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Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (Duomo)

The magnificent dome of Santa Maria del Fiore provides the Florentine skyline with one of its most iconic outlines.

When the architect Filippo Brunelleschi proposed the design for what was, at that time, the largest dome in the world, he was aiming high. The dome was the crowning glory of an ambitious building project begun in 1294 and finally completed nearly a century and a half later with the consecration of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in 1436, one of the architectural wonders of the Renaissance. The dome, which measures 45.5 metres in diameter, still holds the world record for the largest brick and mortar structure of its kind, and the breathtaking view from the top is one of the highlights of any visit to Florence.

Santa Maria del Fiore, known simply as the Duomo (cathedral), houses many of the city’s most important art treasures, notably Giorgio Vasari’s vast frescoes of the Last Judgement. The cathedral is also famous for its 44 stained glass windows, the work of celebrated Florentine artists of the 14th and 15th centuries including Donatello and Ghiberti, with scenes from the Old and New Testaments illustrated in gloriously rich and luminous colours.

One special curiosity that has fascinated visitors for centuries is the hora italica clock, one of the oldest surviving examples in the world, above the cathedral entrance. This one-handed liturgical clock chronicles the time over a 24-hour period ending at sunset. The clock dates from 1443 and is decorated with frescoes of the Evangelists by Paolo Uccello.

The Duomo is open every day except Epiphany (January 6) and entry to the church is free, although there is a charge for visiting the dome, accessed by a climb of 463 steps to the top. Since the building is one of Florence’s must-see attractions, you will usually have to queue to get inside, but while you wait in line you can admire its striking pink, green and white marble façade which was added in the 19th century. Larger groups may be obliged to take an audio or radio guide, so it’s a good idea to check entry requirements in advance.

There's no place anywhere on the planet quite like Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower. So you can make the most of your time here, we've created a list of the most popular things to do:

Peruse our Florence things to do page to discover more activities while you're in the area.


Guide to Exploring Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower


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Top Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower Hotel Deals

See all 6,173 properties near Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower
Grand Hotel Cavour RM313
Grand Hotel Cavour

Grand Hotel Cavour

Via Del Proconsolo 3, Florence, FI
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Duomo, this family-friendly Florence hotel is steps away from Badia Fiorentina and Bargello. Piazza del Duomo and Palazzo Vecchio are also within 5 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is 14 minutes by foot and Florence Campo Di Marte Station is 23 minutes.

    Hotel Spadai RM405
    Hotel Spadai

    Hotel Spadai

    Via dei Martelli, 10, Florence, FI
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Duomo, this spa hotel is steps away from Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower and San Lorenzo Church. Piazza del Duomo and Academy of Fine Arts are also within 5 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is 10 minutes by foot and Stazione Porta al Prado, Florence, Italy is 21 minutes.

      Orto De Medici Hotel RM397
      Orto De Medici Hotel

      Orto De Medici Hotel

      Via San Gallo 30, Florence, FI
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in San Lorenzo, this romantic hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Piazza San Marco, Statue of David, and Gallery of the Academy of Florence. Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower and Academy of Fine Arts are also within 10 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is 13 minutes by foot and Florence Statuto Station is 17 minutes.

        Maxim Axial RM206
        Maxim Axial

        Maxim Axial

        Via Dei Calzaiuoli 11, Florence, FI
           
          3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Duomo, this hotel is steps away from Via de' Calzaiuoli and Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower. Piazza della Signoria and Piazza del Duomo are also within 5 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is 11 minutes by foot and Stazione Porta al Prado, Florence, Italy is 21 minutes.

          Aurum Firenze RM185
          Aurum Firenze

          Aurum Firenze

          Via Nazionale 8/a, Florence
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Santa Maria Novella, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Via Faenza and Santa Maria Novella Basilica and Museum. Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower and Piazza del Duomo are also within 10 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is only a 5-minute walk and Stazione Porta al Prado, Florence, Italy is 16 minutes.

            Relais Piazza Signoria RM301
            Relais Piazza Signoria

            Relais Piazza Signoria

            Via Vacchereccia 3, Florence, FI
               
              0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Duomo, this apartment building is steps away from Via de' Calzaiuoli, Piazza della Signoria and Palazzo Vecchio. Uffizi Gallery and Ponte Vecchio are also within 5 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is 14 minutes by foot and Stazione Porta al Prado, Florence, Italy is 22 minutes.

              Hotel Duomo RM253
              Hotel Duomo

              Hotel Duomo

              Piazza Del Duomo 1, Florence, FI
                 
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Duomo, this hotel is steps away from Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower and Florence Baptistery. Bargello and Gallery of the Academy of Florence are also within 10 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is 10 minutes by foot and Stazione Porta al Prado, Florence, Italy is 22 minutes.

                Firenze Number Nine Wellness Hotel RM413
                Firenze Number Nine Wellness Hotel

                Firenze Number Nine Wellness Hotel

                Via dei Conti, 9, Florence, FI
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  This family-friendly Florence hotel is located in the historical district, just steps away from Medici Chapels and San Lorenzo Church. Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower and Piazza del Duomo are also within 10 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is 7 minutes by foot and Stazione Porta al Prado, Florence, Italy is 18 minutes.