Perhaps Florence’s holiest monument, the Baptistery is a stunning octagonal basilica, located directly in front of the city’s Duomo. Dating from the 11th-century, the Baptistery was once the only place in the city that Catholics could be baptised, and has seen notables including the poet Dante and Lisa Gherardini, who modelled for Dan Vinci’s Mona Lisa, baptised here.
Despite this impressive heritage, the Baptistery is best known for its three sets of incredible carved bronze doors – considered to be some of the Florence’s finest artworks. Andrea Pisano’s first set was produced in the 14th century, and was revealed to all-round acclaim. However, the second and third sets, sculpted by peer Lorenzo Ghiberti, are often thought to be the finest features of the Florence Baptistery, and were named by Michelangelo himself as the ‘Gates of Paradise’. Step inside, and you’ll find scenes equally astounding: elaborate marble floors shine beneath one of the world’s most impressive ceiling mosaics, adorned with thousands of gilded tiles that form frescoes rivalling those of the Duomo.
Opening hours: Open between 8.15am – 6.30pm weekdays (closed for one hour daily, from 10.15am – 11.15am), 8.15am – 6.15pm Saturday and 8.15am to 1.30pm Sunday. Closed on January 1st, Easter Sunday, September 8th, and December 24th – 25th.
Price: €70 for the OPA pass, which provides access to five attractions within the Piazza del Duomo.
*Prices and opening hours may be subject to change.