It’s Labour day here today in Firenze and most places are closed. All except churches. Which is great for us as we head straight for the famous Basilica of Santa Maria del Fiore.

Duomo, Bapistry & Campanile

Getting there just in time as the line up is again nice and short but in minutes the line grew another 30 people.  Within 15 minutes we are inside the cool interior of the Duomo enjoying a break from the hot sun. The interior is stunning as all the churches are here in Italy so far.

Basilica of Santa Maria del Fiore interior towards altar

Walking out the side door of the Duomo you come out just behind the Giotto’s Campanile. Only two people were ahead of us but the wait was a little longer than we initially thought as you had to wait for people to come down from the tower before more could be let up. Soon we were on our way up the 441 steps to the top of the tower. There are a couple of stops along the way where the stairs open up to one of the platform levels. Views of the dome and the city beyond and amazing.

Basilica of Santa Maria del Fiore

Taking in the views from all sides of the tower is quite awe-inspiring but eventually one must head back down to the ground and join reality once more. We decided to wander the streets and find the famous Ponte Vecchio before heading out for dinner. Originally butcher shops and fish mongers lined this semi-covered bridge before Ferdinando I banned them from the bridge possibly due to the smell. Goldsmiths subsequently took over making it cleaner and more elegant.

Ponte Vecchio from the Ponte Santa Trinita

The Ponte Vecchio is always packed with people but to get a good view of the bridge you can go to one of the other bridges to take a nice shot as the sun comes up or goes down,