After lunch we returned to the duomo to climb its bell tower. Called Giotto’s Campanile in honor of the architect who came up with its original design, the tower is almost 278 feet tall (85 meters) and requires you to climb 414 steps to reach the top. If you’re visiting Florence and only have time to either climb the bell tower or climb the dome I would tell you to climb the bell tower, which might surprise some people. There are actually several things that the bell tower has going for it. The duomo bell tower does not require reservations to climb, it normally doesn’t have much of a line outside of it, (if any line at all) and I personally think it has a more scenic view at the top than what you get from climbing the dome. This is because when you’re up in the bell tower you can see all of Florence and the dome, whereas when you climb the dome you can’t see much of the dome itself. One disadvantage the bell tower has, however, is that there are metal safety nets at the top, so if you have a camera with a large lens you might have a little trouble getting the photos you want. These safety nets used to have large gaps in them that you could easily fit just about any camera through but at some point after my last visit in 2015 the city added a second layer to the nets and now the gaps are a lot narrower.