Today we dedicated the morning to visit and ascend, if you will, the Duomo the second largest Cathedral in Europe. You can see the dome at the end of our street here in Florence. It is a dominating presence in town. The streets and the city are like spokes of a wheel emanating from the massive basilica.
We headed out early to beat the mobs and at 8:30 they let us in to begin the climb up 463 steps to the top. There was a lot of huffing and puffing and not much chance to catch your breath but part way up you are dumped onto an interior walkway where you could look down into the church itself and get close up looks at the interior below.
Having caught a second wind we headed up more stairs. It was VERY vertical and every once in awhile you got a glimpse of what the view was going to be like. About two thirds of the way we came upon an area that was cordoned off and hidden by a tarp. Ever the Nosey Rosey I found a small opening and stuck my camera in to see what they were working on. Amazing. Not sure who it is but it’s clearly ancient and in need of restoration!
Onward and upward we went.
Friends we had made in line were huffing right behind us swearing in French. ( Somehow it doesn’t sound so bad coming from a Montreal based Canadian speaking in French, lol). At least I wasn’t alone wondering at the saneness of this climb.
Finally we got to the top and climbed a small ladder onto the exterior of the dome. There we stood overlooking the magnificence that is Florence. Blessed with an early morning sun the city simply sparkled beneath us. Pictures don’t do it justice but I will include a couple anyway.
This first one looks past the bell tower which you can also climb. Fat chance I will do this twice. If you look closely you will see people looking back at you. Up at you I might add.
Florence is a wonderful combination of old and new. If you like history, art, food, wine or fashion this is a city to put on your bucket list. Couple all of tht with the Italian people and their unique exuberence and melodious language and you have a combination that will make for a vacation of a lifetime.
If you are a travel nurse you will have the flexibility to take vacations like this. Get more information on travel nursing jobs and what it takes to get one here.
OK, time to go back down! 463 up and 463 back down. I’ll show you the rest of the basilica later.