Florence Guide tourist information on Florence and Tuscany:art, history,events, hotel and accommodation
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The cathedral Dome, humanistic evidence of Florence
In 1418 Brunelleschi was assigned the responsibility of the coverage of the cathedral. By the realization of the famous dome, he reveals a new man, full expression of Renaissance, an epoch able to take the best from the antiquity, but at the same time enriching it with new technological solutions proper of current reality. For the first time, since the Middle Age, the architect Filippo Brunelleschi returns to the typology of the basilica with a dome that had found the highest expression in the Pantheon in Rome. At the time when Florence became capital of a nation, S. Maria del Fiore got its dome, emerging on the whole cityscape, which promoted it to the rank of New Rome, an eminent cultural and artistic centre.

The proposed itinerary require at least half a day.

  1. San Giovanni Baptistry
  2. Bigallo Loggia
  3. Giotto’s Tower
  4. Cathedral (Duomo) or Santa Maria del Fiore
  5. Opera del Duomo Museum
  6. Firenze com’era museum


The Duomo square, together with piazza S. Giovanni, is the heart of Florence. These two sacred monuments, symbols of the city, are tied by the similar geometries of the facings made of polychrome marble: white, green and pink tones.


Piazza S. Giovanni
Opening Hours: Monday - Saturday from 12.00 am to 7.00 pm
Sunday from 8.30 am to 2.00 pm.
Paying visit
phone: 0552302885
web: www.operaduomo.firenze.it

Of uncertain age, the octagonal structure should be of the IV-VII century, while the marmoreal facing with geometrical patterns probably dates back to the XI and the XIII century.
The three doors made of gilded bronze are of particular interest. The South door (main entrance) is adorned by 28 tiles of Andrea Pisano, claimed to be the most famous sculptor of 1300.
The North door, depicting the Events of the life of Christ is due to the mastery of Lorenzo Ghiberti and his creative genius made the East Door of the Heaven, right at the front of the Cathedral.
The Door of Heaven features precious door jambs decorations, and the lintel and tiles represents scenes from the Ancient Testament.
The inside is also of exceptional beauty: the coverage of the dome is ogival, dressed by mosaics of Byzantine taste. In a section of the floor, the bicoloured marbles form an exquisite inlay resembling Eastern style.
The funeral monument of antipope Giovanni XXIII is a work by Donatello and Michelozzo (1400).


Piazza S. Giovanni, 1
Opening hours: Monday from 8.00am to sunset
Thursday from 8.00 am to 12.00 am
Paying visit
Phone: 0552302885
web: www.operaduomo.firenze.it

The loggia faces the South door of the Baptistery at angle with de’ Calzaiuoli street. At the lower level you can admire the trefoil mullioned windows and three cusp tabernacles of the 14th century.
It was built for the Compagnia della Misericordia, a charitable association that exposed here abandoned children to solicit public charity, but the loggia takes its own name from the Company of the Bigallo, another charitable association that in 1425 joined the Misericordia Company.
In the Museum of Bigallo you may admire lot of famous works, among them the detached fresco Madonna of the Mercy (1342) that depicts the most ancient view of Florence (the façade of the Cathedral is still incomplete).


Piazza Duomo
Opening hours: from April to September from 8.30am to 5.30 pm
From October to March from 9.00 am to 4.30 pm
Paying visit
Phone: 0552302885
web: www.operaduomo.firenze.it

The bell tower plinth is squared with angular reinforces growing till the embossment. It raises to the height of 84,70 meters. The direction of the construction, were begun by Giotto in 1334 and, after the death of the artist, was entrusted to Andrea Pisano and thereafter to Francesco Talenti who meticulously sticked to the sketches of the great master with the exception of the terminal steeple, that would have added thirty meters more to the present height.
The plinth features two overlapped bands adorned by relief tiles depicting the Storie del lavoro umano (the history of the human work) based on Giotto’s sketches, and the second, symbolic figures.
The next level contains Statues of Prophets and Sibilles. The bas-reliefs and the original sculptures of the '300, have now been replaced by copies in order to protect them from bad weather and are kept in the Museum Opera del Duomo. These works refer us to three great personalities of the Florentine sculpture: Andrew Pisano, Luca of the Robbia and Donatello.
The upper terrace, 414 stairs up, offers a spectacular panorama of the city and the hills.


Piazza Duomo, 9
Opening hours: Monday – Saturday from 9.00 am to 5.30 pm
Sunday from 9.00 am to 1.30 pm
Paying visit
Phone: 0552302885
web: www.operaduomo.firenze.it

The entry is behind the Cathedral, street number 9.
The importance of this Museum is due to its Florentine school treasures of '300 and '400.
Let’s briefly remember some of the works that in themselves would be worth a visit in Florence: the dramatic wooden Maddalena by Donatello, the Pity of Michelangelo, the restored tiles of the Heaven door by Ghiberti, the model of the Brunelleschi’s dome, the original tiles statues housed in the niches of Giotto’s bell tower.
Not to be missed are also the two precious choirs of 1400 by Luca of the Robbia and Donatello, once inside the Cathedral.

FIRENZE COM’ERA MUSEUM (Florence as it was museum)

Via dell’Oriuolo, 24
Opening hours: from 9.00am to 2.00
Thursday closed
Paying visit
Phone: 0552616545
web: www.operaduomo.firenze.it

The museum offers the opportunity to understand the urban development of the city, through the view of maps, sketches, press articles and maps from the 15th century till today. Of great interest is the group of works by Ottone Rosai. A new section, born on the occasion of the show Alle origini di Firenze (Back to the origins in Florence), illustrates the development of Florentine area from the first Roman installations.

Suggested Hotels

Hotel Fedora
best hotel
2 stars
Hotel Fedora
Via Spartaco Lavagnini 45
Zone: Santa Maria Novella - Fortezza da Basso
Charming small Hotel right next to the town center and to the rail station

Hotel I Parigi
best hotel
3 stars
Hotel I Parigi
Via Luigiana, 12
Zone: Florence Certosa
B&B I Parigi Corbinelli is strategically situated at the city gates near Florence Certosa

Hotel Jane
3 stars
Hotel Jane
via Orcagna, 56
Zone: Lungarno Tempio
Hotel Jane, amongst one of the original and appreciated in Florence just 10 minutes from the Duomo and 5 mins from Santa Croce.

Hotel Palazzuolo
1 stars
Hotel Palazzuolo
Via Palazzuolo 71
Zone: Santa Maria Novella
Hotel Palazzuolo is located in the historic centre of the city, very close to the main Train Station of Santa Maria Novella and to the major city museums.

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