Florence is dominated by the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, also known as the Duomo or the Cathedral of Florence. Begun in 1296, the dome was designed and built by Brunelleschi and completed in 1436. The exterior is of polychrome marble panels. The front facade was not completed until the 19th century and is Gothic revival. Below is the front of the Duomo, with the dome with its lantern visible in the left background.The second photo shows some of the facade a little closer.
The photos below show the central portal and a closeup of it's tympanum.
There are three rather remarkable structures packed together in the heart of Florence--the Duomo, Giotto's Campanile, and the Battistero di San Giovanni, more commonly known as the Florence Baptistry. The Baptistry is directly across from the front of the Duomo. It is an octagonal building constructed between 1029 and 1128. All Catholic Florentines were baptized here until the beginning of the 20th century. It is shown below.
There are three sets of doors by which the Baptistry was entered. Two of these were by Ghiberti. The north doors, by Ghiberti, are one of the most famous pieces of art in the world. They are gilded bronze, called by Michelangelo "The Gates of Paradise." Ghiberti spent 21 years on them, between about 1401-1422. The north doors were removed in 1990 and placed in a museum for resatoration and preservation. Replicas now stand in their place. There are 28 panels on the "Gates of Paradise;" twenty depict scenes from the life of Christ. The remaining depict scenes of the Evangelists and other parts of the Bible. The photos below are of the Gates of Paradise.
Tired? How about a treat and a ride?
I love this building; it is near the main sights.
Below is the Fountain of Neptune, by Bartolomeo Ammannati, done between 1563-1565.
Below is the Lion of Florence.
This of course is a replica of Michelangelo's David. It sits in the Piazza della Signori, where the original stood. It was sculpted between 1501 and 1504. The David was moved to the Academia Gallery in 1873 for it own protection.
Below is the most famous bridge over the River Arno, the Ponte Vecchio. A bridge existed here in Roman times; the current bridge dates to 1345. It still has shops on it, as it did in medieval times.
The photo below shows just Giotto's Campanile and Brunelleschi's dome.