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How to go up on the terrace of Florence Cathedral?

One of the most beautiful cathedrals in the world offers us one of the most beautiful views from one of the highest points in Florence. Today we will teach you how to visit the little-known terraces of Florence Cathedral.

Duomo Cathedral of Florence
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How to go up on the terrace of Florence Cathedral?

Florence Cathedral is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful in the world and it is possible to access one of the highest points of the city through this Cathedral: its terraces, which offer us a privileged view! Want to know how? So come with me and I’ll teach you how to climb the terraces of Florence Cathedral. Here at  Your Travel to Italy with Ana Patricia  you make the trip of your dreams !!! ALSO: see our  “Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your holidays!”.


Watch this beautiful video from Florence!


Our Introduction

When we talk about Florence, it is inevitable that we immediately think of its art, the fact that it was the cradle of the Renaissance, its culture and, of course, its splendid and unique Cathedral, which presents us with one of the most beautiful and fascinating domes in the world! But did you know that the Cathedral of the capital of the Tuscany region also presents us with beautiful terraces with splendid views? And more: did you know you can visit them? Yes, you can! That’s where I’m going to take you today: let’s get to know the terraces of Florence Cathedral. Also read: the most beautiful panoramic views of Florence

Get to know a little about the Cathedral

Well, first of all I invite you to read our super special post about this magnificent Cathedral, which is one of the most famous in the world and, to read our post, I invite you to click here! It is impossible to remain indifferent when we are in front of this splendid building, full of history and a beauty that seduces us without any effort! Florence Cathedral dominates the landscape of the historic city center and is fascinating! Officially, the church is called Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore (‘Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower’) , it was built in 1296, and underwent several changes until reaching its current appearance, the one we know today. This Cathedral is HUGE, and when I say that, make sure I’m not exaggerating: this beautiful thing is 153 meters long, 90 meters wide and 90 meters high – from floor to lantern – from ground floor to end of lantern , its total height is an impressive 115 meters! Colossal! Also read: where to picnic in Florence?

Special Attraction

The dome, of course, is a special attraction and is famous all over the world. It was fully designed by the master Filippo Brunelleschi and took 16 years to complete, being built between 1420-1436. Brunelleschi’s work is, to date, the largest masonry dome in the world and measures 45.5 meters in diameter. It was a real feat from an architectural point of view, as it innovated everything that was known, until then, about the art of building domes. The view from the top is breathtaking and, if I can give you a suggestion, the best time to go up is at the end of the day, with the sunset approaching: it’s speechless, believe me! Watching the sun ‘dye’ the cathedral golden and fall over the city like a blanket of gold is a poetic, romantic and magical moment! Also read: the best day trips from Florence!

Today, however, our focus is on the beautiful terraces of the Cathedral. The terraces are not very popular with the general public, but they can be visited and they also offer fascinating views! Which is not difficult in Florence, is it?

The Cathedral Terraces

Before knowing how to visit the terraces, let’s find out why they exist: in 1439, engineers and architects noticed that it would be necessary to reinforce the support of the Dome, since, due to its weight, it could come down. To avoid accidents or any other kind of problem, and to reinforce the stability of the Cathedral Dome, Brunelleschi designed the so-called “dead tribunes” at the base of the drum. The dead tribunes are true masterpieces of Renaissance architecture and are the beginning of the path that takes us to the terraces of Santa Maria del Fiore.

The division of the Terraces

The terraces of the Cathedral are at the height of the roofs of the side aisles and, there, you will find a real continuous balcony, externally decorated by a marble balustrade perforated in quadriboli, which remind us of those found on the last level of the Bell Tower. The terraces are divided into North and South and each one measures about 70 meters in length. The place also gives us the chance to admire, up close, some marble details of the rose windows of the main nave’s coverings, where we can see pontoons, brick roofs and the attics of the Cathedral. When you’re there, remember that countless VIP guests have set foot there.

The main function of these terraces

In fact, the main function of these terraces was to facilitate the passage of workers who carried out the maintenance of the Cathedral and this occurs until today. However, due to the wonderful view that it offers us, from 1985 onwards the place was opened to the public as a tourist attraction, since it would be a real sin to leave this MAGIC place ‘hidden as a secret’!

The terracotta basins visible along the route that we see when we are there, were placed so that they could reuse the rainwater, and of course, to protect the tiles from the action of the weather over the centuries. There you can see new and old tiles and all this just confirms the affection and care that people have the honor of taking care of one of the most beautiful places in the world!

Panoramic View from the Terrace

The view from the terraces is, of course, splendid, and from there you have a panoramic view of the North and South zones, the city center and the nearby hills. Those who go up on the terraces have access to places where everything seems to be within reach, including the beautiful details of the recently restored marble. The rose window present there is from the 19th century and is on the central facade, and, ‘behind the scenes’, the view is different! You can also see the Baptistery’s lantern, Brunelleschi’s dome and Giotto’s bell tower up close.

Moving from one terrace to another

As we move from one terrace to another, you will have access to another balcony: the inner balcony of the Cathedral’s counter-facade. From here, you can also admire the beautiful stained glass window by Lorenzo Ghiberti, representing the ‘Assumption’ and the ‘Coronation’; be sure to pay attention to the inlaid marble floors of Santa Maria del Fiore: remember that the view is different! Very special indeed! Of course, to bring everything to a perfect end, we go back inside the Cathedral and we can see a scenographic wooden scaffold where are some Master Brunelleschi’s tools.

VERY IMPORTANT:

  • It is only possible to visit the terraces with the guides of the cathedral itself, O.K.?! You can’t go up there unattended! To reach the terraces, there are only stairs, no elevators available.
  • The ascent is NOT RECOMMENDED for people with walking difficulties, heart problems, suffering from dizziness and/or claustrophobia.
  • It is not allowed to go up with any backpack, bag or any object that does not leave your hands free. Avoid taking your cell phone and prefer a camera that you can hang around your neck, O.K.?!
  • If you are afraid of heights, DO NOT CLIMB! The ascent and descent are made through narrow and dark corridors, it has never been adapted to receive tourists, keep that in mind! There you will find 463 steps and, for those who are afraid of heights, this can be a problem, so: evaluate well if you are able to go up and down without any problem, okay?

Reminder

  • Remember that it is necessary to make a reservation in advance and it is mandatory to be accompanied by a guide from the Cathedral itself! To buy tickets, make reservations, check timetables (which may change without notice and depending on the seasons), you can visit the official website of the Florence Cathedral.

 

Are you going to stay in Florence? So you can get our exclusive hotel tips!

Here you will find great and free tips to not get fooled when choosing your hotel in Italy.

Plus: read our tips and advices about the Florence neighborhoods and where to stay! Here you will find the perfect hotel for you and for your needs, respecting you budget! Also: booking at booking.com, you will help us to keep our blog and for free! No fees, no click baits, no fake news!

Hotels I recommend in the Historic Center

In the Historic Center (Old Town), is really easy to admire all the main attractions of the city very easily. The old town of Florence corresponds to the oldest and most beautiful part of the city. If you want to stay in the real heart of Florence, choose hotels in the central areas of Piazza Santa Croce, Ponte Vecchio, Cathedral, Gallery of Offices, etc.

If you want some indications of hostels (or B&B) and apartments, I have some options that I suggest if you want to save money; click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion, make your reservation and guarantee good prices!

If you prefer hotels, I have some options that I recommend with great cost benefit! Click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion, make your reservation and guarantee good prices.

Hotels that I recommend in Oltrarno

Always staying very close to the Historic Center, you can also stay in Oltrarno, close to the most characteristic craft shops in the whole city and much more. The area is perfect for those who want quiet accommodation and for those who want to breathe the real Florentine atmosphere. At the same time, you will be close to the center of Florence, a short walk from the main monuments, squares, churches, restaurants, shops and museums.

If you want some indications of hostels (or B&B) and apartments, I have some options that I suggest if you want to save money; click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion, make your reservation and guarantee good prices!

If you prefer hotels, I have some options that I recommend with great cost benefit! Click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion, make your reservation and guarantee good prices.

Hotels that I recommend in Santa Maria Novella

Another interesting neighborhood to stay is Santa Maria Novella. This is a particularly exclusive area because of the proximity to the station (great if you want to do a lot of tours leaving from Florence) and the famous Church of Santa Maria Novella, a very important reference in Florence.

If you want some indications of hostels (or B&B) and apartments, I have some options that I suggest if you want to save money; click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion, make your reservation and guarantee good prices!

If you prefer hotels, I have some options that I recommend with great cost benefit! Click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion, make your reservation and guarantee good prices.

Hotels that I recommend in Santa Croce

Another neighborhood where you can stay is Santa Croce, where the homonymous church is located. This area, located in the southeastern part of the historic center, is close to the most interesting monuments and has its fulcrum in the church of Santa Croce. Among the scenic palaces in this district, there are many hotels that can accommodate you for a wonderful weekend in Florence.

If you want some indications of hostels (or B&B) and apartments, I have some options that I suggest if you want to save money; click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion, make your reservation and guarantee good prices!

If you prefer hotels, I have some options that I recommend with great cost benefit! Click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion, make your reservation and guarantee good prices.

Hotels that I recommend in Campo di Marte

Another economic possibility, where you can stay in Florence, is Campo di Marte; in this area there are several well-equipped and affordable hotels. It is a quiet and charming residential area in Florence, well connected to the historic city center by public transport. Campo di Marte has its own train station where several regional and high-speed trains stop, with which you can easily reach other Tuscan cities and major cities in Italy. It is a great choice if you have rented a car too.

If you want some indications of hostels (or B&B) and apartments, I have some options that I suggest if you want to save money; click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion, make your reservation and guarantee good prices!

If you prefer hotels, I have some options that I recommend with great cost benefit! Click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion, make your reservation and guarantee good prices.

Hotels I recommend outside the Historic Center

And so, if you decide to breathe a less touristic air, a good choice could be to stay in Florence right outside the historic center, where hotel prices are cheaper and the most convenient solution if you come by car. Another possibility is to stay away, in some nearby town, and experience the silence of the wonderful Tuscan landscape, but in this case it is necessary to have a car.

If you want some indications of hostels (or B&B) and apartments, I have some options that I suggest if you want to save money; click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion, make your reservation and guarantee good prices!

If you prefer hotels, I have some options that I recommend with great cost benefit! Click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion, make your reservation and guarantee good prices.


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Conclusion

How to go up on the terrace of the Duomo in Florence? Getting to know Florence from above is a unique experience! The city is beautiful from all angles and being able to see it from a special angle like this will make your trip unforgettable, you can be sure!

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And if you feel insecure, have no time, and need help to organize your trip,  don’t hesitate to contact me!  I will love to help you make your dream trip to Italy come true. And how can I do that? Keep reading this post until the end and you will understand how we make your life and your trip much easier.

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