LomoTravels: Relishing Florence Day 1 / Tower Climbing At Duomo

Dragging ourselves out of bed early and eating takeaway breakfast prepared with love by Massimo was quite the bittersweet ending to our time in Rome. Saying goodbye can turn out to be pretty stressful too. Tackling the morning metro crowd, navigating the unfamiliar Termini station and having to constantly check for the train’s arrival.

Once on board, it was fairly straightforward. Look for seat, store luggage, sit and wait for train conductor to collect tickets. Before you know it, the stress returns and you’re scrambling to buy bus tickets and searching high and low for the right bus stop.

Stepping inside the historic center of Florence, we realised that Florence is quite a different kettle of fish. The roads are easier on the feet, the pace is a bit less rushed and its winds a little bit biting.

Lunch was takeaway sandwiches from I Fratellini which was yummy and easy to order. After satisfying out tummies, we dived straight into the Duomo.

Duomo#1 POW! | LC-A+ RL | Lucky 200
Ok, maybe this is not as powerful as the title sounds, but the actual scene was quite a sight to behold. Masses of people just crowding around, trying their darnedest to capture the Duomo from all sorts of angle and distance.

The name Duomo does not solely apply to this specific monument. In fact, it actually refers to an Italian cathedral. There is a Siena Duomo and a Pisa Duomo which we both got to visit later on. For the Florence Duomo, it comprises of the cathedral itself (Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore), a museum, a baptistry, and a bell tower (Giotto’s Bell Tower).

Being the value conscious travelers that we were, we bought the combination tickets which granted us entry to all of these, including access up both the Duomo’s iconic cupola and its bell tower.

Duomo dome#2 When There’s a Dome | LC-A+ RL | Lucky 200
You can bet your sweet ass there are gonna be frescoes! And if you wanna take a closer look, you gotta climbbbbbbbbb!!!

And climb we did. But before that we had to join this moderate but frustratingly slow moving queue outdoors. As a Singaporean, I believed my in born tolerance level for queuing is Master class and would stand me in good stead for this queue. However, the weather and my sunshine loving skin were conspiring to break our spirit much faster than I’d anticipated.

So we finally got indoors and yet when you start climbing, you would wish you weren’t even indoors to start with.

at the Duomo cupola#3 Brrrr | LC-A+ RL | Lucky 200
That’s what climbing countless flight of stairs through narrow stairways can do to you.

Giotto's Bell Tower#4 Giotto’s | LC-A+ RL | Lucky 200 | BUY IT!
Well, at least we got treated to an awesome view of Giotto’s Bell Tower.

view of Florence from Duomo#5 Dwarfed | LC-A+ RL | Lucky 200
And that’s about it…

sad face#6 :[ | Fisheye Baby 110 | Lomo B&W Orca 100
Probably explains the face. Just kidding! It’s the weather getting to us. I think.

Duomo Baptistry bronze doors#7 Oh Para Paradise | Fisheye Baby 110 | Lomo B&W Orca 100
So we’re back down on ground level after climbing down some 400 plus steps. No biggie. Found ourselves at the East Doors of the baptistry which were splendidly coined as the Gates of Paradise. The original doors are actually kept in the Duomo museum for preservation.

Florence Duomo baptistry ceiling#8 Golden | LC-A+ RL | Lucky 200 | BUY IT!
The perfect way to rest? Sat on the benches of the Baptistry resting you head and looking up at the awesome ceiling. A different style to the decorations we were used to seeing in Rome. I believe it’s called Byzantine style. *Gives a smug know-it-all face while twirling an imaginary mustache*

Then it’s off to the museum for a round of exhibits and the history behind the cathedral’s dome and facade. Not forgetting a close up look of the original Gates of Paradise, which ironically received little fanfare compared to the replicas.

Finally, the time came for us to confront the climb up Giotto’s Tower. Don’t remember much of the queue which meant it must have been quite straightforward.

Inside Giotto's Campanile#9 Falling | LC-A+ RL | Lucky 200 | BUY IT!
Nearing the top of the bell tower where the bells are located, one can look downwards and freak yourself out by seeing how high up you are.

Florence Duomo dome#10 Dome | LC-A+ RL | Lucky 200
A view of the Duomo dome designed by Brunelleschi. Check out the little people crowded round near the top of the dome.

Florence Duomo#11 The Duomo | Superheadz UWS | Lomo Redscale XR 50-200
Hung around the top of the bell tower until it felt like we got our money’s and energy’s worth. And then it’s goodbye Duomo!

Off we went hunting for reinforcements against the chilly weather and a simple dinner. I must say it seemed that the food I had in Florence have a slight edge to those we had in Rome. Somehow, it felt like the ingredients used were fresher. Probably supplied from the nearby Tuscan countryside?


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