Duomo Apartments

The heart of Florence, going from the Piazza del Duomo  to the River Arno, is as dense with artistic treasures as anyplace in the world.  Churches, Renaissance palaces, medieval towers, museums and galleries contains some of the most outstanding achievements of Europe art history.Much of the historic center is closed to cars traffic, so it is the paradise for  cyclists and masses of tourists.

The massive dome of the Duomo was built by Filippo Brunelleschi who won the competition for its commission in 1418, the shape is similar to  an egg and was made without scaffolding. It stands over the city. The raising of this dome, the largest in the world in its time, was very complicated and divided into eight parts.

The exterior of the dome is covered in a decorative amazing mix of pink, white and green marble. The interior, by contrast, is pretty dark and plain.Best way to see the dome is to climb its four-hundred steps: the stair takes you by the interior of the dome where you can admire  Giorgio Vasari's  frescoes of the Last Judgment.
Continuing upwards through the two shells of the cupola and out onto the lantern, you can enjoy a wonderful view of the city.
If you're looking for typical, inexpensive gifts to take home, you might  stop and roam through the stalls under the loggia of the Mercato del Porcellino.