My last full week in Italy, where had time gone? I still had a lot to see and not much time left so this week was very busy for me. One of the must do things in Florence is to visit and climb the Duomo di Firenze also known as Duomo di Santa Maria del Fiore; with Florence being my permanent stay for the six week program and the Duomo being just minutes away from me you’d think that visiting it would be one of the first things I did… but no, every week I planned to visit other cities instead thinking that since the Duomo was so close to me I’d have plenty of time to visit it “later”. Fifth week in, I made it my mission to finally visit and climb the beautiful Duomo that I loved passing by so much.
Duomo di Firenze
The Duomo certainly did not disappoint, it is absolutely beautiful inside with its fresco ceiling and breathtaking architecture, and it is also massive. I started by climbing to the top of the Duomo, there is usually a big line of people outside waiting to go in but we purchased our tickets online and the wait was not as long, probably about 15 minutes to get in. When I say climb, I mean it so the most important thing to remember is to wear comfortable clothes and shoes… To reach the top of the Duomo you need to go through 463 steep and uneven steps and come down through those 463 steps again (A great way to get your workout for the day!) so make sure you are comfortable. If you are claustrophobic beware and keep in mind that you’ll be surrounded by people as you climb and will be in confined dark spaces for most of the climb.
Lots of sweats, shortness of breath and 463 steps later, I make it to the top! It was totally worth it! The view was absolutely stunning, you could see the whole city from there even the countryside! Fueled with traveling energy and without taking a break, I head to climb the bell tower. I must say climbing the bell tower was sooo much easier and less confined… I breezed through it and quickly reached the top.
I loved the view from the bell tower, although I couldn’t see as much of the city I got a perfect view of the the Duomo and got some amazing shots of it. After all that climbing I slow things down a little and head over to the Great museum of Florence’s Dome. Here you’ll find beautiful works by artists like Donatello and Andrea Del Castagno and the original door to the Florence Baptistery “Gates of Paradise”. If you visit Florence, climbing the Duomo and bell tower is definitely a must do. You’ll love the view and learn a little more about this charming Italian city.
What I really like about Italy is that it has the best of both worlds: enchanting nature and jaw dropping architecture. By my 5th week I had seen a lot of both, but I had yet to see the country side of Tuscany. I knew I didn’t want to miss out on it so decided to go on a little adventure to a town near Florence named Fiesole. My roommates and I did our research and though we mostly walked everywhere, this time we took a bus to Fiesole (remember to validate your ticket every time you take a bus, train).
A twenty minute bus ride got us to the little charming town of Fiesole and for being only 20 minutes away from Florence it sure was a whole lot different. Fiesole was a very quiet town while Florence was always full of people walking around, music and chatter everywhere. Being in Fiesole was a great break from the big crowds and the city, it felt like home and I got to see the gorgeous country side! Yas!
Fiesole is located high up above Florence so it gave us a gorgeous panorama view of Florence and the hills of Tuscany in the distance making it a beautiful place to relax and unwind. Blooming flowers, local art, scenic views, peace and quiet… Perfection!
My only regret was not finding out about Fiesole earlier so whenever you visit Florence make sure to visit this nearby cute little town!
For more of my travel photography, visit my photography website and check out the travel photography album: https://www.ruthterrerophoto.com/