replaced by copies (the originals were removed in 2013 and are currently being restored for eventual display in the Grande Museo del Duomo). But it is Ghiberti's gilded bronze doors at the eastern entrance, known as the Gate of Paradise (Porta del Paradiso), that are the most celebrated. What you see today is are likewise copies of the panels - the gleaming, polished originals take pride of place in the Grande Museo del Duomo.
Dante counts among the famous dunked in the Baptistry's baptismal font.