Florence Attractions

Alain Moreno

04 March 2021

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Florence is a city full of attractions, museums, places to visit and some of these you just can’t miss. The entire historic center can be visited on foot and from our hotel, located in an excellent location, you can reach everything in a maximum of 15 minutes.

 

Are you ready? Let’s start with the advice!

Duomo and Giotto's Bell Tower

The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, commonly known as the Duomo of Florence, is the main Florentine church and symbol of the city; when it was completed in the 15th century, it was the largest church in the world. It stands on the foundations of the ancient cathedral of Florence, the church of Santa Reparata, in a point of the city that has hosted religious buildings since Roman times.

 

The construction of the Cathedral began in 1296 and ended from a structural point of view only in 1436. The initial works were entrusted to the architect Arnolfo di Cambio and then interrupted and resumed numerous times over the decades.

 

The plan of the Cathedral consists of a three-nave basilica body welded to an enormous triconca roundabout that supports the immense dome by Brunelleschi, the largest masonry dome ever built. At the base of the marble lantern, there is a panoramic terrace overlooking the city located 91 meters above the ground. The facade of the Cathedral in polychrome marble dates back to the modern era, in fact it dates back to 1887 by Emilio de Fabris and is an important example of neo-Gothic style in Italy.

Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore

Giotto’s Bell Tower is the bell tower of Santa Maria del Fiore. Its foundations were dug around 1298 at the beginning of the construction of the new cathedral. In 1334 Giotto di Bondone took over the post of master builder.

 

The unusual position of the bell tower, aligned with the façade, reflects the desire to give it great importance as a sign of strong verticality in the center of the Insula Episcopalis, as well as probably the practical need to free the view of the apsidal area for the large dome, foreseen since Arnolfian project. Giotto provided an original design of the bell tower, with a pyramidal cusp termination 50 Florentine arms high (about 30 meters), according to which the total elevation should have been about 110-115 meters. The height of the bell tower that can be visited to the public is still 82 meters and the number of steps to climb to the top is 398 original to which 15 must be added which are part of the first access ramp.

Uffizi Gallery

The Uffizi Gallery is a museum that is part of the museum complex called Gallerie degli Uffizi and includes, in addition to the aforementioned gallery, the Vasari Corridor, the collections of Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens, which together constitute one of the most important museums in the world.

 

There are the most conspicuous existing collection of Raphael and Botticelli, as well as fundamental groups of works by Giotto, Tiziano, Pontormo, Bronzino, Andrea del Sarto, Caravaggio, Dürer, Rubens and others.

 

The museum houses a collection of priceless works of art, deriving, as a fundamental nucleus, from the Medici collections, enriched over the centuries by bequests, exchanges and donations, among which a fundamental group of religious works derived from the suppression of monasteries and convents between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Divided into various rooms set up for schools and styles in chronological order, the exhibition displays works from the 12th to 18th centuries, with the best collection in the world of works from the Florentine Renaissance. Of great value are also the collection of ancient statuary and above all that of drawings and prints which, kept in the Cabinet of the same name, is one of the most conspicuous and important in the world.

Venus of Botticelli - Uffizi Gallery

Accademy's Gallery

The Accademy’s Gallery in Florence exhibits the largest number of sculptures by Michelangelo in the world (seven), including the famous David. Inside the museum there are also other sections, including the largest and most important collection in the world of pictorial works with a gold background and the Museum of musical instruments, where many artifacts belonging to the historical collection of the Luigi Cherubini Conservatory are exhibited.

 

In 1784, in the premises of the hospital of San Matteo and the convent of San Niccolò di Cafaggio, the Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo di Lorena refounded the Academy of Fine Arts, bringing together various institutions including the ancient Academy of Drawing Arts, founded in 1563 by Cosimo I de ‘Medici. The new institution responsible for teaching art was joined by a gallery where students could find works of art (original and reproduced) on which to base their knowledge, study and imitation for their own artistic training. The plaster casts, drawings and various models were placed in what was the men’s gallery of the former hospital, now part of the Academy along via Cesare Battisti, while in what had been the women’s ward (current Gipsoteca Bartolini / Salone the nineteenth century) the paintings were arranged.

Michelangelo's David - Accademy's Gallery

Ponte Vecchio

Ponte Vecchio is one of the symbols of the city of Florence and one of the most famous bridges in the world. It crosses the Arno river about 150 meters downstream of the area where the river naturally presents one of the points where the riverbed is narrowest within the city of Florence in its upstream stretch of the Cascine. The area in question is at the Canottieri under the Uffizi. In ancient times there was a ford.

 

Originally it was surrounded by four towers and included three round bays. It was then rebuilt by Taddeo Gaddi following a flood that caused its destruction. After the reconstruction, the bridge became lowered.

Ponte Vecchio

Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens

Palazzo Pitti was the residence of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, already inhabited by the Medici, the Habsburg-Lorraine and, after the unification of Italy, by the Savoy.

 

Inside there is a museum complex consisting of galleries and museums of various kinds: the Palatine Gallery (the art gallery preserves masterpieces by Raphael, Titian, etc.) arranged according to the criterion of the eighteenth-century picture gallery, the Royal Apartments, the Apartment of the Duchess of Aosta and the Quartiere del Principe in Naples (usually not open to tourists), the Modern Art Gallery (with the works of the Macchiaioli) and other specialized museums: the Treasury of the Grand Dukes, dedicated to applied art, the Museum of fashion and costume, the largest Italian museum dedicated to fashion, the Porcelain Museum and the Museum of carriages.

Boboli Gardens - Pitti Palace

Boboli Gardens is a historic park in the city of Florence. Born as the Grand Ducal garden of Palazzo Pitti, it is also connected to the Forte di Belvedere, a military outpost for the safety of the sovereign and his family. The garden is one of the most important examples of an Italian garden in the world and is a real open-air museum, for its architectural-landscape setting and for the collection of sculptures, ranging from Roman antiquities to the twentieth century.

 

The gardens were built between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, by the Medici, then by the Lorraine and the Savoy, and occupy an area of ​​approximately 45,000 m². Over the years, new portions with different settings were added to the first late-Renaissance style setting, visible in the nucleus closest to the building: along the axis parallel to the building, the perspective axis of the lane was born, from which gravel-covered walkways unravel leading to ponds, fountains, nymphaeums, temples and caves. Remarkable is the importance of the statues and buildings in the garden, such as the eighteenth-century Kaffeehaus (rare example of Rococo style in Tuscany), which allows you to enjoy the view over the city, or the Limonaia, still in the original green Lorraine color.

Piazzale Michelangelo

Piazzale Michelangelo was built in 1869 to a design by the architect Giuseppe Poggi on a hill just south of the historic center, to complete the redevelopment of the left bank of the Arno.

 

The square, dedicated to the great Renaissance artist Michelangelo, presents copies of some of his famous works preserved in Florence: the David and the four allegories of the Medici Chapels of San Lorenzo. These copies are made in bronze, while the originals are all in white marble. The monument was brought up by nine pairs of oxen on June 25, 1873.

 

The panorama embraces the heart of Florence, from Forte Belvedere to Santa Croce passing through the Arno river and the bridges of Florence in sequence, above all the Ponte Vecchio; the Duomo, the Palazzo Vecchio, the Bargello and the octagonal bell tower of the Badia Fiorentina stand out, without forgetting the opposite hills to the north of the city with Fiesole and Settignano in the center.

Piazzale Michelangelo view

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