Façade of the Cathedral of Italy, Florence
Together with Venice, Italy, Florence is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and the historic center of Florence is a World Heritage Site since 1982. There are so many things to see in Florence, Italy!
The birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence is built on the site of an Etruscan settlement and is generally seen as one of the important cradles of art and architecture.
Florence boasts six hundred years of extraordinary artistic and cultural pursuits and activities, but it rose to special prominence in the 15th and 16th centuries under the Medici family that shaped the history and cultural institutions of Florence, Italy.
Ready to find out what to see in Florence, Italy? We selected the most popular Florence, Italy attractions and stunning photos.
Piazzale Michelangelo on Michelangelo Hill
You could start with the Piazzale Michelangelo to have a panoramic view of the city of Italy, Florence. Michelangelo square was built in 1869 on a hill just south of the old town, in the Oltrarno district.
From there you’ll have a fantastic view of the core of Florence, including Ponte Vecchio and other bridges crossing the Arno River, the famous Forence Cathedral, Forte Belvedere, Palazzo Vecchio, Santa Croce… and beyond the city the hills of Fiesole and Settignano.
The square, dedicated to Michelangelo, has bronze copies of some of his marble works found elsewhere in Florence such as the David.
Ponte Vecchio, the Oldest Surviving Bridge, and the Vasari Corridor
This emblematic bridge of Firenze, which name means Old Bridge in English, crosses the Arno river at its narrowest point. The first construction dates back to Roman times and it is the only bridge in Florence that wasn’t destroyed by the Germans during their Second World War retreat in 1944.
It is crossed by the Vasari corridor, Corridoio Vasariano in Italian, a gallery that connects the Palazzo Vecchio with the Pitti Palace passing by the Uffizi. The Vasari Corridor was built in 1565 in only five months by Giorgio Vasari at the behest of Grand Duke Cosimo I de Medici.
The Ponte Vecchio is lined either side with shops, mainly jewelers now. The shops of Ponte Vecchio face the aisle and each one has a single window closed by thick wooden doors.
And over the shops, the Corridoio Vasariano, the security tunnel that allowed the Medicis to get into their governmental office buildings without having to confront the dangerous plebs and the risk of assassination.
In the 19th century it was turned into an additional gallery for the Uffizi that can only be visited by special appointment. It gathers over 700 portraits, the largest collection of portraits and self-portraits in the world.
Awe-Inspiring Duomo of Firenze
The Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore that translates into English as Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower is popularly know as the Duomo di Firenze. The famous Brunelleschi dome is the largest masonry dome ever built. You can also see the Gothic Giotto’s Campanile or Giotto’s Bell tower standing next to the Basilica, one of the most important landmarks of Firenze, Italy.
Often people attribute the façade of the Duomo of Florence to Giotto but it was started twenty years after his death and it was a collective work by several artists. The original was left unfinished and dismantled in 1587 at the behest of the Medici. The neo Gothic facade we see today was built in the 19th century by Emilio De Fabris.
There are 460 steps to the top of the dome where you’ll have a spectacular view of the city of Firenze. Italy. The building of the Basilica of Santa Maria del Fiore began on the site of the Cathedral of Santa Reparata that wasn’t large enough to serve the growing population of Firenze. Now the Duomo can hold up to thirty thousand parishioners.
Basilica di Santa Croce: Pantheon of Illustrious Italians
One of the greatest Gothic churches in Italy, the Basilica di Santa Croce, literally Basilica of the Holy Cross in English, is the main Franciscan church in the city of Florence. It is also known as the Tempio dell’Itale Glorie, that translates as the Temple of the Italian Glories, because it is the burial place of some of the most famous and respected Italians: among others, Michelangelo, Rossini, Galileo and Machiavelli rest in this Florentine church.
Superb Art Collection in the Galleria degli Uffizi
The Uffizi Gallery in Florence is one of the most important art galleries in the world. It contains an incomparable collection of Renaissance art including the largest collections of paintings by Botticelli.
It also houses a remarkable collection of ancient sculptures and masterpieces by Giotto, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Caravaggio, among many others. There are other museums in Florence, Italy though. The Bargello is another museum worth visiting that houses masterpieces by Michelangelo.
Santa Maria Novella: First Gothic Church in Florence
The Basilica of Santa Maria Novella is Florence’s main Dominican church. In 1221 the twelve friars that had arrived in Florence from Bologna two years ago were assigned the small church of Santa Maria delle Vigne, surrounded by vineyards as her name vigne suggests.
Soon they started building a new church and an adjoining cloister and called this new church Novella, New in English. The Basilica di Santa Maria di Novella and the cloister contain several art treasures and funerary monuments. Particularly admired are the frescoes by artists of Gothic and early Renaissance.
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