Plan Your Own Trip
Watch the VideoNatGeo’s TVG Special: The Great Cathedral Mystery. The video is a little over the top in typical NatGeo style, but it kept our interest and inspired us to learn more.
Visit the DomeYou can see the done from just about anywhere in Florence. We especially love the view from Piazza Michelangelo, the adjacent Giotto’s Bell Tower, and the ground in front of the cathedral. It’s really fun to climb the dome. You’re all-in-one ticket to the Grande Museo del Duomo allows entrance to the cupola (dome), Giotto’s Bell Tower, museum, baptistery, and Santa Reparata (the original church that the current church is built on top of). Read about our must-see museums in Florence, including this one. The cathedral is free. € 15.00 for adults € 3.00 for kids 6-12 Buy a ticket online or at the museum and you MUST make a reservation to climb the dome after purchasing your ticket. You should make a reservation to climb the tower and visit the museum, because, why wait in line? The ticket allows entrance to each site one time in the 48 hours after you first use your ticket.
Visit the ModelWe walked upstream along the Arno to find Massimo Ricci’s 1/5 model of the dome in Anconella Park. On Google Maps it’s called Albereta. From the Ponte Vecchio, it is a 4 km walk each way. You can also take the bus. There are no bathrooms at the park or anywhere nearby that we could find. Although, that might be different in summer.
Read About the DomeThere are several books about the il Duomo’s dome and every guidebook to Florence writes about it. Here are our two favorites. Pippo the Fool by Tracey Fern. This children’s book explores the contest held to decide who would build the great dome atop Florence’s cathedral. Filippo Brunelleschi, better known in Florence as Pippo the Fool, knew he had a chance of winning. Brunelleschi’s Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture by Ross King This is the “grown-up version” of Pippo the Fool. Same story, more details. Brunelleschi’s Dome is the story of how a Renaissance genius bent men, materials, and the very forces of nature to build an architectural wonder we continue to marvel at today.
Of course, it’s not just the dome. Through the process, we learned about Renaissance architecture, art, engineering, artists, and got to explore a part of Florence we might not have seen had we not been on a mission. Il Duomo’s Dome taught us a lot. Learning about Brunelleschi’s Dome was just one of the fun things to do in Florence with kids that made us love this town. You’ll also want to look for some of Florence’s famous street art as you are walking between dome locations.
Other Posts to Help You Plan Your Trip to Italy
- Best Books Set in Italy
- Alta Via 2 – Hiking in the Dolomites
- Things to Do in Ortisei (Val Gardena) Dolomites
- Venice Itinerary
- Best Things to Do in Sorrento
- Rome Itinerary
- Best Italian Cocktails
- Fun Facts About Italian Food and Culture
- Rent a Bike in Tuscany
- Cinque Terre with Kids
- Day Trips from Florence to Cinque Terre
- Must See Museums in Florence
- Worldschooling il Duomo’s Dome
- Things to Do in Florence Italy with Kids
- Florence Street Art
- Day Hike Near Florence: Fiesole
- First Impressions of Florence, Italy