The Cathedral Square, also known as Piazza del Duomo is a good place to start exploring the magical city of Florence. This charming square allows you to admire all the main attractions like the Cathedral Of Santa Maria Del Fiore, Museo Dell’Opera Del Duomo, Baptistery of St. John, and more.
Are you ready to immerse yourself in the city’s rich history? Browse through our guide to make the most of your time in Piazza del Duomo!
Places To Visit In Piazza Del Duomo, Florence, Italy
Cathedral Of Santa Maria Del Fiore
With a stunning marble facade, Santa Maria del Fiore represents one of the most significant landmarks in Florence. The Brunelleschi dome and the towering Giotto Campanile, along with Battistero, form the complex of the Cathedral of Florence. What’s particularly remarkable is the massive dome designed by Filippo Brunelleschi. Its size completely dominates the city’s skyline!
For many centuries it was the largest dome in the world, and it still is the biggest brick dome ever built. Plus, the gorgeous structure is a mixture of many styles. At first, it was constructed as a basilica with Roman and Byzantine design elements. These forms were later modified to the Classical Antiquity forms that inspired Renaissance architects.
Museo Dell’Opera Del Duomo
Founded in 1296, the Opera was used to oversee the construction of the Duomo Cathedral square and the bell tower. Since 1436 when the cathedral was finished, the Opera del Duomo’s primary responsibility has been to preserve monuments like the Baptistery of San Giovanni (St. John).
To house the artworks that had been taken from the Duomo and the Baptistery over centuries, the Museum was finally established in 1891. It holds magnificent works of art by Michelangelo, Donatello, Arnolfo di Cambio, Luca della Robbia, Lorenzo Ghiberti, and many others.
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Baptistery of St. John
The octagonal baptistery is nestled across the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and the Giotto’s bell tower (Giotto’s Campanile). It was built on the ruins of a Roman structure and is a well-known example of Tuscan Romanesque architecture. Some experts claim it dates back to the 11th century while others think it was originally an early Christian structure later reconstructed.
This baptistery is an important building to the city because its residents, along with the Medici family and Dante Alighieri, were baptized here until the 18th century. In Divine Comedy, Dante refers to it as “my beautiful San Giovanni”.
The Bronze Doors
Speaking of the St. John Baptistery, we have to mention the Bronze Doors on the east side of the structure. Often called the Gates of Paradise, these doors are a breathtaking piece of art by Lorenzo Ghiberti.
He followed a similar design to Andrea Pisano who created the south doors on the baptistery but added more details and liveliness in his relief work. Ghiberti also made the north doors with stunning Christ among the Doctors panel and golden details.
Loggia Del Bigallo
Loggia del Bigallo can be found between Piazza San Giovanni and Via Calzaiuoli. Constructed in the 14th century by Alberto Arnoldi, this medieval building was a place for children waiting for adoption. The highlight of the structure is represented by two arches with gorgeous paintings inside. They were created after the original construction, between 1353 and 1358.
Important: The Museo del Bigallo is temporarily closed, but you can view the Loggia structure from the outside
The entrance to Duomo Cathedral is free, but you need a ticket to climb up the Brunelleschi Dome, the bell tower, and to enter the Baptistery and the Museum. Brunelleschi Pass is €30 for adults and €12 for children (7-14 years old), Giotto Pass is €20 for adults and €7 for children, and Ghiberti Pass is €15 for adults and €5 for children.
To view the interior of these monuments, you can also join a guided tour including skip-the-line Duomo tours and small group tours. If you’d like to go on your own, rent an audio guide for a better experience.
What are the main monuments in Piazza del Duomo, Florence?
- Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
- Baptistery of St. John
- Museum of Opera of Saint Maria of Fiore
- Loggia del Bigallo
Why is Piazza del Duomo so important?
The incredible architecture of Duomo Cathedral, Giotto’s Campanile, and The Bronze Doors were way ahead of their time and helped kick off the beginning of the renaissance in Italy.
How to dress while visiting the Florence Cathedral?
You’re not allowed to enter the cathedral with sandals, sunglasses, or exposed shoulders and knees.
What are other beautiful squares near Piazza del Duomo, Florence?
- Piazza della Signoria
- Piazza Santa Maria Novella
- Piazza Santa Croce
- Piazza Santo Spirito
- Piazza Santissima Annunziata
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