The Baptistery of San Giovanni

The Baptistery of San Giovanni

The eight-sided wonder of Florence!

IMPORTANT: WARNING! Access WILL NOT BE ALLOWED to those who present themselves without the CONFIRMATION VOUCHER sent by us one business day after the request. The copy of the order and confirmation of payment from the bank ARE NOT VALID for ticket pick-up.

Discover this extraordinary masterpiece of art and architecture. Its decoration required the work of generations of artists, reflecting the main events taking place in the city. From the gloriously mystic mosaics that cover the dome and ceilings to the famous bronze doors Michelangelo called the Doors of Paradise – don't miss the eight-sided wonder of Florence, the Baptistery of San Giovanni.

Please Note:
SAVE € 5.00 and purchase your admission ticket (validity of 4 days) for the Baptistery as part of one of the following combo packages:

Museo dell'Opera + Giotto's Bell Tower + San Giovanni Baptistery + Crypt + Dome
Museo dell'Opera + Giotto's Bell Tower + San Giovanni Baptistery + Crypt

Opening Hours:
Monday to Saturday: 11:15pm – 6:30pm
Sunday: 8:30am – 2:00pm
June 24: 8:30am - 5:00pm
1st Saturday of the month: 8:30am – 2:00pm

Epiphany: 8:30am – 2:00pm

Easter Monday: 8:30am – 7:00 pm

April 25: 8:30am – 7:00pm
May 1: 8:30am – 7:00pm

Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Saturday: 8:30am – 7:00pm

November 1: 8:30am – 2:00pm

December 8: 8:30am – 2:00pm

December 26: 8:30am – 2:00pm
Night openings: from June 1st to 22nd on Thursdays Fridays and Saturdays until 23.00, last admission 22.30.

The Baptistery of San Giovanni is closed on 
January 1, Easter Sunday, September 8, Christmas Day (December 25)

Please Note that the Baptistery of San Giovanni may be closed without previous notice for masses, concerts and extraordinary events.

First entry: 12:15, last access allowed: 18:00 (Saturday 13:00).
Entry through the north door.Your ticket is personal and non transferable.

IMPORTANT - Please Note:
To collect reserved tickets, you must show the confirmation voucher at the reservations cashier of the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo (Via della Canonica 1), 15 minutes before the confirmed time on the date of visit.

WARNING: For night openings after 18:00 (after 13:00 on Saturdays) the withdrawal must be madeat the cashier of the Baptistery, which on this occasion will be set up directly at the entranceof the same.

Save time ordering!
Add all the museum tickets you want into your basket, then fill in the form and send your request.

PLEASE NOTE: Immediately after submitting an order, you will receive an email with your order summary plus a second email confirming your successful payment. A confirmation email with
links to the vouchers will be sent one business day after you place your order (Monday
afternoon for orders submitted on Friday and during the weekend). Please make sure that your anti-spam filter does not block automatic emails from

IMPORTANT NOTE: The time you select on the order form is your preferred time. The museum or attraction will automatically confirm the closest available time, which can be any time during opening hours on the selected date, if your preferred time is no longer available.

Cancellation Policy:

Tickets CANNOT be cancelled and are NOT refundable. Weekend a Firenze will only refund the entire cost of your ticket(s) including the service fee if the monument remains closed during the entire period of validity of the ticket(s).

IMPORTANT – Code of Conduct
The monumental complex of Santa Maria del Fiore is above all a place of worship. Visitors are asked to respect some simple rules.

Your pre-purchased ticket DOES NOT guarantee access or stay inside the monument – you may be asked to leave if you choose not to respect the following:
- Appropriate clothing is required– no bare arms/shoulders or bare legs
- Please be quiet
- Please turn your mobile phones off
- Do not eat nor drink
- Pets are not allowed
- Works of art must not be touched
- No smoking
- Please don't use flash or tripod



Pick up: Audioguide Desk Duomo di Firenze (Piazza Duomo) in the following hours:

  • from middle March to middle November: 12:10 - 18:30; Sundays: 8:30 - 13:00
  • from middle November to middle March: only holidays and long weekends

During the closure period of the Desk, it's possible to pick audioguides up at the following desk and times:

Audioguide Desk Museo dell'Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore (Piazza Duomo, 9):

  • from middle March to middle November: 10:00 - 16:00
  • from middle November to middle March: only holidays and long weekends, in the morning
  • On Sunday only in the afternoon

Closure without previous notice for masses, concerts and extraordinary events.

Available in 5 languages: English, Italian, French, German and Spanish.

Duration: 10 minutes.

Architecture and Exterior
The Baptistery of San Giovanni is famous for its octagonal shape. The unusual structure is entirely faced with white and green marble from Prato. A cupola with eight segments, which rest on the perimetric walls surmounts the Baptistery. This cupola was masked from the outside by raising the walls over the arches of the second level, and by a roof with a flattened pyramidal form.

This fascinating and extremely complex structure has created a challenge for scholars seeking to date it.

In the Middle Ages, the Florentines believed the Baptistery to be an ancient pagan temple transformed into a church, dating back to the city’s Roman period. In fact, a good portion of the Baptistery’s marble facing, along with numerous fragments and ancient inscriptions, as well as the large columns supporting the lintels over the doors inside, come from the ruins of the Roman Florentia (precursor of Florence), perhaps from some pagan building.

The Baptistery we see today is a much larger version of a primitive Baptistery dating to the 4th-5th century. Excavations of the past century have revealed the remains of Roman constructions under both the Baptistery and the Duomo. Several grilles on the floor light a subterranean area showing the remains of a Roman house with its geometric mosaic floors.

In the early 1100s, San Giovanni was faced with splendid green and white marble, which took the place of the previous sandstone. The third order with marble bays and the pyramidal roof with the lantern were probably added in the middle to late 12th century. In 1202, the ancient semicircular apse was replaced with today’s rectangular “scarsella,” the small rectangular apsis that protrudes from the western facade. The building is one of the very fine examples of Romanesque architecture in the city.

Interior of the Baptistery
In the second half of the 11th century, the interior was lined with marble. This fact, together with the monolithic columns and two sarcophagi, evokes the “gravitas” of the Roman Pantheon. The floor with its oriental-style marble intarsia abounds in elegant decorative motifs with zodiacal signs in bold relief, and resembles a precious oriental rug.

On the right wall of the apse, you will notice the sarcophagus of Bishop Ranieri, which bears an inscription in Leonine hexameters from 1113. On the right of the apse, you will notice a precious work created by Donatello and Michelozzo in 1421-27 - the sepulcher of Baldassarre Cossa, the anti-pope John XXIII.

Pairs of holy water fonts on small spiral columns, a Gothic candelabrum attributed to a follower of Arnolfo, and a late fourteenth-century baptismal font attributed to a follower of Andrea Pisano complete the interior decoration. Most of the original Baptistery furnishings, including Donatello’s Magdalene, are today housed in the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo.

The magnificent mosaic decoration of the interior was begun in the 13th century, lining the scarsella and the entire cupola. It reflects the byzantine traditions in the most splendid way. Many craftsmen worked on the creation of this moving and expressive masterpiece - including unnamed Venetian artists, as well as Jacopo Torriti and, perhaps, representatives of the new Florentine pictorial school, such as Cimabue and Coppo di Marcovaldo.

The mosaics are dominated by a large majestic Christ figure (over 26 feet high!) in the center. Scenes of the Last Judgment occupy three of the eight segments of the cupola. The upper horizontal registers of the five remaining segments depict the stories of Saint John the Baptist, patron saint of Florence, and stories of Christ and Mary, Joseph, and the Genesis. The highest register in the center of the cupola shows depictions of the angelic hierarchies.

The Bronze Doors
Under the patronage of the wealthy Calimala Guild (woolworkers), the Baptistery was also embellished with three beautiful bronze doors. The Baptistery owes much of its fame to these – and rightfully so, as they form an unsurpassed high point of Gothic and Renaissance sculpture in Italy.

The oldest door, the one facing south, was originally situated in the east. It was successively replaced with the one created by Lorenzo Ghiberti, known as the “Door of Paradise.” It was originally commissioned from sculptor Andrea Pisano who created it between 1330 and 1336. Its twenty upper bays show episodes from the life of John the Baptist, while the remaining eight portray the Christian Virtues. The frieze that frames them was sculpted in the mid fifteenth century by Vittorio Ghiberti, son of Lorenzo Ghiberti. The bronze sculptural group on the lintel representing John the Baptist, his execution, and Salome, is by Vincenzo Danti (1570).

The north door was the next to be realized. It served as a test bed for the competition of 1401, which was won by Lorenzo Ghiberti, and resulted in the defeat of various artists, including Brunelleschi and Jacopo della Quercia.

Substantially laid out like the south door, the twenty upper panels depict scenes of the New Testament, while the eight lower panels show the Evangelists and the four Fathers of the Church. The wings are decorated with stories from the life of Christ and are by Lorenzo Ghiberti, while the lintel depicts the group of John the Baptist Preaching by Giovan Francesco Rustici. The coat of arms of the Calimala guild is depicted above the window - the Calimala eagle holding the bolt of cloth.

The east door is the fully Renaissance masterpiece by Ghiberti and his assistants, including Luca della Robbia. Michelangelo said of it that it could well be the door of Paradise – and it has since then be called by that name.

Ghiberti and his workshop obtained the commission for the door without competition. It was made differently from the other two, and has only ten large panels. These illustrate scenes of the Old Testament and are no longer framed by a Gothic border. Ghiberti and his assistants proposed instead new solutions in perspective, and used Donatello’s “stiacciato” style (minimally raised relief). The sculptures over the door, dated 1502, are by Andrea Sansovino and Innocenzo Spinazzi.

On either side of the Door of Paradise are two porphyry columns donated to the Florentines by the Pisans for the military help given in 1117 against Lucca. The Pisan fleet had at the time been engaged in the Balearic Islands against Muslim piracy.

Only Full Price Tickets, no reductions available.


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The store has become a window into the Dr. Vranjes universe, in which customers from all over the world recognize themselves.


Every client presenting a WEEKEND in ITALY voucher will be given
- a complimentary scented bookmark, regardless of purchase
- a free Dr. Vranjes Shea Lip-balm for a purchase minimum of € 30.00
- a free fragrance spray 25 ml for a purchase minimum of € 100.00

Dr. Vranjes
Via della Spada 9r - Firenze
Via San Gallo 63r - Firenze
Borgo la Croce 44r - Firenze
Via Fiori Chiari 24 - Milano

Dante Cardini

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Clients presenting a WEEKEND in ITALY voucher will be offered a 10% discount on their purchase.


Gioielleria Cardini - Ponte Vecchio 34/R - Florence

Fratelli Peruzzi Argentieri

Founded in 1860, Fratelli Peruzzi Argentieri is one of the oldest companies in the silversmithing industry of Florence.
Gianna and her sister-in-law Laura are the fourth generation of a family of silversmiths to carry on the tradition that Giuseppe Peruzzi started over 150 years ago.

Dedicated to craftsmanship, we’ll take any request and fulfill the client’s wishes. In addition to being engaged in the research and trade of silver and gold, we proudly display the prestigious brand identification “FI 114,“ among the oldest in Florence.

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A dream that continues into reality.

WARNING: Admission to booked site or service will be denied without presenting the voucher or the ticket. Presenting a copy of the order form does by not give you the right to be admitted. No exceptions can be made to this rule.
Technical organization BACKUP Storico Opera di S. M. del Fiore di Firenze Provided by BACKUP Storico Opera di S. M. del Fiore di Firenze
From 2.00€