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"Il Duomo" Il Duomo - Santa Maria del Fiore Tip by mikey_e

Il Duomo - Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence: 250 reviews and 523 photos

  Il Duomo
by mikey_e
  • Il Duomo - Florence
      Il Duomo
    by mikey_e
  • The fabled Dome - Florence
      The fabled Dome
    by mikey_e
  • Dome up close - Florence
      Dome up close
    by mikey_e
  • Detail of the façade - Florence
      Detail of the façade
    by mikey_e

Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, more popularly referred to as "Il Duomo" (The Cathedral) ws completed in 1436 by the architect Brunelleschi. It is the 4th largest cathedral in the world and took 150 years to complete (its construction was begun in 1296 by Arnolfo di Cambio). It is 153 m long and 38 m wide (except at the transept, where the width reaches 90 m) which explains how it is that, amongst the thousands of tourists that throng here each week, it is impossible not to feel dwarfed by this massive structure. It is as much a tribute to art as one to God - Burnelleschi's dome was considered to be the first such feat of engineering completed since Antiquity. Il Duomo, however, is not a complete work of art. The façade, which is very impressive, was only erected in the 19th century, as Arnolfo di Cambio's original design was left unfinished well into the 16th century. Then, of course, there are the Gothic characteristics of the Campanile (see my note on that sight), which predate Santa Maria del Fiore. Of course, the exterior is only part of the beauty of Il Duomo, and the interior includes many sculptures and paintings associated with the rich history of the city of Florence. Among these are tributes to Dante Alighieri and some of the marauding criminals who once threatened the livelihood of Florence. You can indeed enter the church and the dome, but the sheer number of tourists mean that getting here early is a must.

Address: Piazza del Duomo
Directions: North of the Arno and Piazza della Signoria
Phone: +39 055 230 2885

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Aug 21, 2007
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