How to Visit Brunelleschi’s Dome in Florence

Cupola di Santa Maria del Fiore | Duomo Firenze

Cupola di Santa Maria del Fiore, Firenze – Image source: Gabriele Colzi via Facebook

In one of the richest cities in terms of monuments and museums, Florence, we find one of the grandest examples of the spirit of the Italian Renaissance: the dome designed by Filippo Brunelleschi. With its bulky volume, characterising the skyline of Florence from all corners of the city, its construction was a truly avant-garde feat and even today visiting it means knowing a little of the genius who designed it. The context in which it is set, then, confirms the artistic, cultural and political centrality of the City of the Lily during the Renaissance. How to climb Brunelleschi’s dome to enjoy a breathtaking view of the city?

Tickets for Brunelleschi’s Dome in Florence

Tickets for Brunelleschi’s dome in Florence allow you to visit this unique construction, 116 metres high and built without the aid of a supporting structure. In the Tuscan capital, the Italian Renaissance was born and experienced its heyday, and even today the Santa Maria del Fiore complex is one of the finest examples of this historical and artistic period.

By purchasing tickets online for the Florence Cathedral Dome you will have access to an area usually off-limits to the public, in small groups of no more than 10 people, given the rather cramped spaces. For the same reason, bags and backpacks must be left at the luggage deposit in Piazza del Duomo: there are 463 steps to climb and doing so without carrying unnecessary weight is certainly more practical, as well as safer.

But the view will be worth all the effort made to reach the top of the dome: in addition to a breathtaking view of Florence, you can also admire the ‘Last Judgement’ frescoes by Giorgio Vasari and Federico Zuccari up close. All you have to do is book the entrance time to the dome and come to the north side of the cathedral, in front of the Porta della Mandorla, 15 minutes in advance. The time for the visit is approximately one hour and can be cancelled with a refund or rescheduled within the day before the booking.

Admission to the other buildings of the so-called Duomo complex is included in the ticket, namely:

  • Giotto’s bell tower, open daily from 8:15 a.m. to 6:50 p.m;
  • crypt of Santa Reparata;
  • Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, open daily from 9am to 7.45pm;
  • cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, the Duomo of Florence, for which admission is always free and which is open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 4.30pm and Sunday from 1pm to 4.30pm.

The ticket is activated at the time booked for the visit to the dome and is valid for 72 hours. This means that in the following three days you will also be able to visit the other attractions included in the price. The structure and the presence of so many steps, however, make a visit to the dome impossible for those with mobility difficulties or wheelchair users, while it is strongly discouraged for pregnant women, those with respiratory problems and those suffering from claustrophobia.

Finally, it is also possible to purchase a ticket for Brunelleschi’s dome with a guided tour of the Cathedral. The meeting with the guide is at the side of the dome and lasts one hour. In addition to climbing up the dome, you will have the opportunity to find out more about the cathedral and its long construction from an expert guide.

Tickets for Brunelleschi’s Dome and Palazzo Vecchio

However, the glory of Florence began well before the Renaissance, and Palazzo Vecchio with the Torre di Arnolfo (at the time of its construction the tallest ever built) are the finest example of 14th century civil architecture. Begun in 1299, Palazzo Vecchio was immediately destined for the Florentine rulers: first Palazzo dei Priori, then Palazzo della Signoria and Palazzo Ducale at the time of the Medici, who made it their residence, it is still the seat of the Comune today.

Tickets for Brunelleschi’s dome and Palazzo Vecchio allow:

  • exclusive access to the Duomo dome, skipping the queue and having the opportunity to climb to the top;
  • entry to the other sites in the Duomo complex;
  • a visit to Palazzo Vecchio, located in Piazza della Signoria, a stone’s throw from the Uffizi and the Loggia dei Lanzi.

Combining the two tickets will allow you to discover, at a lower price than the sum of both, the role of religious and civil power in the city, but above all its great artistic and cultural liveliness.

With the ticket for the Palazzo Vecchio you will be able to access, among the many rooms and areas, the following:

The visit can be booked every day from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., except Thursdays, which is the site’s closing day, and will be accompanied by a 55-minute multimedia video guide that can be conveniently used from a tablet.

The ticket also includes access to the Arnolfo Tower – except when it rains, for safety reasons – and can be cancelled and rescheduled up to 24 hours before the visit. Finally, the palace is also accessible for wheelchair users, with the exception of the mezzanine and the Arnolfo Tower.

Tickets for Brunelleschi’s Dome and the Leonardo Da Vinci Museum

Florence and Tuscany have been the birthplace and witness to the work of numerous artistic and other geniuses. For the past 20 years, for example, Florence has also been home to a museum dedicated to the great artist, scientist and inventor Leonardo Da Vinci.

In order to fully understand the creative and witty Renaissance man, author of innovative and spectacular engineering works, you can combine the ticket for the Brunelleschi Dome and the Leonardo da Vinci Museum: on the one hand a visit to a state-of-the-art building and on the other hand the direct experience of some of the scientist’s inventions and innovations.

It is a multimedia and interactive museum, where more than fifty machines have been reconstructed from Leonardo’s drawings and studies, and visitors can interact with them and operate them; there are also workshops based on Renaissance construction techniques, to which Da Vinci made a great contribution, even influencing modern technology.

The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (last entrance at 6 p.m.) and the exhibition, in six languages (Italian, English, French, German, Spanish, Russian), is also accessible to wheelchairs. The ticket also entitles visitors to priority access.


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