The Duomo, known as the Cattedrale de Santa Maria del Fiore is said to have been commissioned to be so magnificent that it would be impossible to make it either better or more beautiful with the industry and power of man. While I find it stunning, I wouldn't say it's the most beautiful building I've ever seen...then again beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Florence is smaller than I expected and a bit grittier but it's nice. It isn't a place I would rave about but then again I decided to forgo its world famous museums. However, I can say that it has the best gelati I've ever tasted and the Tuscan country side you pass through to get in and out of the city is the stuff that people dream about. The Italians I've come across are warm hearted and generous. They go out of their way to help you even if it unfortunately means they are unwittingly pointing you in the wrong direction. Random people will try to strike up conversations with you on the train, even if it means it's a one sided conversation since you don't speak Italian and they don't speak English. Every day I was there a haze covered the city like the soft light you see depicting Tuscany in Paintings...it really does look like that...it isn't just some artistic affect.