Duomo di Milano vs Florence Duomo- Which Duomo Should You Visit?

In the heart of Italy, two architectural marvels stand as iconic symbols of their respective cities – the Duomo di Milano in Milan and the Florence Duomo in Florence. 

Each one boasts a rich history, stunning design, and unique charm. 

They are also the top competitors when it comes to tourism, annual visitors and popularity.

In this article, we will help you unravel their secrets, explore their surroundings, and ultimately answer the question: Duomo di Milano vs Florence Duomo- which is better? 

Duomo di Milano vs. Florence Duomo- Our Recommendation

Both the Duomo di Milano and the Florence Duomo are exceptional in their own right, making it a challenging decision to declare one as definitively superior. 

Our recommendation is simple: visit both. 

These two landmarks offer distinct experiences and represent different facets of Italian history and art. 

Start your journey in Milan, where the grandeur of Gothic architecture will awe you, and then head to Florence to witness the sublime elegance of Renaissance design. 

By exploring both, you’ll appreciate the rich diversity of Italy’s artistic heritage. 

If you want to choose one cathedral in particular, read further as we compare them on various criteria. 

Duomo di Milano vs Florence Duomo: Domes and Towers

Duomo di Milano vs Florence Duomo Domes and Towers
Image: Phooey from Getty Images (Canva), GetYourGuide.com

Milan’s imposing Duomo showcases a fascinating blend of architectural styles. 

Its stunning central dome, adorned with thousands of intricate spires and statues, is a Gothic masterpiece that soars high into the sky.

Climbing to the rooftop terraces lets you get up close to the intricate details of this structure while offering panoramic views of the city below.

In stark contrast, the Florence Duomo boasts a magnificent Renaissance dome designed by the brilliant Filippo Brunelleschi. 

Its distinct terracotta tiles and elegant proportions make it a symbol of Florentine ingenuity. 

Gazing at this dome, you can’t help but marvel at its harmonious beauty.

The Duomo di Milano’s Gothic spires and intricate decorations captivate with their grandeur, while the Florence Duomo’s Renaissance dome displays artistic innovation. 

As you explore these iconic landmarks, you’ll find that both offer unique perspectives on Italy’s architectural history.

Duomo di Milano Rooftop vs Duomo Florence Brunelleschi’s dome climb experience

One of the highlights of Duomo di Milano is taking the elevator up to the rooftop terrace for stunning panoramic views over the city. 

The rooftop is lined with spires and statues and you can really appreciate the ornate architecture up close.

The Duomo Milan Rooftop access tickets start from €17.

You can either get Rooftop tickets or the Milan Cathedral and Rooftop tickets

It’s less crowded than the dome climb in Florence and you can take your time strolling around the rooftop to take in different angles of Milan.

Climbing the dome of the Florence Cathedral, on the other hand, is a more active experience. 

You have to climb 463 steep stone steps up a narrow spiraling staircase to reach the top of the dome designed by Filippo Brunelleschi in the 15th century. 

It’s quite claustrophobic along the way, but reaching the top is worth it for 360-degree views over the terracotta rooftops of Florence. 

You can really appreciate Brunelleschi’s engineering marvel being inside the massive dome. 

It’s a more challenging experience than the elevator rooftop terrace in Milan but offers stunning views over Florence and the surrounding Tuscan countryside.

The Brunelleschi’s Dome climb experience starts from 50 and offers entry to all parts of the cathedral.

In summary, the Duomo di Milano rooftop lets you casually take in panoramic views from an elegant Gothic terrace.

On the other hand, climbing the Duomo Florence dome is a spiraling journey to the summit, offering gorgeous views over Florentine rooftops and Brunelleschi’s art.

Both offer amazing vantage points, and one is more relaxed, while the other offers a sense of accomplishment. 

Features of Duomo di Milano

The Duomo di Milano, or Milan Cathedral, is an architectural masterpiece that awakes visitors with its remarkable features. 

This Gothic cathedral, dedicated to Santa Maria Nascente, stands as the largest church in Italy and one of the most impressive in the world. 

Its intricate facade showcases an impressive array of statues and spires, intricately carved in exquisite detail.

The cathedral’s interior is equally captivating, with a vast nave, intricate stained glass windows, and a serene atmosphere. 

Visitors can climb to the rooftop, where they’ll be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of Milan and the opportunity to admire the forest of spires up close.

The cathedral also houses an extensive collection of artwork, religious relics, and historical artifacts in its museum. 

Its central location within Milan makes it a focal point of the city, surrounded by a bustling square, high-end boutiques, and cozy cafes. 

Features of Florence Duomo

The Duomo Florence, officially known as the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, is a remarkable masterpiece of Renaissance architecture. 

Its most distinguishing feature is the stunning red, green, and white marble facade, a harmonious blend of colors that captures the essence of Florence. 

The dome, designed by the brilliant Filippo Brunelleschi, is a structural marvel considered an engineering breakthrough of its time. 

Climbing to the top offers panoramic views of Florence’s historic center. 

Inside, the cathedral’s vast interior showcases exquisite frescoes and stained glass windows, with notable works by artists like Giorgio Vasari. 

The iconic bronze doors, including Ghiberti’s “Gates of Paradise,” are true artistic treasures. 

Moreover, the Duomo’s elegant Campanile, designed by Giotto, stands adjacent to the cathedral, featuring intricate sculptures and providing a challenging yet rewarding climb for spectacular views. 

The Florence Duomo is a testament to the city’s artistic and architectural prowess, making it an essential stop for any traveler exploring this enchanting Tuscan city.

Duomo di Milano vs. Florence Duomo- which has better features?

The Duomo di Milano and the Florence Duomo are architectural gems that captivate you with their unique features. 

When it comes to comparing these two stunning cathedrals- it gets challenging.

Milan’s Duomo, a striking example of Gothic architecture, impresses with its intricate façade adorned with thousands of statues and an awe-inspiring marble interior. 

Its highlight is the breathtaking panoramic view from the rooftop, offering a glimpse of Milan’s skyline.

On the other hand, the Florence Duomo showcases the elegance of Renaissance design. 

It boasts the iconic red-tiled dome engineered by Brunelleschi, a revolutionary feat of its time. 

The interior, with its stunning frescoes and stained glass, exudes a sense of grace and tranquility.

The Duomo di Milano impresses with its vastness. Its size is awe-inspiring, covering a staggering 109,641 square feet. 

In contrast, the Florence Duomo, while smaller, is not to be underestimated, with a sizeable 86,234 square feet.

Milan’s Duomo reaches for the sky with its spires, standing at a towering 354 feet. The Florence Duomo isn’t far behind, soaring to 376 feet with its famous dome.

So, which is better?

Milan’s Duomo dazzles with intricate details and a rooftop view, while Florence’s Duomo offers a more serene and harmonious atmosphere. 

Your choice might depend on whether you prefer the opulence of Gothic splendor or the grace of Renaissance beauty.

Opening hours

Duomo di Milano’s opening hours are daily from 8 am to 7 pm. You can get the last ticket at 6 pm, and the last entry is at 6.10 pm. 

The Duomo di Milano terrace hours are from 9 am to 7 pm. 

The Cathedral is open Monday to Saturday from 10.15 am to 4.45 pm and closed on Sundays.

The Dome is open Monday to Friday from 8.15 am to 7.30 pm, Saturday from 8.15 am to 5.15 pm, and Sunday from 12.15 pm to 5.15 pm.

Here is an overview of the opening hours:

DuomoOpening HoursLast Entry
Duomo di Milano8 am to 7 pm6.10 pm
Duomo di Milano terrace9 am to 7 pm6.10 pm
Florence’s Duomo Cathedral10.15 am to 4.45 pm3.15 pm
Florence’s Duomo DomeMon to Fri- 8.15 to 7.30 pmSat- 8.15 am to 5.15 pmSun- 12.15 to 5.15 pm3.15 pm


The Duomo di Milano and Florence Duomo Cathedral are famous landmarks with distinct locations.

The Duomo di Milano is situated in Milan, Italy, in the city’s heart. It stands proudly in the Piazza del Duomo, surrounded by bustling streets, shops, and cafes. 

Address: Piazza del Duomo, 20122 Milano MI, Italy. Get Directions. 

This makes it easily accessible to tourists and locals alike. Its central location makes it a hub for activities and events in Milan.

The Florence Duomo, officially known as Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, is located in the heart of Florence, Italy. 

It’s situated near other famous landmarks, such as the Baptistery and Giotto’s Bell Tower in the historic center of Florence.

Address: Piazza del Duomo, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy. Get Directions. 

Both the landmarks are easily accessible using buses and taxis. You can even choose to drive there.

Expected Crowd

When considering a visit to the Duomo di Milano or the Florence Duomo, it’s essential to factor in the expected crowd levels. 

Milan’s iconic cathedral, the Duomo di Milano, typically draws in around 6 million visitors annually. 

As one of Italy’s most famous landmarks, it tends to get crowded, especially during peak tourist seasons. 

To enjoy a more serene experience, it’s advisable to visit in the early morning or late afternoon.

In contrast, the Florence Duomo, also known as Santa Maria del Fiore, attracts approximately 2 million visitors yearly. 

While it certainly sees its fair share of tourists, it generally offers a slightly less congested atmosphere than its Milanese counterpart. 

Exploring the Florence Duomo and its surroundings during weekdays or outside the busiest months can help you avoid long lines and large crowds.

So, Duomo di Milano vs. Florence Duomo– which one?

So, Duomo di Milano vs. Florence Duomo – which one? This age-old dilemma has intrigued travelers for generations, and there’s no easy answer.

 Both cathedrals are undeniably breathtaking, yet they exude entirely different vibes, reflecting the distinct personalities of their host cities.

The Duomo di Milano, with its imposing Gothic architecture, is a towering masterpiece of grandeur. 

Its intricate spires, statues, and intricate details evoke a sense of awe. 

You can ascend to the rooftop for panoramic views of Milan, a city known for its fashion and modernity.

On the other hand, the Florence Duomo, officially known as the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, captivates with its exquisite Renaissance design. 

The iconic dome designed by Filippo Brunelleschi is a marvel of engineering and artistic achievement.

So, which one is better? It’s a question only your heart can answer.

Duomo di Milano vs Duomo Florence – FAQs

1. Is Florence Duomo worth visiting?

Absolutely, Florence Duomo is a must-visit. Its stunning Renaissance architecture, crowned by Brunelleschi’s dome, is a masterpiece. 

The cathedral stands at the heart of Florence, an art and culture hub, making it an essential stop for anyone exploring the city.

2. Which Duomo is bigger, Florence or Milan?

The Milan Duomo is larger than the Florence Duomo. Milan’s Gothic cathedral is the largest in Italy and one of the largest in the world, while Florence’s is smaller in scale.

3. Is it better to go to the Milan or Florence Duomo?

The choice between Milan and Florence Duomo depends on your preferences. Milan offers grandeur and modernity, while Florence provides a Renaissance masterpiece in a historic setting. 

Both are worthwhile, so choose the one that aligns with your interests.

4. Which Duomo is better?

Whether Duomo is better, Florence or Milan is subjective. 

Florence’s Duomo is a Renaissance masterpiece with historical charm, while Milan’s is a towering Gothic wonder in a cosmopolitan setting. 

Your choice should be based on your personal interests and the atmosphere you seek to experience.

5. Is the Duomo di Milano rooftop worth it?

Yes, visiting the Duomo di Milano rooftop is worth it. 

The panoramic views of Milan are breathtaking, and the intricate architecture of the cathedral, with its spires and statues, makes it a memorable and unique experience for travelers.

6. Why should I choose Florence Duomo?

Choose Florence Duomo for its breathtaking Renaissance architecture, especially the iconic dome by Brunelleschi. 

It’s surrounded by Florence’s artistic heritage, offering a unique historical and cultural experience. 

Explore the heart of the Renaissance and immerse yourself in the enchanting ambiance of this remarkable cathedral and its surroundings.

7. Which is bigger, the Duomo Milan Or the Florence Duomo Catedral?

The Duomo di Milano (Milan Cathedral) is larger than the Florence Duomo (Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore). 

Milan’s cathedral is one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in the world, while Florence’s, though impressive, is smaller in scale but equally iconic for its Renaissance architectural significance.

8. long should you spend at Duomo?

You can explore the Duomo di Milano in about 1-2 hours, including a visit to the interior and perhaps ascending to the rooftop. 

The time spent may vary depending on your interest in the details and the crowd.

9. How long should you spend at Florence Duomo? 

Plan to spend at least 1 to 2 hours at Florence Duomo. 

This allows time to explore the interior, admire the stunning architecture, and go atop the dome for panoramic city views.

Featured Image: Scrisman, SAKhanPhotography/Getty Images

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