OK, this first batch is pics we took on the first day, of the Duomo from street level. We didn't go inside because the lines were pretty long and a lot of the cool stuff from the inside is actually in the Duomo museum anyway, but the outside is gorgeous.
This first one is looking straight up at the dome. It probably doesn't look anything like you've seen in postcards and such because the foreshortening from ground level is pretty severe.
This is the baptistry, which is right in front of the main cathedral and across a bit of a street except it's blocked off to cars -- they'd have squished tourists paving the place soon if they let anyone drive there. :) On the very lower right you can see where the doors are covered; they're doing restoration work there.
Another shot of the Dome from a bit farther back. It looks more its actual shape from here, although there's still an impression of sphericality which an illusion; the dome is actually quite pointed on top.
This is the campanile or bell tower. Italian bell towers tended to be separate from the church they were associated with, a free-standing building rather than attached. You can see a sort of mesh catch-thingy stretched across it a couple of stories up; I don't know if they get jumpers or if pieces of the facade are falling off or what.
This is the main entrance, looking almost straight up the central facade. Definitely click through on this one -- it's really gorgeous. Except for the arched painting over the door, all the other color effects are done with colored marble. It's amazing. People either love it or hate it; one of our guide books says something about a cathedral standing there in its pajamas, LOL! I think it's beautiful. :)
A wider view of the front -- that's the base of the campanile off to the right. You can see people crowded around; every time we've been by here there've been crowds, with many people just hanging out, sitting on the front steps.
This is the left side of the facade with the dome in the background.
This is from across the street, the top two-thirds or so of the facade plus most of the campanile.
This next batch of pics was taken from the patio on top of the Uffizi -- the elevation makes the Duomo look more "normal." :)
The top of the campanile, almost straight on.
The very top of the dome, showing the lantern. Click through and you can see that there are people up there who've made the reportedly horrendous climb and are now being rewarded with the best view in the city.
A farther shot of the dome. From here you can see the scaffolding up on one side; again, in the off season, this is when a lot of rennovation gets done.
Dashing off to the Pitti Palace and the Boboli gardens today -- more pics later. [wave]