We are so proud of ourselves tonight. Today, we climbed to the very top of the Duomo – to the white part at the top of the picture above. It is the equivalent of 25 stories up – and then back down. So we climbed 50 floors today!
The Duomo is the dome on the top of the cathedral and was built as a dome within a dome. The dome underneath helps support the outer dome, and the stairs we climbed go between the two. They are very narrow and those going up share the same space with those going down. So not for the faint at heart.
The inside of the dome has painting by Vasari showing the final judgment – Jesus sends everyone either to Heaven or the alternative, with graphic depictions of what happens in both. It is pretty impressive from the ground but even more breathtaking as you get closer.
We climbed and climbed. First we got to the lower balcony, right below the painting on the dome. We were mesmerized seeing it so close – and seeing how far the floor of the cathedral was below.
Then we climbed some more and were right at the level of the painting itself. You can make out the people on the lower balcony in the picture below. It was really amazing to be able to study the painting so close up. We were in awe – I got tears in my eyes.
To the Top!
And then the finale – we climbed the last bit almost like a ladder to get to the very tip top cupola outside. What a view! We could see all the sights we have been visiting and snow-capped mountains in the distance. We could even see our little apartment way down below.
And Down Again
THEN – we had to climb back down. That was almost harder than going up. We had to really concentrate because there weren’t always rails and in some places, it was kind of steep. But we took one step at a time.
What a fun experience – we definitely earned our Chianti today!