Duomo Florence dome tickets

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FlorenceDuomo Florence Brunelleschi's Dome

Duomo Florence dome | World’s largest masonry dome

Step into Florence, and one unmistakable monument that dots its skyline is the Duomo Florence Cathedral. The Duomo dome (also known as Brunelleschi's dome) is at the apex of this cathedral, perched like a tidy cap. A hallmark of Renaissance architecture, it was the world’s biggest dome during construction. Even today, nearly 600+ years after construction, it remains the world’s largest masonry dome made of brick, sandstone and marble.

Things to know before booking Duomo Florence dome tickets

  • Note that access to the Duomo dome is not always included in Florence Cathedral tickets. To climb the dome, you must purchase a ticket that offers dome access. Entry to the dome is inside the cathedral, on the left side.
  • You must pre-book your tickets as you have to choose a date and time slot. During peak season, these tickets sell out quickly, so book at least 2-3 weeks in advance.
  • As there are 463 steps to climb, ascending the dome is not suited for people in wheelchairs or those who have mobility issues. Additionally, those who are claustrophobic or have heart/lung trouble, pregnant people, etc. are also not advised to climb the dome.
  • The dome’s timings differ from the Cathedral’s timings throughout the week. From Monday to Friday, timings are 8:15am to 6:45pm. On Saturdays, timings are from 8:15am to 4:30pm. The dome is accessible between 12:45pm and 4:30pm Sundays. Last admission is 40 minutes before closing time.

Brunelleschi's dome in a nutshell

Highlights: The dome actually comprises two nesting domes with bricks arranged in a herringbone pattern. Bricks were used in favor of stone since they are lighter. The inside of the dome is decorated with Giorgio Vasari’s iconic fresco ‘The Last Judgment’.
Current use: The purpose of the dome, besides being an architectural marvel (on both the inside and the outside), is also to afford those who climb it the precious and breathtaking view of the Florence skyline.

Your Duomo Florence dome tickets explained

Standard entry

Guided tours

VIP tours

Is dome access included?

Some tickets offer access

Yes

Yes

Why go for it?

This experience gives you the option to climb the dome if you wish to go all the way to the top — and is a budget option if you’re on a self-guided visit.

Benefit from learning the architectural mysteries and lesser-known facts about the Cathedral and its structures, including the show-stopping dome.

Embark on an exclusive tour with a guide who will take you through the Cathedral, the Dome, and even grant you access to the coveted Secret Terraces.

Starting price

Recommended tickets

Climbing Brunelleschi's dome

Before the climb

Book your tickets in advance, specifying the date and time for the climb. It is the most coveted Duomo experience, so the tickets sell out real fast. Individuals with medical conditions, mobility issues, or severe claustrophobia may find the climb challenging, so assess your health beforehand. Arrive at the meeting point 15 minutes early.

The climb itself

After the initial ascent, you will find a 3-foot wide ledge lining the inside of the dome, 130+ feet in the air, offering views of the cathedral and frescoes depicting the Last Judgment. Originally built for maintenance workers to climb up and down for the maintenance of the cathedral, the route takes you can take 30-45 minutes.

The panoramic view from the deck

Step into a narrow balcony that opens out to Florence’s skyline, and behold the terracotta-colored roofs splayed out beneath you. Spot landmarks like Palazzo Vecchio, the Pitti Palace and the Florence Santa Croce church from up top. You can take pictures but do not use flash or carry any kind of photography equipment.

Highlights of the Duomo Florence dome

Here's a sneak peek into the planning and architecture that went into the crafting of this magnificent dome.

Engineering

Started in 1420, the construction of the Florence Cathedral Dome was complex procedure because it was built without using a wooden or iron structure to support the masonry. Brunelleschi employed different techniques like building an octagonal double shell made of sandstone and marble.

Proportions

Brunelleschi decided to use bricks instead of stone because they were lighter and easier to form. The use of golden proportion (the ratio between 2 numbers that roughly equals 1.68) adds balance and harmony to each architectural element, adding to the stability of the dome as it stands tall without any buttresses or supporting structures.

Innovations and contributions

Brunelleschi, a visionary, spearheaded innovations like ox-driven hoist machines for lifting heavy stones during the Dome's construction. He employed a self-reinforcing herringbone pattern while laying the bricks. He even designed an amphibious boat to transport marble pieces across Florence without damage.

Vasari's fresco

If you thought the dome was spell-binding on the outside, its colorful and intricate interior is a visual treat. While climbing up the dome, marvel at Vasari’s stunning fresco The Last Judgment, which he could not complete before his death in 1574. His work was finished by Federico Zuccaro. The fresco contains scenes including the 24 members of the Apocalypse, angels and choir singers, and a tableau of hell with its sinners.

The architectural legacy of Brunelleschi's dome

The Dome marked the beginning of the Renaissance style of architecture — one that beautifully blends the old and the new. While the dome is undoubtedly a nod to the Rome Pantheon dome, it inspired future architectural and building projects like the St. Peter's Basilica in Rome and the United States Capitol, which incorporated the dome into their designs.

Unique facts about the Duomo Florence dome

  • Filippo Brunelleschi (who wasn’t even an architect by trade — he was a goldsmith) won the competition of 1418 that decided who would design and construct the Duomo Florence’s dome. He used bricks and sandstone to build it, instead of conventional wood or metal.
  • Genius engineering is what makes the dome so steady. Brunelleschi created two domes instead of a single one, one nesting inside the other. This design prevents the dome from bulging outward and creating stress.
  • In 15th-century Florence, the Duomo dome was a popular spot for homosexual men to conduct their trysts and rendezvous.

Notable figures of the Duomo dome

Flippo Brunelleschi

A goldsmith-turned-architect, Filippo Brunelleschi is the genius behind the impressive dome. His legend was so great that the cathedral made an exception to place his tomb inside.

Giorgio Vasari

The artist behind the fresco that’s visible on the inside of the dome, Vasari’s The Last Judgment is a vibrant exploration of Christian themes, including the Apocalypse and scenes from hell.

Visitor tips

  • Try to visit before 11am or late in the afternoon as both lighting and temperature would be favorable to the climbers.
  • If you've reserved a time slot, adhere to it, as only a few people can climb at once. Arrive promptly at your chosen time to avoid disruptions.
  • Due to limited ventilation, climbing in the summer can get hot, so plan accordingly. Dress light, but in accordance with the dress code.
  • Use the cloakroom facility of the cathedral to leave behind bulky items before your ascent.

Frequently asked questions about Duomo Florence dome tickets

Why should I visit the Duomo dome on my trip to the Florence Cathedral?

Climbing the Duomo dome is highly recommended as it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and acts as the cherry on top of the Florence Cathedral experience. Besides being able to uphold Vasari’s magnificent fresco up close, you’ll also be presented with a lovely view of Florence’s skyline from the viewing deck.

Do I need to book tickets in advance, or can I purchase them on the day of my visit?

We strongly recommend booking your Duomo dome tickets at least 2-3 weeks in advance, especially during peak season. This is also to ensure you get your preferred time slot.

How much time should I allocate to exploring the Duomo dome at the Florence Cathedral?

Aim to set aside at least 1-1.5 hours for a comfortable climb up the dome and time spent on the viewing deck. If you’re taking a guided tour of the Florence cathedral and the dome, then you can expect to spend about 2-2.5 hours in total.

Does the Florence Cathedral guided tour include the dome tour as well?

Yes, if you book you will be able to access the dome if you opt for it.

Is there an option for a private or exclusive tour of the Duomo dome?

Yes, you can book a VIP tour of the Florence Cathedral that offers dome access through . One of the options available to you through this tour is an early-access English guided tour as well as an Italian breakfast of croissants and pastries.

Are there any restrictions on photography or filming inside the Duomo dome?

While you can take photographs, avoid flash photography.

Is the dome accessible to wheelchair users?

Since one has to climb up towards the dome from within the cathedral, the climb is not suited for visitors on wheelchairs or those with mobility issues.

Are children allowed to climb the dome?

Yes, children are allowed to climb the dome as well. To get them excited about the adventure, you can prepare them with the book Pippo the Fool by Tracy E. Fern. The book outlines Brunelleschi's achievements in a captivating and kid-friendly manner.