Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Italy Vacation: The Duomo

I hope you enjoyed my post yesterday about Florence.  My favorite thing about Florence is The Duomo so I had to devote an entire post to it.  It is just too beautiful not to share a million photos!

The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore or more commonly known as Il Duomo di Firenze has always been my favorite cathedral in Europe.  It is so beautiful and unique and I just love all the colors in it.  After seeing it again it remains my favorite!

The Duomo is the 3rd largest church in the world (after St. Peter's in Rome and St. Paul's in London).  Construction was started in 1296 and completed in 1436 (it took a really long time to make something this beautiful)! 

Stacy and I waited in line to climb the 436 steps to the top of the dome.  Yes that is 436!  It is narrow and many of the stairs are in a spiral fashion. . . in other words not only are you exhausted but you are dizzy!  Stacy and I both realized how out of shape we are while climbing the stairs.

While climbing there were little windows were we could get a sneak peak at what was to come.  We knew the climb was going to be so worth it.  The views were amazing already. . .

Once we got outside and caught our breath we took it all in. . . gorgeous views in every direction.  I don't even know if my photos can do the views justice but I'll try!

The Bell Tower (which you can also climb but Stacy declined. . . she opted for sitting at a cafe with a glass of wine and I didn't want to climb alone).  I did go inside the church and she will see those photos at the end of this post.

We had read that you had to have your knees and shoulders covered.  So we both worn long dresses and brought something to cover our shoulders.  Many people were in shorts and tanks so not sure how strictly that rule is enforced. . . maybe only inside the church?  We were prepared just in case!

The Palazzo Pitti or Pitti Palace is the large building in the above photo.  We stayed just a couple minute walk from here and it was a great location!  It once was a family's palace but now is a museum.  We didn't go in but enjoyed eating dinner at an outdoor restaurant across from it one night.

Once we got our fill of the views we made our way back down the stairs which was steep and nerve wracking at times!  As previously mentioned, Stacy retired to a cafe while I explored the inside. 

If you look at the photo of the dome on the left toward the bottom of the photo there is a gray looking line/ledge. . . that is what we walked along when we got to the top prior to going outside!

I felt like the whole time I was in Italy there were reminders of my grandfather.  Whether it was references to WWII or just being in churches. . . I felt him often.  I lit a candle for him while in The Duomo. . .

Gorgeous floors inside.  I love all the detail both inside and out of The Duomo.  It is incredibly beautiful.  I really enjoyed walking around the perimeter of the outside because there are so many pretty angles.  Depending on the way the sun is hitting it makes the colors amazing.  You just have to see it from every angle!

Oh and it wouldn't be a day in Italy without a gelato (or two)!  I met up with Stacy at the cafe and rather than a glass of wine I chose mango gelato.  Let me tell you. . . the hardest decisions I made on my entire vacation were wine or gelato or both?!  Oh and picking a gelato flavor each time was a huge challenge.  I'll tell you the stress on this vacation was through the roof.  Haha!  If only my real life could be this amazing!


  1. The artist in the construction of those buildings is amazing! What a perfect view! Ah the struggles of picking wine or gelato!

  2. That gelato looks amazing! :) I'm so jealous of your time in Italy. It's definitely on my bucket list. :D

  3. I love seeing the detail in the building of the church, massive, gorgeous! Glad you could climb the stairs, I would do like Stacey did. I know vacations are fun, but back to real world now lol

  4. Wow-- that's incredibly beautiful! And I'm impressed that you climbed 436 stairs! Looks totally worth it for that view though.

  5. I loved the cathedral too! We didn't go to the top, because of the rain. But we did walk up some other towers with stairs like that in Europe and yes, you get soooo dizzy by walking up them!

  6. Oh my gooodnnesssss girl stop it with these amazing photos!! I'm so beyond jealous! I haven't been there in years and I'm dying to go back!!

  7. Gorgeous! The detail on the buildings is amazing

  8. I love the Duomo! I've never climbed it though...after the St Peter's Basilica I'm over climbing up crazy flights of stairs. I always struggle with gelato flavors. There's too many delicious ones and I want them all!