Italy offers a dizzying array of magnificent churches, many of which house remarkable pieces of art. A cathedral, often known as the Duomo, is the major church of a city. However, it is also known as a basilica, cattedrale, or chiesa madre (primarily in the south). While most cathedrals do not charge admission, a few do, and almost every cathedral and minor church in Italy has a donation box.
Top 10 Cathedrals to See in Italy
There are lots of places of worship in Italy, yet the following are ten and you need to see some dazzling design and culture.
- Saint Peter’s Basilica – Vatican City
- Florence Duomo – Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
- Milan Cathedral – Duomo di Milano
- Venice – Basilica San Marco
- Siena Cathedral – Duomo di Siena
- Orvieto Cathedral
- Assisi – Saint Francis Basilica
- Parma Cathedral – Duomo di Parma
Now, here we want to talk about them one by one in detail:
Saint Peter’s Basilica – Vatican City
The Basilica of St. Peter is not in Italy. People often think of St. Peter’s as a cathedral in Rome, but it is located in Vatican City, a tiny country entirely within the city limits of Rome. It is the Pope’s and Catholicism’s seat. Of course, you wouldn’t go to Rome and not see St. Peter’s, especially if you’ve never seen it, so we’ve put it on this list.
- Location: Piazza San Pietro, 00120 Città del Vaticano, Vatican City
- PHONE number: +39 06 6982
Florence Duomo – Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
The Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, often known as il duomo, is possibly Italy’s most famous cathedral. Brunelleschi’s Dome was a work of art in construction, with murals covering its inside. rise to the top of the Dome for spectacular views. The façade of the cathedral is pink, white, and green marble, with 44 spectacular stained glass windows. Admission to the Duomo is free, however, there are fees for seeing the crypt, dome, and other related buildings.
- Location: Piazza del Duomo, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
- PHONE number: +39 055 230 2885
Milan Cathedral – Duomo di Milano
After over 600 years of construction, Milan’s cathedral is still Italy’s greatest Gothic cathedral and one of Europe’s largest cathedrals. It’s one of my favorites for the fantastic rooftop visit where you’ll not only witness great views of the city but also get a close look at some of the cathedral’s 135 spires and 3200 sculptures.
There are also stunning stained glass windows, numerous spectacular sarcophagi, and two enormous organs in the cathedral. Although admission is free, there is a fee to visit the rooftop and archaeological area.
- Location: P.za del Duomo, 20122 Milano MI, Italy
- PHONE number: +39 02 7202 3375
Venice – Basilica San Marco
The cathedral of Venice, Basilica San Marco, is a blend of Byzantine and Western architecture. The cathedral’s beautiful mosaic-covered domes, named for Venice’s patron saint, Saint Mark, are a prominent point of Saint Mark’s Square. The interior is decorated with Byzantine mosaics, largely from the 11th to 13th century, and paintings by prominent Venetian painters. Although admission is free, there are fees to enter certain areas of the Basilica complex.
- Location: Piazza S. Marco, 2, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
- PHONE number: +39 02 2900 2598
Siena Cathedral – Duomo di Siena
The Siena Cathedral, built in the 13th century, is one of the great churches of Gothic in Italy. Its black and white front is embellished with elaborate carvings and sculptures, while the interior is filled with artworks such as stunning murals and floor mosaics. Michelangelo, Pisano, Donatello, and Pinturicchio are among the artists whose works you’ll view.
The beautiful marble floor mosaics from the 14th-16th centuries are the most remarkable. Admission to the Duomo begins at about €8 and increases depending on how many of the complex’s sites you desire to visit. The crypt and baptistery are fascinating, and the Gate of Heaven Tour to the higher levels of the cathedral is breathtaking.
- Location: Piazza del Duomo, 8, 53100 Siena SI, Italy
- PHONE number: +39 0577 286300
The ancient cathedral of Orvieto is famous for its sparkling mosaic-covered exterior and is considered one of Italy’s top Romanesque-Gothic marvels. The enormous bronze doors, figures gracing the facade, and two internal chapels with magnificent murals are also noteworthy. The cathedral is extremely attractive due to its location above a tufa hill.
- Location: Piazza del Duomo, 26, 05018 Orvieto TR, Italy
- PHONE number: +39 0763 341167
The 12th-centennial Duomo of Modena is individual of Italy’s most influential Romanesque cathedrals, and it was recently designated as the ultimate resting place of renowned soprano Luciano Pavarotti. The outside is ornamented with Romanesque figures showing biblical themes, while the inside has mosaics, a 13th-century marble parapet depicting the death of jesus or the artistic representation of his death of the Christ, and two crockery beginning settings from the 15th and 16th point in time.
The Piazza Grande, the bell tower, and the church have all been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
- Location: Corso Duomo, 41121 Modena MO, Italy
- PHONE number: +39 059 216078
A wonderful example of Pisan Romanesque architecture is the flamboyant Duomo in Pisa. It is dedicated to St. Mary of the Assumption, as are most duomos. The oldest cathedral in Italy is Pisa’s Duomo, which is older than Florence and Siena’s cathedrals.
This shaky structure was first built in 1063. The facade of the Duomo is adorned with Carrara-sourced marble stripes that alternate between black and white.
Inside, there is a Latin cross plan with five unusual aisles: a large central nave with two aisles on either side to flank it. Ancient Roman granite Corinthian columns and arches divide the aisles.
Assisi – Saint Francis Basilica
The Umbria municipality of Assisi and the Basilica di San Francesco is legendary as the home of Saint Francis, Italy’s guardian saint. The pit of Saint Francis is protected in the church, a well-known trip location. Built into a pile, the church is defined as two churches, the lower and above, and outside is a big porch. Both churches are sumptuously beautified accompanying frescoes by old inventors. Although inadequately broken by an upheaval in 1997, most of the pope’s jurisdiction has happened rebuilt even though a few frescoes were destroyed. The
Cathedral of Saint Francis Basilica is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Location: Piazza Inferiore di S. Francesco, 2, 06081 Assisi PG, Italy
- PHONE number: +39 075 819001
Parma Cathedral – Duomo di Parma
Another excellent Romanesque church is the Cathedral of Parma, built in the 12th century. The ceiling frescoes, which have just been restored, are a stunning sight. A gilded copper angel stands atop the bell tower, and lion statues line the entrance. The church’s octagonal dome is unusual for the period.
- Location: Piazza Duomo, 7, 43121 Parma PR, Italy
- PHONE number: +39 0521 235886