What will I see?
This tour of the Great Museum of the Cathedral will take you through more than 1500 years of Florentine history, and it encompasses all of the stunning landmarks in the Piazza del Duomo. It's the perfect way to enrich your understanding of Florence's religious center, and see its architecture in an entirely new light.
What will I do?
Guided by a qualified art historian, you'll first visit the Baptistery dedicated to St. John, the patron saint of Florence. The 11th century octagonal Baptistery is one of the oldest buildings in Florence, and it is home to the dazzling gilded mosaics that decorate the dome and the spectacular women's gallery – the Matroneo. The outer facade of the building is built with Carrara and Prato marble, and it is host to beautiful doors, including copies to two known as the Gates of Paradise. We'll visit the original 'Gates of Paradise', which depict biblical scenes in beautiful gilded panels created by Lorenzo Ghiberti, inside the Opera del Duomo Museum.
As we leave the Baptistery, our tour proceeds to Giotto's bell tower (exterior), which is covered in multicolored marble and graced with a base decorated with a fabulous figurative cycle. As you gaze skyward toward the iconic Brunelleschi's Dome (exterior), your guide will reveal the secrets of this celebrated and majestic structure, the tallest and widest dome of the period and a city icon known the world over.
Inside the magnificent Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore itself, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture and the third largest church in the world, you can admire the beautiful frescoes by Vasari and Zuccari that adorn the inside of the Dome, as well as one of the world's most important stained glass window cycles, created by the greatest artists of the early Renaissance. There are also magnificent works by Baccio Bandinelli, Benedetto da Maiano, Luca Della Robbia, Lorenzo Ghiberti, Andrea Del Castagno and many others.
Our tour continues with a visit to the spectacular Opera del Duomo Museum, where the greatest treasures from the monuments of the great Duomo complex are housed. We'll see a 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 gaze upon the Pietà del Duomo, sculpted by Michelangelo, and Donatello's Penitent Magdalene. We'll admire the beauty of the Altar of St. John, a silver masterpiece, and other magnificent works by the greatest medieval and Renaissance artists of Florence. A few steps from the cathedral square, you will be offered a delicious taste of Chianti wine and cheese with balsamic vinegar to conclude the tour.
Your ticket to the monuments of the Duomo is also valid for 72 hours, giving you access to the Santa Reparata Crypt and the Giotto's bell tower, from which you can enjoy spectacular views of the city at your leisure.
Why should I go?
This is a unique opportunity to enjoy an exceptional cultural experience and to get up close with the monuments of Florence's religious center.
We'll explore an area that hosts a concentration of medieval and Renaissance art unlike any in the world, including treasures that have enchanted artists and art lovers for centuries.
• Check-in and Meeting Point: at 11:45am.
- Until October 2019 at Piazza San Giovanni 19 red, in front of the Scudieri Café.
- From November 2019 at Piazza San Giovanni 7, internal courtyard of Antica Canonica di San Giovanni
An assistant waits for you wearing blue clothing with Caf Tour & Gray Line Florence logos.
No penalty for cancellations up to 48 hours in advance of the schedule departure time. Less than 48 hours and in case of no show, 100% of penalty