12 February 2016

The Duomo of Florence

The best place to start a tour of Florence is the Duomo. For one thing, it sits pretty much in the center of things and so it makes a great point of reference. While I've never found the interior to be very impressive, the exterior is undeniably stunning.

'Duomo' is the Italian word for cathedral. The actual name of the Duomo is Santa Maria del Fiore (St. Mary of the flowers) and was built between 1294 and 1436. The exterior is paneled in green, pink, and white marble. It wasn't until 1887 that the facade we see, dedicated to the Mother of Christ, was done. I this the only other building I've photographed as much was St. Vitus in Prague. Some might say that the exterior of the Duomo is extravagant and over done but I have to go with 'spectacular'.

We were in Florence over a weekend which meant I needed to go to Mass. And if you have to go to Mass in Florence you might as well go to the Duomo! Especially when you're like me and think all Masses should still be in Latin and you know that the Duomo has a Latin Mass at 10:30 on Sundays. It was so nice to hear that again. I can count on one hand the number of things I miss about DC but Latin Mass at St. Matthew's is one of them. In Istanbul I semi confidently follow Mass in Italian and, weirdly, stumble through Mass when it's in English. I haven't regularly, or purposefully, attended English language Mass in 12 years. Also I take linguistic exception to some of the new translations.


As with St. Peter's you can buy a ticket to visit the dome, which L and I didn't do. Stairs. A shame as I'm sure the view of the city would be amazing. Frankly though every time we passed the Duomo I was stunned all over by the exterior and couldn't even contemplate the view.

I feel like even if I hadn't seen anything else while in Florence the time I got to spend admiring this amazing building would still have made it worth the trip. L said that it "kicks the ass of Milan's Duomo". I've never been to Milan so I'll have to take her word on that; but it really rather does kick the ass out of the majority of churches I've seen I rather suspect she's right.

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