Il Duomo, Italy

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Il Duomo is a big dusty old church built around 700 years ago and is the pride and glory of the Tuscany region of Italy. The marble gargoyles and saints that line the church are immaculate and while I was sitting in a cafe right across the street I learned more about how the actual dome of the church was created. It was then I was confident enough, in the long gone architects work, that climbing it should be relatively safe.

Oh boy was I wrong!

To find the ticket booth for the climb is a journey of its own.  The booth is a set of doors located in the buildings to the left, if you are facing the front.  The small sign is not enough, especially when you are unfamiliar with the language.  After purchasing our tickets, we proceeded to the Ill Duomo.  We were not the only ones, obviously.   Then we waited in line for about an hour to enter the Ill Duomo.  Painfully moving a few feet every minute.  It was not until we got in the staircase that I realized why the line moved so slowly.  The staircase itself is about 2 feet wide and rather stuffy.

**If you are claustrophobic or afraid of heights this is not the climb for you**.

My friend Christian, had a not so great time and was disoriented by the onset claustrophobia, assult of  body odor, awkward staircases, and stopping on the unlit dark stone steps for upwards of 5 minutes at a time.  I on the other hand was having the time of my life.  It felt so amazing to be climbing this structure older than my own country. Finally we were on the last staircase to the top.   Sadly a British lady smacks her head against the marble ledge climbing down.  Not a great sight for Christian, who was having none of it from the start.  Seven (7) steep steps and BAM!  We were on the largest brick dome in the world.

You can see for miles and miles. Much to the demise of Christian; Small churches on hills, the people walking on the streets below, and even the impressive large churches our room was near, all looked like tiny models.  The 463 steps it took were all worth it.

9/10 highly recommend. Just don’t bring sissy mama friends. :/


Ryan Lake Tahoe


Ryan Joshua Doble – World Traveler