Skip the Line: Florence Duomo with Brunelleschi's Dome Climb

activities / Guided tours

Review score

5.0/5

Skip the Line: Florence Duomo with Brunelleschi's Dome Climb information and booking

from
$83
Duration
2 hours 30 minutes
Departs from
Close to Piazza della Signoria, in central Florence
Returns to
Concludes at the Cathedral Workshop, Florence
Time of departure
2:30pm
Check prices & availability

Tour description provided by Viator

Skip the entrance lines and climb to the top of Brunelleschi's Dome with an expert guide! Majestically dominating the city skyline, the terracotta dome of Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore (or Florence Duomo, as it’s more commonly known) is easily Florence's most iconic attraction. After experiencing this masterpiece of architectural genius, head inside the Cathedral Workshop to learn more about Filippo Brunelleschi, the dome's Renaissance architect.

Walk with your guide to Piazza del Duomo and after weaving your way through the throngs of street musicians, artists and tourists who congregate in this eclectic square, head straight inside Florence Duomo with your skip-the-line entrance ticket.

In peak times, the entrance lines can exceed two hours, so by pre-booking your priority entrance tickets, you'll ensure that you’re spending your time inside this incredible building rather than standing in line!

After explaining the history of the Renaissance dome (known as the cupola) your guide will lead the way straight up its impressive 463-step staircase. Taking roughly 45 minutes, the walk up the steps is not for the faint-hearted! Be prepared for a steep and narrow climb – hard work but most definitely worth it. As you ascend through the ‘onion layers’, or two shells, of the dome, pass fascinating frescoes from esteemed Renaissance artists like Vasari and Zuccari.

Once at the top, enjoy simply incomparable views over Florence and the Tuscan hills. Walk around the dome’s balcony to take photos and soak up the sights, while your guide regales you with tales of Filippo Brunellechi, the talented Renaissance architect who created the dome itself.

After spending roughly 30 minutes at the top, start the careful descent back down the stairs. Relax at the bottom, before heading inside the Cathedral Workshop (Museum of Opera del Duomo) to explore with your guide. Hear about the engineering conundrum faced by Brunelleschi -- to create a dome for the 150-foot (45-meter) space without scaffolding or pillars -- and see tools used in the dome’s construction, alongside Gothic and Renaissance sculptures. Your guided tour ends inside the museum.

What's included

  • Local guide
  • Entrance fees (dome and museum of the cathedral)

What isn't included

  • Gratuities (optional)
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Food and drinks