June 29, 2016
Our last few days in Florence were a spin of so many things to do and not enough time. We started the day by heading to The Duomo, for which we thankfully purchased tickets ahead of time. If you’ve ever seen pictures of Florence, you’ve seen pictures of The Duomo – it’s the basilica that towers over the city with it’s beautiful renaissance dome. We walked our way to the Piazza del Duomo and began our day of tours.
First up, climbing the steps of the dome (Brunelleschi’s Cupola). Let me start by saying that this is not for the faint of heart. It takes a lot of energy to climb to the top – but it’s completely worth it when you make it. A little less than halfway up, you are directly under the magnificent frescos which adorn the center of the church. You don’t quite understand the magnitude of these paintings until you are only feet below.
Then, you continue climbing…and climbing…and climbing. Had this been at the beginning of my trip, I may have had to take a nap. Side note, it’s amazing how much better I got at physical activity as this trip progressed. Anyways, keep climbing. It’s worth it, because once you reach the top you are granted with a towering view in the open air at the top of the dome. You can see every single part of Florence from up there, all the way to the rolling hills that surround the city. I think I spent well over an hour up top, just taking in the views and loving every second of the moment.
After The Duomo, my Mom and I ventured in to the Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral (the third largest in the world), where we spent a large amount of time looking at the fresco painting in there as well. There are layers upon layers of paintings culminating in a story of the bible – and it’s so hard to describe how magnanimous it was.
Lastly, we stopped into the Opera Duomo Museum, where we viewed some of the most mind blowing statues (Donatello and Michaelangelo were two featured artists), marble facades, and works of art. The highlight though, in my not so humble opinion, was the relics they had on site. They are relics from the twelve disciples, including a jaw bone from John the Baptist, and so many others. Mind…blown.
We were exhausted after such a nonstop day – but ready for our tour of Tuscany and some wine in the morning!