The Duomo tour: Its new “Opera del Duomo Museum


  • Duomo
  • New "Opera del Duomo Museum"
  • Baptistery
  • Brunelleschi's Dome (climbing on your own)
  • Giotto’s Belltower (climbing on your own)

The tour focuses on the art and history of the religious center of Florence: the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, which  Florentines  simply refer to as the “ Duomo", the Baptistery ,the Opera del Duomo Museum and Giotto's Bell Tower (outside).

 Your guide will walk you to Duomo square for an introduction of the history of Florence and of these major religious monuments.The Duomo (we skip the lines!) is world famous for its superb dome, the greatest achievement of 15th cent. architecture in Italy. It was designed by Filippo Brunelleschi, who was not only a great artist, but also a brilliant inventor of engineering techniques.  Brunelleschi proposed to build it without buttresses using a system of flying centerings and a scaffolding starting from the drum . The ceiling of the Dome boasts one of the greatest frescoes in the world, the Last Judgment by Giorgio Vasari,  Michelangelo's best friend and closest pupil.

In front of the Cathedral,  stands  the Baptistery a  fascinating  building ,with its very original green and white marble exterior decoration in geometrical patterns.Three bronze doors, orientated  North, South and East, lead to the interior of the building. The most famous, the East door, known as the “ Gates of Paradise”, is a masterpiece by Lorenzo Ghiberti who spent 27 years in casting them.

Inside  this building, we will be astonished by the medieval mosaics of the ceiling,  sparkling of beauty on their gilded background. Nowhere else in Tuscany one can admire mosaics like these!

Next to the Cathedral, stands the  elegant and slender bell tower ,  commonly called "Campanile", designed by Giotto in 1334. The bell tower  boasts the same beauty as in the past times, when the campanile was the symbol of the pride and wealth of Florence.

The highlight of our tour is the new Opera del Duomo Museum, reopened, after enlargement on October 29th ,2015.

The masterpieces exposed range from Middle Ages to Renaissance, works by Arnolfo di Cambio, Ghiberti, Donatello,Luca della Robbia, Michelangelo and many others.

These artworks, made for the Baptistery, the Cathedral and the Bell Tower, can be admired in a new attractive arrangement: the touching Pietà by Michelangelo, probably sculpted for his tomb; the amazingly modern Mary Magdalen in wood by Donatello; the original set of golden doors known as the Gates of Paradise by Ghiberti and the most inpressive reconstruction of the full scale Medieval facade of the Duomo planned by the architect Arnoldo di Cambio.

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