Shared Small-group

Awakening the Duomo: Exclusive early entrance to Cathedral and Brunelleschi's dome

NEW AND EXCLUSIVE EXPERIENCE: THE EVENT OF 2022! Witness the unlatching of the Florence Cathedral, and see the lights go on

Highlights

  • Be the first and only to enter the Cathedral, with the official key-bearer
  • Behold the vaults and ceiling frescoes as they light up
  • Exclusive semi-private guided tour of the Duomo in Florence: no queues, no other visitors (besides your small group of max 15 people)
  • Private English-speaking guide
  • Climb up Brunelleschi’s cupola and watch Florence awaken below
  • Join the locals for breakfast in a historic café

Departure

From MON to SAT at 6.45AM

DURATION

Approx. 2.5 hours

period

JUN to OCT

language

English

Description

Florence’s 11th-century glorious marble Cathedral, crowned by Brunelleschi’s stunning red-tiled cupola (the Duomo rooftop, in Florence), is no doubt one of the city’s most enchanting and evocative landmarks. This exclusive and incredible guided tour of the Duomo, in Florence, to discover Brunelleschi’s art and the other exceptional artistic and architectural masterpieces inside, such as the Florence Duomo’s clock, is definitely a must-see activity.

Yes, you can hardly skip visiting the Duomo of Florence inside, the Duomo rooftop, when in town. But… have you ever thought about what these incredible landmarks look like before throngs of people fill their naves? 

Ever wondered about the moment when the Duomo’s massive door open onto stillness and dormant marvels? 

Imagine what it must feel like to visit the Duomo of Florence when it is still “asleep” and see the lights go on, revealing the dazzling colors. 

Florencetown is pleased to present a unique, brand-new, and peerless guided tour of the Duomo, in Florence.

The Awakening is a VIP semi-private guided tour of the Duomo, in Florence, that allows you to walk into the Cathedral and Baptistery before they rise from their nighttime slumber, and admire them as they awaken!

This uniquely enlightening visit to the Duomo of Florence inside starts at daybreak, with the city still wrapped in a silvery haze, and your guide ready to escort you to the Cathedral. 

Meet the mysterious “chiavigero”, who holds the keys to the Duomo, at the door. Feel the thrill as the key turns in the lock, and the treasure-filled interior comes into view, motionless and encased in shadows. Follow your guide into the Cathedral, breath in the spiritual and historical aura, and get ready to be amazed.

Switching on the lights is one of the key bearer’s most important duties, and among these, those that illuminate the vault. Turn your head up, and catch your breath as you see the light slowly flood the 3600 square meter fresco painted by Giorgio Vasari and Federico Zuccari. See the ornate, vividly colored “Last Judgement”, with the twenty-four elders of the Apocalypse, choirs of angels, and groups of saints coming alive before you.

As the light gets brighter, admire the spectacular Florence Duomo clock, magnificently frescoed by Paolo Uccello, one of the greatest artists of all time. Learn about its bizarre functioning (it goes from sunset to sunrise and the hours are painted counterclockwise!) and history from your guide, and enjoy exploring the rest of the Cathedral.

After enjoying this truly exclusive guided tour of the Duomo of Florence, you still have more to experience... but, first things first: it’s time for a frothy cappuccino or espresso, and a sweet treat!

To make your morning extra special, we planned a delicious breakfast break at a charming, historical café nearby. Join the locals for a typical Italian-style breakfast, standing at the elegant bar while drinking a real Italian coffee.

Finally, walk back to the Duomo for a last, unforgettable, viewing. Access the Cathedral from the Porta Canonici, a special side entrance open exclusively for your party, and get ready for a memorable visit to the Duomo rooftop, in Florence. The Awakening the Duomo Tour includes a guided tour of Brunelleschi’s dome inside! Follow your guide up the steep, fascinating staircase, and, once on top, savor the view and learn about one of the greatest geniuses of all time, Brunelleschi, his art, and how he built the cupola. 

The Awakening is not merely a tour of Florence’s landmarks. It is a mesmerizing once-in-a-lifetime cultural, and spiritual, experience.

Inclusions

  • Exclusive entrance: VIP semi-private tour of the Cathedral
  • Be the first and only to access, at daybreak
  • See the lights go on and illuminate the artwork
  • Private English-speaking guide
  • Skip-the-line entrance to Brunelleschi’s dome
  • Italian breakfast: coffee or cappuccino and pastries

Meeting Point

DUOMO SQUARE, meet our tour leader in front of the main entrance of Florence Cathedral

SEE ON MAPS

Notes

A dress code is required to enter places of worship and selected museums. No shorts or sleeveless tops allowed. Knees and shoulders MUST be covered for both men and women. You may risk refused entry if you fail to comply with these dress requirements.

Comfortable shoes suggested.
Please note the number of steps to reach the top is 463

We regret to inform that this tour is not suitable for guests with wheelchairs or with impaired mobility.
We do not recommend this visit to people with heart pathologies, or people suffering from claustrophobia or dizziness, and pregnant women.

Minors must be accompanied by their parents, parents are responsible for their children.
It is absolutely forbidden to:
- lean over or lean against the balcony railing
- stick out cell phones, cameras or other objects

Rain Policy

This tour runs rain or shine

book now

from 149

EUR 149 p.p.

You may also like

Leonardo's Last Supper Tour

Grandeur and nobility of a masterpiece: the best "once in a lifetime experience" in Milan!

Approx. 1 hour
from 99

Tuscany Grand Tour: Siena, San Gimignano, Chianti and Pisa tour from Florence

The best of Tuscany tour: explore Siena and San Gimignano, gazing in awe at the world-renowned Pisa Leaning Tower

Approx. 12 hours
from 239

Florence Boat tour on Florentine Gondola

Unforgettable Arno boat ride: a romantic cruise on a Florentine gondola!

Approx. 60 min
from 65