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Photo credit Nick Fewings and Ariel Leek

Climbing the Florence Duomo

It was a perfect mid-summers day in Florence and at least a million degrees (okay, around 30, but I’m Scottish!), and we crazily decided to tackle the 460 something steps that stood between us and the top of the Florence Duomo. Whilst waiting in the shaded queue to begin our climb it didn’t seem too hot, but once we got to the front and started the first 30-or-so steps, boy was it warm.

Everyone who visits Florence admires the green, pink and white marbled exterior of the Duomo, but not enough people take the time to go inside. From the interior balcony on the climb to the top of the Duomo, you are treated to an amazing view of the paintings on the roof. These paintings are so intricate and precise which made me marvel at the sheer size of the project. And the balcony to view these beautiful paintings also serves as a really good resting spot on your ascent up the steps!

From there, there’s at least another gazillion steps. Or that’s what it feels like anyway. The stone steps are uneven, having been constructed in the 15th century and walked upon by many thousands, if not millions of people since. The passageway is narrow, cramped and dark. The closer you get to the top, the smaller the corridor becomes. At times, if someone is coming down you have to flatten yourself into a space in the stone in order to let them pass. This also proves to be another good spot to rest as you politely offer to let someone pass. It makes you look good and stops you from potentially dying-winner!

I knew I was approaching the summit of what felt like Everest when I began to see laser bright sunlight pouring in. By this time my legs were weak and I was boiling. This view better be worth it, I thought.

I wasn’t disappointed.

The top of the Duomo offers panoramic 360-degree views of the entire city. If my breath hadn’t been taken away by the climb to the top, it certainly was by the view. I stayed up there for ages partly admiring the views, but also recovering from the climb.

On the way up I had the view to look forward to and on the way down, only 463 steep and uneven steps stood between me and a well-deserved gelato!

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