The Dome is an absolute masterpiece of art that enchants the world since its creation: it is the symbol of Florence, of the Renaissance and of humanism in general.
With its 45.5 meters of diameter and a total height of more than 116 meters, the dome is the largest masonry vault in the world and was built between 1420 and 1436 by Filippo Brunelleschi, following the project he presented in the competition launched by the Opera in 1418. The Cathedral of Florence was consecrated by Pope Eugene IV on 25 March 1436.
Brunelleschi's major innovation was to built the Dome without a supporting structure. The Dome consists of two distinct domes: one internal, more than two meters thick, with a deeper angle than the other and consisting of large arches held together by ribs and made of bricks arranged in a "herringbone" pattern. The external dome is covered with terracotta tiles and marked by eight white marble ribs.
The oculus of the Dome is surmounted by the large lantern: a 21 meter high white marble tower, which was built after the death of the artist (1446) but following Brunelleschi’s project. On the top is the golden copper ball with apical cross, work by Andrea del Verrocchio, placed there in 1471.
More than one hundred years later - between 1572 and 1579 - the internal vault of the Dome was painted by Giorgio Vasari and Federico Zuccari with an enormous Last Judgment, partly inspired by the mosaics of the Baptistery: the largest mural in the world.
In compliance with the obligations of Articles 15 paragraph 1 letter a), and 18 paragraph 1 letters h) and z) Law No 81 / April 9, 2008 regarding the protection of health and safety in the workplace
IT IS FORBIDDEN TO STAY OR STOP TEMPORARILY IN THE FOLLOWING PLACES: connecting stairs, both uphill and downhill; in the sections: from the "Porta della "Mandorla" entrance to the first balcony, including the balcony; between the aforementioned balcony and the panoramic terrace; from the second balcony, included, to the "Porta dei Canonici" exit.
Brunelleschi's astonishingly innovative approach involved vaulting the dome space without any scaffolding by using a double shell with a space in between. The inner shell (with a thickness of more than two metres) is made of light bricks set in a herringbone pattern and is the self-supporting structural element while the outer dome simply serves as a heavier, wind-resistant covering. The dome is crowned by a lantern with a conical roof, designed by Brunelleschi but only built after his death in 1446, while the gilt copper sphere and cross on top of the lantern, containing holy relics, was designed by Andrea del Verrocchio and installed in 1466.
The inner shell of the dome was frescoed by Giorgio Vasari and Federico Zuccari from 1572 to 1579, the subject matter chosen, namely the Last Judgement, reflecting the iconography adopted in the baptistry. The frescoes on the inner shell of the dome were the object of a thorough restoration between 1978 and 1994.
The Dome can only be accessed on a contingent basis with one of our companions or guides, following the restricted rhythms of the slot and not independently. No lift is available and there are many steps. The climb is not recommended for people with a heart condition or suffering from dizziness and claustrophobia. Bulky backpacks and bags are not allowed. No cloakroom available. It is possible to reserve free admission for the person with difficulties, by writing to the email email@example.com or by contacting the cash desk in Piazza Duomo 14, subject to availability, against a certification document. Any gratuity for the companion is subject to further considerations. For privacy reasons, the email conversation will be deleted. For any paying people to match, we kindly ask you to make the purchase online.