The Duomo of Florence

  Santa Maria del Fiore (Saint Mary of the Flowers) or the Duomo of Florence as its worldly known is beyond massive and there truly isn't a photo that can do its justice. If you're planning on visiting Florence then I highly recommend purchasing the Firenze Card which will allow you to pass through the lines of major attractions like the Duomo. My trip was in early September and no matter what you read online about the weather just add 10 degrees. September in Florence is hot and humid and however you can find a way to stay out of the sun, out of the lines then do it!! Saves you time and energy…especially since the Duomo requires you to climb over 400 steps.
The detail and craftsmanship that went into this is dome is unheard of for today, let alone during the 12th century. Brunelleschi, the man that made this dome a reality was the only one to figure out how it can be built. His engineering has stood hurricanes and earthquakes, severe winds and rain. The building is amazing in every sense of the word. When walking into the cathedral you get a rush of how big it truly is and how small we are.. the photo below shows circular windows at the top of the photo, there are 2 platforms above and below those windows, we will be heading that way...
 The staircase is the exact one used back in history. Its extremely narrow and you're basically walking within the walls of the cathedral. I don't remember any windows before reaching the first platform but I do remember feeling very stuffy and HOT!! remember, narrow, many people with different levels of perspiration and you're climbing in a circular manner. It can get dizzy real quick! I can't imagine how it was down and tolerated with only lanterns and fire torches for light...
 When we got to the first platform walkabout it was a beautiful site down. again the walkway was narrow and we still had many stairs to climb but you were able to stop for a little while and look up at the beautiful fresco the Last Judgement designed by Giorgio Vasari and Federico Zucchari . The fresco has one side heaven and the other with images of hell culminated in a nasty looking devil.
 After looking at the fresco its time to keep on keeping on. back up stairs but there were windows for air and apparently wishes..

and awesome messages...
 The closer you get to the top the steeper the stairs get. Since its the original pathway you can very well get held up by tourists coming back down. The whole experience to the top is claustrophobic



 I took the photos below when I reached the top platform. it was quite a view and again, how did they do all this back in the day...



When we reached the top I wasn't feeling confident. It was a little too high for me and it is the highest point in all of Florence so the view matches the title. My husband was okay to stand by the ledge, I stayed as close to the center as I could, never taking a hand off the building…ha ha ha




 When we took the hot and humid route back down we quickly needed to have a refreshment. To our luck we found an open table at L'opera Caffe with a view of what we just conquered. I ordered their vegetable soup and when I was finished I ordered another one. I don't know if it was because I had a light breakfast or if it was because I just needed energy from the last activity but I tell you what, that soup was amazing and I have been looking for a traditional Italian soup recipe since...



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