Two Great Options To Experience Florence's Duomo And Bypass Those Lengthy Lines

The capital of Tuscany, Italy — Florence — birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, home to the Medici, and some of the greatest poets and master artists of our time, such as Dante, Michelangelo, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, and Brunelleschi. Down every street, and around every corner within the city, masterful, and stunning pieces of art and architecture can be seen and are greatly admired. Each world-renowned monument: Perfect works of art atop their concrete foundations. Its culture, ancient history, and divine Tuscan cuisine are as famous and captivating as the great masters themselves.

It's not surprising that this UNESCO World Heritage Site draws nearly 30 million tourists to its city annually, as officially recorded by Life Beyond Tourism. And, during the summer peak season, approximately 2 million visitors fill every crevice of the city and its historic center, creating long queues when visiting many of the sites Florence is famous for, creating frustration for both tourists and locals. Particularly when visiting Firenze's greatest masterpiece and symbol of the Renaissance: The Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral (Duomo di Firenze). Take heed our dear Italy-loving travelers, we've discovered two great options for you to experience the Duomo in Florence, helping you to bypass those pesky, lengthy lines.

Skipping the lines the proper way when visiting the Florence Duomo

The 15th-century, 502-foot-long, Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral — also known as the Duomo of Florence — and its spectacular 14th-century Dome, are one of the top tourist destinations within Piazza del Duomo in Florence, according to PlanetWare, with summer as its busiest season. In order to make every moment count during your stay and travels throughout Florence, a host of companies online offer tourists a far simpler way to skip the long lines and dive straight into this architectural wonder. Companies such as Headout, offer a Skip-the-Line Tour with Cupola Climb, giving you a full-guided tour of the cathedral and the 963-year-old Baptistery of Saint John, as well as a self-paced climb up the 463 steps to the Dome's Cupola on your own.

If you're short on time, you can also skip the lines by taking either the Brunelleschi's Dome Guided Tour, which provides tours through the Dome only, or the Florence Duomo Express Guided Tour: A swift 45-minute tour through Santa Maria del Fiore's Cathedral. Whatever option you choose, these afford tourists the proper way to avoid long lines.

Visiting Florence's places of worship and the city

If you've heard that you can skip the lines forming in front of il Duomo (the Duomo) by attending mass in the cathedral, please take into consideration how this is not only an improper option, it's also disrespectful to those actually attending the services. Unless you plan on sitting throughout and listening to the full length of the mass — refraining from standing, walking, taking photos, and commenting about the artistry within its frame — this act is highly frowned upon by locals.

To experience Florence and all her wonders for the first time or the hundredth time is like walking through the portal within Narnia's magic wardrobe — there is unprecedented magic and beauty that awaits and consumes you from the first second, to the last. You cannot rush your time through this majestic and captivating city. She is to be admired and respected slowly. Each marveling, hand-carved architectural line, each moment of history, each awe-inspiring Renaissance painting, intricate sculpture, mosaic, and fresco must be gazed upon with wonder, excitement, reverence, and inspiration. For if you take time to allow her to reveal herself to you fully, she will fill your heart with vibrancy and gratitude, yet you will always want to return to her time and time again — never tiring — always intrigued by her secrets, her grandeur, and that feeling of being transported back in time, transfixed by her elegance: As the Masters of the Renaissance have always been.