Ordinarily called Il Duomo di Firenze, this cathedral’s actually (or officially) called The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore (or Basilica of Saint Mary of the Flower).
Started on September 8, 1296 by architect Arnolfo di Cambio, and the dome, which dominates the exterior, was engineered by Filippo Brunelleschi. Can you imagine it took around 140 years for the cathedral to be deemed finished? Though the church was consecrated as soon as the dome was in place, the façade (front of the church) was only half finished.
The exterior part of the Cathedral is covered in a mix of pink, white and green marbles.
The interior of the Cathedral is plain. During summer days the temperature inside the Cathedral tends to be much cooler.
Battistero di San Giovanni (The Florence Baptistery) is religious building, dedicated to his patron saint, John the Baptist (whose feast is celebrated on 24 June). It was originally believed to be a Roman temple dedicated to Mars.
Giotto’s Campanile – All the present works of art in Giotto’s Campanile are copies. The originals were removed between 1965 and 1967 and are now on display in the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, behind the cathedral.
The largest artwork within the Cathedral is by Giorgio Vasari’s frescoes of the Last Judgment. Though it was designed by Giorgio Vasari, it was painted mostly by his less-talented student Frederico Zuccari.
Want an amazing view of Florence? Climb 463 stairs of the Florence Duomo (sorry, no elevator). Also, the route takes you by the Giorgio Vasari’s frescoes of the Last Judgment.