Day 22- The Duomo and the Basilica of Santa Croce

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Late start today. We grab a bite and cafe on the way. Thomas manages to find hot dog sausages and chips on a plate ready to be microwaved. Hope his stomach recovers after! We line up on the steps of the Cathedral Di Santa Maria Del Fiore with a few other tourists and a number of gypsies jingling their money cups right under your nose. I have decided to keep. Coins in my pocket as they appear grateful and move on after. Once we are inside the Duomo we investigate the architectural features as well as tombs and paintings to be seen. Overall it is less decorative inside as other cathedrals we have visited on this trip so far. The Duomo in Milan so far has been the most breath taking in size and intricate decorations. The Duomo here in PIazza San Giovanni is made up of the Duomo, the Campanile or Giottos bell tower, and the baptistery where Dante was baptized and other parts. It is built of cream, green and pink florentine marble. Inside we admired Paolo Uccellos painting of SIr John and Dante explaining the divine comedy by MIchelino. Inside the dome we saw glimpses of the last judgment by Visari painted on the dome itself. We decide not to climb the dome but to try the campanile. Which we are glad we did. Kate was not keen which was not a surprise. We paid 6 euro each and started the winding climb up over 400 steps trying to pass people on the way was fun…..easier to stop to let people pass as you come down…..not a concept most people got as we tried to squash past them. Finally at the first level of the top of the Giotto’s bell tower where you could get some great city views through a mesh fencing….there I suppose to protect the people below from falling human missiles! The next level was a bit more of a climb and an even better view and the 3rd or 4th stop was the actual open aired top with a caged affect keeping us all in. The view of the Duomo was magnificent and this why we were glad we climbed the campanile rather than the Duomo. Finally I bribed Kate with a new car to come out on the small ledger area to. A 360 walk around the tower. After numerous photos and videos we made our way down which is always so much less of an effort.

At the bottom we witnessed

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