Italians think of the Duomo like the Parisians think of the Eiffel Tower – it’s a beautiful and essential part of the skyline. While climbing to the top of the Duomo is certainly an experience (and one that nearly every guide book highly recommends doing), the view from the top seems to be missing something…duh. It’s missing the Duomo itself. It’s undeniable that Florence is beautiful from up above. The red rooftops stretch out as far as the eye can see and nothing beats that Italian sunshine! The biggest disappointment in that view, however, is the lack of the Duomo in the skyline when you’re getting your view from the top.
Okay, it’s also super crucial to mention that the climb up to the top of the Duomo is a living nightmare. I’m a lover of bagels and have a fierce aversion to exercise so take my criticism with a grain of salt, but there are 463 steps to get to the top of that baby and I was dying. Like many of the buildings in Florence, the corridors of the Duomo are narrow…really narrow. If you have claustrophobia this is not the tourist attraction for you. By the time KB and I reached the top all I could think about was how I would survive the walk back down. KB made sure to capture my displeasure in the below photos because apparently he finds my agony entertaining.
Besides my amazing top knot, the only other thing in the photo above worth noting is the lack of the Duomo in the Florence skyline! By taking our snaps from the top of the Duomo we missed out on a view that included the beautiful building.
All humor aside, we actually found the best aerial view of Florence by climbing to the top of Palazzo Vecchio! Palazzo Vecchio serves as the town hall of Florence and guests can wander through and climb to the top of the tower for a stellar view of the city below – Duomo included! We had easy access by using our Firenze Card for entry.
The climb at Palazzo Vecchio was absolutely manageable and while I was out of breath on occasion, I never once struggled the way I did with my climb to the top of the Duomo. We also had the added pleasure of strolling through the museum at the Palazzo on our way up! Ah, look at that smiling face below with the Duomo in the background.
By the time we were done in Florence I was totally ready for a relaxing couple of days on the Amalfi Coast. Take my advice, it’s okay to skip the climb to the top of the Duomo in favor of a better skyline.
Have you climbed to the top of the Duomo?