Climbing to the top of Brunelleschi’s Dome

On a recent trip to Florence I climbed to the top of the Dome. Having read Ross Kings’s book, Brunelleschi’s Dome: The Story of the Great Cathedral in Florence, it was really exciting climbing between the inner and outer shells and seeing the herringbone brickwork pattern, an essential part of Brunelleschi’s construction technique. The final stairs run straight up from the passageway up and over the curve of the dome to the bottom of the lantern.

The views from the top are magnificent. On the way up and when coming back down one walks around the gallery at the level of the base of the cupola. From this point one can see the great Vasari fresco for a really close up view. Alarmingly in the past there wasn’t the Perspex barrier to prevent one toppling from the gallery. That must have made for an interesting experience.