The tour of the “Grande Museo del Duomo” (Great Museum of the Cathedral) is a single great itinerary that will take you through more than 1500 years of history, embracing all the monuments on the world-famous Piazza del Duomo: from the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, to the Brunelleschi’s Dome, Giotto’s Bell Tower, the St. John's Baptistery, the Santa Reparata Crypt and the Museum of the Works of the Cathedral.
A unique chance to enjoy a truly exceptional cultural experience in the heart of Medieval and Renaissance Florence, a "tour of marvels" among the monuments of a square that is a concentration of art unlike any in the world.
Your art historian guide will first take you to the Baptistery dedicated to St. John, the Patron Saint of Florence. The Baptistery is one of the oldest buildings in Florence (XI century) and home to the glittering golden mosaics that decorate the dome and a spectacular Matroneo (Women's Gallery). The outer façade is covered in Carrara and Prato marble and is enriched with the beautiful bronze doors, including a copy of the two known as the Gates of Paradise (we'll see the originals inside the “Opera del Duomo” Museum (Museum of the Works of the Cathedral) during the tour).
As we leave the Baptistery, the tour proceeds with the elegant Giotto’s Bell Tower, covered in multi-coloured marble and graced with a base decorated with a fabulous figurative cycle.
The guide will reveal then the secrets of the celebrated majestic Brunelleschi’s Dome, the largest masonry construction ever built, one of the city's icons. Inside the magnificent Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture and the third largest church in the world, you can admire the beautiful frescoes by Vasari and Zuccari adorning the inside of the Dome, one of the world's most important stained glass window cycles created by the greatest artists of the early Renaissance and magnificent works by Baccio Bandinelli, Benedetto da Maiano, Luca Della Robbia, Lorenzo Ghiberti, Andrea Del Castagno and many others.
Our exciting discovery tour will then take us down to the Crypt below the Cathedral to take a step back into the late VI century and uncover the mysteries of the early Christian Church of Santa Reparata, where we'll also see the tomb of the great architect, Filippo Brunelleschi. After a short break to take some pictures and enjoy a refreshment in one of the many coffee or gelato shops on the square, the tour will continue with a visit to the spectacular “Opera del Duomo” Museum. The greatest treasures from the monuments of the great Cathedral Complex are all carefully housed in this incredible Museum, in an amazing scenic setting. We'll see a life-size reconstruction of the Cathedral as it was in the times of Dante Alighieri, as well as the sculptures of Arnolfo di Cambio, Donatello and Nanni di Banco. We'll see the original doors of the Baptistery, including the gilded Gates to Paradise done by Lorenzo Ghiberti. We'll be moved as we gaze upon the Pietà del Duomo sculpted by Michelangelo and the Penitent Magdalene by Donatello. We'll admire the beauty of the Altar of St. John, a stupendous silver masterpiece, and the other magnificent works of art done by the greatest medieval and renaissance artists of Florence. Those who so desire may climb up to the panoramic terrace to admire the grandiose Dome from close up.