Scale the 463 Stairs of the Florence Duomo

Scale the 463 Stairs of the Florence Duomo

Written by Annette White

Topics: BY DESTINATION., Europe, Italy

view from top of Florence DuomoAfter loading up on the essential focaccia carbs at the Mercato Centrale , Peter and I headed to the Florence Duomo, the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiori. A so-called "friend" had told us that climbing to the top of the Duomo was an experience not to be missed.

What he forgot to share was that it was 463…very…steep…stairs to the pinnacle of the Florence Duomo. 

By step number 462 I was thinking about defriending him on Facebook, isn't that what people now do when they believe someone has done them wrong? But, then came step number 463.

Florence's cathedral of Santa Maria de Fiori is hard to miss, not only because of it's stunning architecture, but also because of the droves of tourists taking snapshots within a hundred foot radius.
Florence Duomo doorsAnnette White at Florence Duomo

I briefly worried if entering such a sacred place wearing black knee-high boots and jeans was a sin. But apparently, no one in the near vicinity minded my drab, somewhat hoochie attire and we freely walked into the exquisiteness of the inside cathedral. 

We were both honored to be able to light a candle (1,00 euro) for our grandmothers who had passed on. I was especially touched since Italy was my nonna's native land.
 candles at Florence Duomocandles at Florence Duomo

We looked up inside of the Florence Duomo and this was the masterpiece that awaited. I wanted to touch it. Not weird. Really. I think there is something meaningful about putting my grubby delicate fingers on a 'piece de resistance'.
 ceiling at the Florence Duomo

We paid 8,00 euros each for the soon-to-come agony of scaling the hundreds of stairs. Shouldn't they be paying us? The first 150 were exhilarating. We cursed the next 312. We fell in love on step 463.
  climbing the stairs of the Florence Duomoview from the top of the Florence Duomo

The reward for all of the painful stairs to the top of the Florence Duomo was this bucket list worthy view.
 Annette White at the top of the Florence Duomo

On the way down the same set of stairs, Peter took way-to-much amusement telling each climber passing us that they only had 100 more stairs to go even though there were only fifteen. Boys.

19 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Elle says:

    I am completely in love with Italian architecture.  I love all the details that they put into their now-historic buildings.  It's absolutely incredible.  I can't wait to see it for my own eyes.  Great post my dear :)

  2. Simply Paul says:

    When I went to Canada I went to the top of the CN tower, in a lift I might add not up the stairs! The view at the top was a lot better than I thought it would be, but to be at the top looking down on architecture as stunning as the Italians, there's no comparison.

  3. I have been to the CN tower too, definitely a different view than the Duomo, but still beautiful!

  4. Thanks. The Italian architecture is stunning!

  5. CeCe says:

    I had a sprained ankle so couldn't go up the stairs of the Duomo.  I did go up the Bell Tower in Venice though.  I don't think it was as high, but still stunning!

  6. What a bummer that you had a sprained ankle! I went to Venice too, but missed going up into the Bell Tower. Next time…for both of us.

  7. Stefanie says:

    Ah, I love your pictures! I've done this and it was one of my favorite things in Italy. You were actually smart to wear what you did, because we saw a lot of people get turned away for not being 'covered' enough. They had to go and buy a scarf to cover their shoulders! The worst part to me was when you got to the inside of the dome and had to walk on the tiny walkway with only a short stone rail and plexiglass saving you from death!

  8. Thank goodness I am always cold or else I would have been wearing a tank top!

  9. Kyle says:

    I just bought an apartment on the 8th floor of a building with no elevator, so that would be great practice for me!
    Also, when I was there, I was wearing a red dress, nothing scandalous, but they made me cover up before I went in, haha!

  10. Oh my gosh! No elevator & on the 8th floor! You will definitely be getting your excercise. I have a two-story house and get mad every time I foget something upstairs. LOL!

  11. Carola says:

    Great pictures, and great workout!  Thumbs way up for the two of you.

  12. Miranda says:

    Wow this is an amazing thing to have crossed off. And see walking up and down the stairs just means you can have more gelato. :)

  13. Ha.Ha. I wish I would have thought about that before, because the Gelato is amazing!!

  14. charu says:

    So wonderful that you managed to climb all the stairs –this is the same feeling I had while climbing the Statue Liberty. Firenze is my all time fave city after Rome and London…and the Duomo never gets old.  I hope you managed to stop on the Ponte Vecchio and get some jewelry as a reward!

  15. We did stop by Ponte Vecchio, but I opted for Gelato instead of jewelry…call me crazy ;)

  16. Thomas says:

    Sounds like a difficult task scaling almost 500 stairs but the view was well worth it.  And Peter seems to know how to have some fun I would have done the same thing…lol

  17. It was an absolutely beautiful view and totally worth the pain going up!

  18. Urgh, just the memory of climbing the Duomo in Milan is too much for me – sweatfest!
    Great pics, hope you enjoyed it :)

  19. You described it perfectly…sweatfest!

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