My second day in Florence started with lining up at the Duomo bright and early. The ticket office was a bit difficult to locate. I was told "number 7 on the wall". I ran around the entire vicinity before I finally found a nondescript small metal 7 beside a door opening into a courtyard. The ticket office was hidden deep inside.
I lined up for climbing the dome first, while I still had some energy. Having climbed both Notre Dame and St. Paul's Cathedral on my last trip to Europe, the Duomo seemed a much quicker climb. (I believe there are a few hundred steps less in the Duomo.) The stairs are very narrow and become quite steep towards the top.
After climbing to the top, you're rewarded with a wonderful view of the red roof tops of Florence.
The cathedral, dome and bell tower are decorated with patterned marble in green and red on the entire façade. The construction of the cathedral spanned 140 years and 9 architects.
A small snack of lampredotto, with two types of salsa from a small cart a few steps from the dome. I tend to maybe overdo it a bit when it comes to local foods when I travel. (On my first visit to London, I ate a hearty breakfast of black pudding, baked beans, tomato, fried bread, mushrooms and sausage every single day.) I think I showed some restraint by only having tripe 3 times during my 2 day stay.
The cathedral is underlain by Roman ruins and an older church. There's an exhibition of some artifacts that were found and sketches of the plan above and beyond. The exhibit let's you walk among some of the excavated ruins and on the mosaic floors from centuries ago.
The floor of the modern cathedral above and the mosaics of the ruins below.
The Baptistery was undergoing renovations so the outside was completely covered in scaffolding. The Baptistery is octagonal and built on the location of a series of older baptistery. The octagon shape is apparently often used for baptisteries as the number 8 is very important in Christian numerology, symbolizing resurrection.
The ceiling of the Baptistery is richly decorated in golden mosaics depicting Biblical scenes, angels, and the last judgement. The full gamut of angelic beings are depicted: dominions, powers, archangels, regular angels, principalities, virtues and thrones.
The famous bronze doors by Lorenzo Ghiberti have been restored and are now preserved in the nearby Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, behind glass in a dehumidified environment. The doors on the Baptistery are a replica.
For lunch, there are plenty of choices in the streets radiating from the Duomo.
Sadly my time in Florence drew to a close and I boarded the train for Venice. The first thing I did in Venice was eat more food. I was especially looking forward to squid ink risotto.
We stayed in a lovely hotel, that I will introduce more in my next posts on Venice.