Skip the Line Florence Duomo Tour and Dome Climb with Secret Terraces

Climb Brunelleschi's famous dome for unforgettable views of Florence from the secret terraces

Travel Flexibly 4.3 / 5 See All 7 Reviews · 1.50h 15 max · Florence, Italy

Looking for a VIP Duomo experience? How about gazing out over Florence from the top of its most famous building? This small group tour lets you skip the line and explore all corners of this incredible cathedral with an expert local guide, including secret terraces that were off-limits for centuries. You’ll also be treated to a true once-in-a-lifetime experience, as you climb the Duomo’s famous dome for a simply perfect view across Florence.

Tour Details
  • VIP dome climb tour
  • The Piazza del Duomo
  • Exclusive skip-the-line access
  • Explore the Cathedral of Florence
  • See the Last Judgement frescoes up close
  • Secret Terraces and Circular Room access
  • Brunelleschi's epic dome
  • Simply the best views of Florence!

Your tour begins in the famous Piazza del Duomo—home to some of Florence’s most historic buildings and the Duomo itself. Your expert Florentine guide will share stories of the square’s history as you prepare to enter the Cathedral of Florence, where your skip-the-line tickets will get you straight past the sometimes hours-long line.

Once inside, you’ll be blown away by the Gothic architecture and incredible frescoes that cover the ceiling. After exploring the main part of the Duomo, you’ll have VIP access to the impressive Circular Room, and on to the once-hidden secret terraces. Finally, you’ll climb the steps to Brunelleschi's iconic dome roof for the very best views of Florence.

Florence Duomo Terraces Tour Description

Your 1.5-hour tour includes:

  • Skip-the-line Florence Duomo tickets

  • Special access to the Secret Terraces and Exclusive Circular Room

  • Fun, knowledgeable, English-speaking guide

  • Dome climb to the top of the Cupola

  • Maximum group size of 15

Meet Your Guide in Piazza del Duomo

The adventure begins in Piazza del Duomo. Home to the Duomo of Florence, Baptistery of Saint John, and Giotto's Bell Tower, the square is the heart of Florentine history. Your guide will describe the importance of the complex as you head towards the cathedral entrance, where your skip-the-line tickets will allow you to start exploring without the usual long wait.

The Duomo di Firenze, Florence Cathedral

Completed in 1436, the great Gothic Cathedral is one of the world's most unique and impressive churches. Originally clad in the medieval wooden style, the church's façade was deemed obsolete within decades of its opening. Your guide will tell fascinating stories about the immense scandal involving the Medici family, Popes, and famous architects that led to an incomplete façade for centuries. Listen to the saga and appreciate the modern façade of white, green, and red marble that adorns the dome today.

Within the vast interior of the church, you'll first be struck by the huge frescoes of the Last Judgement that cover the cupola's ceiling. You'll see these impressive paintings up close when you have ascended to the top of the dome. Other parts of the cathedral are more simple such as the white colors of the nave symbolizing piety and religious devotion.

Exclusive Areas

After you've discovered the main part of the Duomo, it's time to visit the places the general public don't get to see. First, you'll enter the exclusive Circular Room, where the 16th-century statues that used to be part of the cathedral's façade are stored. Next you'll visit the secret terraces that were closed off to the public for hundreds of years, and many Florentines never even knew they existed! From here, you'll get a close-up view of the details that make the Duomo such an impressive piece of architecture. And of course, you'll also get a tremendous view of the city below.

Brunelleschi's Dome

During the 14th and 15th centuries, Florentine architects had a major issue to solve. They had to enclose the top of their cathedral without the use of the flying buttresses that had become commonplace in European construction. In Florence, the buttresses were seen as horribly ugly and therefore banned from being used in the city.

With this handicap and the lack of modern engineering tools, Filippo Brunelleschi's dome becomes even more impressive. Standing nearly 500 feet in the air, and constructed of layers of dome structures, you'll learn the story how the dome came to be.

Dome Climb

Finally, you'll climb to the top of the dome with your expert guide. As you near the top of the cupola, admire the frescoes across the dome ceiling. Painted by Giorgio Vasari beginning in 1568 and completed by Federico Zuccari a decade later, it's natural to compare these frescoes to Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel.

Accessed via the exclusive Circular Room and secret terraces—which are only available as part of this tour—the dome climb is a truly unforgettable experience. As you reach the summit, take in the incredible panorama of Florence surrounding. With a 360-degree view, you'll see the epic beauty of the Renaissance capital in all its glory.

What you get with this tour
Skip-the-line Florence Duomo tickets
Special access to the Secret Terraces and Exclusive Circular Room
Dome climb to the top of the Cupola
Fun, knowledgeable, English-speaking guide
Maximum group size of 15
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7 total reviews

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4.4/5 (based on 7 reviews)
5 stars
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3 stars
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1 stars
Incredible Knowledge
16 September 2022
T
Reviewed by
Teresa Blanco

I feel bad that I did not take note of our tour guide’s name…. But, she was beyond knowledgeable… I mean she gave us more than enough information throughout the entire tour… she was find and friendly and answered all of our questions… she was so patient when someone in our group wandered away… my respects to The Tour Guide… If I could buy a T-shirt from the tour guide I would and I will help advertise throughout the year. Great job and I thank you sincerely for making our experience memorable.

Could have been condensed into a 30min experience
15 September 2022
D
Reviewed by
Dylan Giannakopoulos

To start, the secret terraces were fantastic, however as that only makes up a small portion of the tour, it wasn’t enough to save it. Our host was for the most part good, but it often felt like she was trying to kill time and pad out the tour. A lot of the time was spent telling us how we could come back in 72 hours and visit various aspects of the duomo and where to enter. Whilst this was helpful at first, I’m not kidding when I say this made up half the tour. Lastly, despite the event starting late, we actually finished very early, roughly 20mins. I’ve gone on a lot of The Tour Guy tours, but this was unfortunately the most underwhelming tour I have done with them. My advise to the host is to either shorten the advertised length of the tour or restructure the event to include more points of interest that the guide can discuss.

11 August 2022
R
Reviewed by
Rakan Al-Qubbaj

show more reviews

Frequently Asked Questions

Where to meet?

Just a short walk away from the Duomo itself, in front of the Ciao Florence office on Via Cavour, 12 Black. A friendly representative will be waiting with a company sign.

What to bring?

Some water and comfortable shoes! Since this is a religious site, you'll also need clothing that covers your shoulders and knees.

What to bring?

Some water and comfortable shoes! Since this is a religious site, you'll also need clothing that covers your shoulders and knees.

Where to meet?

Just a short walk away from the Duomo itself, in front of the Ciao Florence office on Via Cavour, 12 Black. A friendly representative will be waiting with a company sign.

What to wear?

Since this is a religious site, you'll need clothing that covers your shoulders and knees. We understand the summers in Florence can be hot, so think light trousers or long skirts. A great alternative is to bring a shawl/scarf/sweater with you. That way you can cover your knees and shoulders when necessary.

What if I have concerns about my mobility?

This is a walking tour, and the steps to reach the top of the dome are very steep. We wouldn't recommend this tour for people with mobility issues or severe vertigo. If you have concerns about your mobility, consider a Private Florence Tour as this can be more easily tailored to your needs.

Total: $98.01

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$98.01 / per person
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