Back in October I had the amazing opportunity to visit Italy to run the Venice Marathon. While I was there my 2 friends and I took the train to Florence for 2 days. I learned a lot and it was an absolutely astounding experience. I did the climb to the top of the Duomo 1.5 days after running the Venice Marathon, which made for some shaky legs after all those stairs, but it was incredible. If you are planning a trip here are some big tips for visiting the Duomo:
- Buy your tickets online ahead of time– We were only in Florence for 2 days and luckily we learned that we needed to buy tickets ahead of time. When I got online on Sunday to buy tickets for Monday they were all already sold out. I was able to buy them for Tuesday though. Had I not planned ahead we wouldn’t have been able to climb to the top. I saw a lot of disappointed tourists who didn’t know this.
- When you buy your tickets reserve your time to go to the top of the Duomo- Like I said above, buy your tickets ahead of time. Those tickets get you into the Cathedral and the Bell tower and also enable you to reserve your time to climb to the top of the Duomo (Dome). BUT when you buy those tickets online reserve your Duomo climb time then too! You want to reserve your time because just buying a ticket isn’t good enough to get you to the top.
- Be aware if you have claustrophobia- The staircase up can be quite tight in some places. If you are claustrophobic you might want to take that into consideration.
- If you want to take your time let other pass you before you start- You don’t have to be the first ones to lead your reservation time. Let people pass you before you start because once you get into the staircase area there is only a few places big enough to pass.
- Take time to study the inside of the Dome- As you climb about halfway up you come out to a ledge that circles you around inside the cathedral. You can get a closer look at the Dome’s artwork from here.
- Go the bathroom ahead of time- Once you go inside to start climbing the stairs there is no restrooms until you get back down and outside again.
- Bring a good camera- The views of Florence from the top are incredible. You will definitely want to snap some pics.
- Wear good shoes- You are climbing stone stairs that are at times quite narrow. Wear comfortable shoes!
- Allow approximately an hour to go up and down- You will want to enjoy the full view from the top. Take your time!
- Listen to Rick Steeves’s podcast about the Duomo- Before your Dome climb reservation time, walk around the outside of the Duomo while listening to Rick Steeves’s podcast about it. He will guide you to certain things and is full of information.
I LOVED this experience and it is a MUST DO in Florence, Italy. Click here for more information about the Duomo.