To the top of brunellesci's dome.

One of my favorite parts of our trip was climbing to the top of the Florence Duomo.  It is an out of this world view of the city of Florence and a great way to work off all the gelato you are bound to eat throughout the day!

What makes the Florence Duomo so special is that there are no records of how it was actually created.  How did they get all those heavy materials up there?  I would not have wanted to be one of the lucky guys working up top without safety lines!  Brunelleschi designed two domes.  One interior dome, where the frescoes are painted, and another exterior dome, held in place by vertical ribs and a heavy cupola at the top.  Our final destination!

The outside of the cathedral is all green, pink, and white marble.  They are in the process of restoring it to make it sparkle again.  I will have to get back to see it once they finish.

I have to be honest, the inside of the cathedral was not as ornate as I expected.  Maybe it was because I was too busy paying more attention to eating the panino I snuck in from the gaurds... The inside of the dome was beautiful, though, with a huge fresco of judgement day.  Once you climb high enough, you can actually reach out and touch the old frescoes!  It's wild!  You can see people walking around the dome up really high to get to the very top outside.  (See them?  They are on both platforms, below and above the round windows.)

Before going up, here are some great views from the outside.

Fun fact #1:  Less than 1 hundred years ago, the gold ball that sits on top of the cupola actually fell off!  Luckily, no one was hurt.


Fun fact #2: Michelangelo was originally commissioned to carve "David" for the top of the Duomo's cupola to symbolize the ideal Florentinian man!  It now stands proud on display at the Academia.

Fun fact #3:  Brunellesci built a cafe bar at the top to help get workers through the day!  Of course, it's gone now.

Great pic of my Dad!

Here we go!  Starting the climb up the stairs!

Remember I was writing about the double dome?  Well, this is the steep climb between the two.  Can another say claustrophobia!?

We made it to the top!

Another favorite shot.

"Are you thinking what I'm thinking?"
"Yes! Time for another gelato!"