Florence has my heart

I’ve often heard people say that they were ‘blown away’ by a city or country or that they fell utterly in love with somewhere and I’d never quite understood it because I’d never experienced it myself. Until now.

I’m lucky to have travelled quite a bit and been to many beautiful places and I find it hard to fall ‘in love’ with somewhere. I can’t find the words to explain it eloquently but of course I can appreciate the beauty and culture of a place but I’m not necessarily mesmerised or in awe. But that changed last night.

We landed in Florence at around 7pm and after a quick shower at our hotel, the absolutely stunning Four Seasons, we headed out for dinner. We decided to walk to the restaurant, Buca Lapi, which took us past the Duomo (Florence’s Cathedral).

I have only ever seen the Duomo in pictures that seem to be a panorama of Florence, where it mainly focuses on the dome, so when I was walking past it I could not get over the size of it. It is huge! It is also so intricate in its design. I was actually speechless. I couldn’t stop looking at it. I almost had to pick my jaw up off the floor.

The Duomo at night

The Duomo at night

The Duomo Florence

The Baptistry of the Duomo, Florence

The Duomo at night

The Duomo at night

I thought if this looks this amazing at night, just imagine what it looks like during the day! I must say, I was also surprised by how quiet it was. There was hardly anyone around, which was lovely. Even though we are tourists ourselves in Florence, it’s refreshing when a huge tourist attraction is actually free of them!

So in the morning, we headed back to the Duomo and purchased our tickets (€15 each). They are valid for 24 hours from the first point of entry but you can only enter each area once. We started in the Baptistry, which is a separate building. The ceiling is stunning! You cannot imagine how anyone could actually paint it. Outside, at the North Doors, the door is made of 28 bronze panels, which took Lorenzo Ghiberti 21 years to create. It is a historical work of art too as historians believe that it’s the first proper Renaissance work.

The ceiling in the Baptistry in Florence

The ceiling in the Baptistry in Florence

The ceiling in the Baptistry in Florence

We then went into the Duomo itself and walked around. We also explored under the Duomo, where there are lots of relics that were discovered. After that, we decided to climb up to the dome. Wow. Little did we know just how many steps there were! Some are really steep too and it can feel quite claustrophobic at times so it’s not for the faint-hearted. But when you reach the top? The most fabulous panoramic views over Florence.

The views from the top of the Duomo


Views from top of the Duomo

The red rooftops of Florence

The red rooftops of Florence

The steep climb was certainly worth it! Unfortunately what goes up, must come down. At least the decent was a bit easier although going down flights of very narrow spiral stairs did make us a bit dizzy.

As our tickets are still valid until around 11:30 tomorrow, we will tackle the Campanile (the tower), in the morning.

Florence, you have my heart. I’m already planning my return even though we still have two nights here!


  1. February 29, 2016 / 4:54 pm

    Nice post! I can totally understand why this happened to you in Florence…it’s such a great city, full of culture and history, I love the buildings and it’s atmosphere!

    • Kirsty Marrins
      February 29, 2016 / 4:56 pm

      Thanks Jey. It is! We’re already planning a return trip as there is just too much to see in a long weekend.

  2. February 29, 2016 / 5:25 pm

    This is a city that is on my list but never seem to get there. Thank you for the inspiration to keep trying.

    • Kirsty Marrins
      February 29, 2016 / 5:37 pm

      You’re welcome Christine and I hope you get there very soon!

  3. February 29, 2016 / 5:53 pm

    One of our favorite cities in Italy…

  4. February 29, 2016 / 8:39 pm

    Oooh, I’ve never been to Florence. Looks like a magical place!

    • Kirsty Marrins
      February 29, 2016 / 8:47 pm

      Tara, It is absolutely stunning. Honestly, it is pretty much the most amazing city I’ve been too!

  5. March 1, 2016 / 2:41 am

    I loved visiting Florence, and one of my favorite parts was doing the activities included in the Duomo ticket too! I am a little jealous that you got to see the exterior of the Baptistery… it was undergoing renovation when I was there in August/September!

    • Kirsty Marrins
      March 1, 2016 / 6:19 am

      Oh no, don’t you hate it when that happens? We were very lucky in that case!

  6. March 1, 2016 / 3:10 am

    Beautiful pictures! The duomo looks absolutely amazing. I really like going to places with historical and architectural significance.

    • Kirsty Marrins
      March 1, 2016 / 6:20 am

      Thank you. Well, Florence has got an abundance of history and fabulous buildings with architectual significance. Even some of the restaurants we went to had been around since 1880!

  7. March 29, 2016 / 8:37 pm

    Great post. I loved Florence. But for me Paris has my heart x

    • Kirsty Marrins
      March 30, 2016 / 5:21 am

      Well, Paris is certainly a beautiful city too!

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