October 10, 2017 (Tuesday)

by Yule Heibel on October 9, 2018

We climbed the Duomo yesterday. I’ve been on a tear about all the idiotic photo-taking by tourists, and I myself have taken more or less no photos. And I took no photos yesterday, from the imposing height of the lantern, which was crowded with fellow awestruck tourists. But now I rather wish I had taken a photo or two. The other tourists were, like us, filled with wonder at the architectural marvel, filled with glee over the triumphant view they’d earned by climbing all the way to the top, as well as slightly exhausted from said climb and faintly in trepidation of the impending descent. I think a number of us were putting it off, wondering how to squeeze more reward from the effort of having made the arduous ascent, while also wondering how we’d navigate our own counter-flow against subsequent rising tourist hordes.

In the end, it all worked out. We managed, like drivers on very narrow, curvy mountain roads, to let others pass until another gap appeared (or vice versa, those coming up gratefully took the opportunity to stop and let us pass), until finally, at some point in the actual cupola, the staircases and paths diverged and we were on the “uscita”-only stair. I honestly would not want to climb this on a hot, 40ÂșC day: heat rises; tourist bodies get warm. In the event, it was sunny and nicely warm, but cool breezes ensured we weren’t cooked up there.

Afterwards we visited the Baptistry, and then the Museo del Opera; I’m not sure which was most impressive. Certainly the Baptistry is grand in every sense. But the Museum is so full of individual works which impress, it’s almost tiring. Yes, at some point it was “enough,” basta. We did not climb the Campanile. We walked to Enoteca Lombardi, had lunch late-ish. Wandered back to Santo Spirito, this time finding it easily.

Off to Siena today.

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