Italy: Florence – Brunelleschi’s Duomo’s Dome
The most thought-out experience in Florence is getting into and in top of the Duomo’s Dome. The dome is an architectural masterpiece and biggest brick dome in the world to this day. The cathedral stood domeless for over a hundred years before the architect Brunelleschi (who actually was a blacksmith with no architectural training) figured out a way to construct it so it wouldn’t collapse under its own weight (in fact, there are outer and inner domes with a lot of reinforcements in between. The climb to the top is brutal – it’s 462 steps in spiral staircase and narrow passageways in the inner dome. The view of the dome’s ceiling is surreal – it is decorated with frescoes depicting the last judgement (some evil looking devils included) covering the entire cupola. And once you finally get to the top and the circular observation platform in the roof, you are treated to the best view in Florence.