The tour of the Great Museum of the Cathedral is an extraordinary single 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 Brunelleschi’s Dome, Giotto’s Bell Tower, St. John's Baptistery and the Museum of the Works of the Cathedral. Don't miss the 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 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 beautiful bronze doors, including a copy of the two known as the Gates of Paradise. As you leave the Baptistery, the tour proceeds with the elegant Giotto’s Bell Tower, covered in multi-colored 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.
After a short break to take some pictures, the tour will continue with a visit to the spectacular Opera del Duomo Museum. The greatest treasures from the monuments of the Cathedral complex are all carefully housed in this incredible museum, in an amazing scenic setting. You'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. You'll see the original doors of the Baptistery, including the gilded Gates of Paradise done by Lorenzo Ghiberti. You'll be moved as you gaze upon the Pietà del Duomo sculpted by Michelangelo and the Penitent Magdalene by Donatello. You'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.