One of the most striking sights in Florence is undoubtedly the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral (Duomo in Italian) dedicated to the Virgin of the Flower in homage to the city's symbol – the lily. This enormous church towers over the city thanks to an iconic dome designed by Filippo Brunelleschi. Though the church's construction was planned in the Gothic-style, by the time the cathedral was finished in the 15th century, it was the pinnacle of Renaissance architecture. This place remains truly breathtaking inside and out, and the exquisitely intricate external structure made of white, green and pink marble is always a joy to return to. Don't be disheartened by the long lines to get in, they move quite fast, and entrance is free, so don't miss the chance to gaze on Giorgio Vasari's spectacular fresco of the Last Judgement that adorns the inner walls of the dome – definitely the star of the show. You can also get a Grande Museo del Duomo pass to see the museum and climb up the winding steps to get up close and personal with Brunelleschi's creation.