Giottos Bell Tower
Giottos Bell Tower is adjacent to the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and right next to the magnificent Duomo. Giotto di Bondone considered the father of modern painting had designed and constructed this majestic bell tower.
The entrance is through the tiny bookshop at the base of Giottos Bell Tower. The steps are fairly well lit. The first fifty steps or so are a bit narrow and there are no windows. In the beginning it can be a little claustrophobic. You just have to deal with the other tourist coming back down and others pushing their way up without any consideration. Just be patience and let people through if needed. As you make your way up there are some wider steps so you can take a break and let others pass you.
When you reach the first level take the opportunity to sit down on the stone benches and catch your breath. This level does offer the view of the city. You can take some pictures here if you wish however the very top has the best views if you can manage all the stairs.
After leaving that level the stairs become more confined. When you reach the top you are pretty much at the same level as the Duomo. What I like about Giottos Bell Tower is that you can a great view of the Duomo up close.
You can really get a perfect view of Florence from the bell tower. And a pair of binoculars would help zero in on some of the historic monuments. It also offers a terrific sighting of Piazza della Signoria, one of Florence's most beautiful squares.
I have to say I felt a great sense of accomplishment to climb the steep and narrow stairs. It was a good way to burn all those calories from all the pasta and pizza I have been eating. I enjoyed the amazing view of this beautiful city. I recommend visiting Giottos Bell Tower if you have the stamina. I would go early in the morning if possible. There are less people and it isn’t as hot. If you have difficulty with stairs or you get claustrophobic, this may not be the best attraction for you.
The small gift shop at the bottom has some good value books on Florence and the famous Medicis.