Some information about Florence
2.000 years of history, known to the ancients as Florentia, a city that arouses feelings and memories, with a beauty so perfect that it is beyond imagination. Florence, the cradle of the Renaissance, city of the lily, a mix of medieval villages and renaissance palaces and loggias. The valley in which it is located, crossed by the waters of the Arno and dominated by the hills of Fiesole, is littered with historic towers.
Church of Santa Maria del Fiore – Florence cathedral
The Duomo of Florence was designed by Arnolfo di Cambio, while the impressive dome, which is a landmark of the city of Florence, is by the great Brunelleschi, who built the dome in bricks arranged in a “herringbone” pattern. Externally, the church is gothic; the dome, built 100 years later is renaissance but maintains a gothic quality. The interior is decorated with a sixteenth century marble floor, numerous sculptures and frescoes by Paolo Uccello, Vasari, and Zuccai.
An octagonal Romanesque building set beside the Duomo. Of considerable beauty is Ghiberti’s east door, illustrating episodes from the Old Testament and described by Michelangelo as the “door of paradise". The interior is decorated with thirteenth century Byzantine mosaics.
II Campanile of Santa Maria del Fiore was designed by the ingenious Giotto. The top three floors of the tower are the work of F. Talenti, who replaced the classic spire of gothic bell towers with a beautiful terrace overlooking Florence.
A masterpiece of fourteenth century medieval architecture. In the 16th century hall you can admire many paintings by Vasari and the "Genius of Victory" by Michelangelo. The courtyard, renovated Michelazzi in 1470, is decorated with stuccos, frescoes and a sixteenth century fountain. The monumental "Quarters" of Leo X and Eleonora of Toledo retain many decorations from the 15th and 16th centuries.
The Uffizi Gallery
The Uffizi Gallery houses one of the world’s greatest art collections. It has sculptures and paintings on panels and on canvas by artists from Italian schools and schools of other countries from the 13th to the 18th century, one of the most famous being the Venus of Botticelli. The gallery, begun by Vasari and completed by Buontalenti, was originally intended by Cosimo I dei Medici as a venue for public offices (hence the name Uffizi).
This unique bridge, spanning the river Arno, is completely covered with houses which were originally wool weavers’ shops, later replaced by jewellers, and now famous worldwide for it’s works in gold.
Designed by Brunelleschi in 1440, it was the palace of the Medici, who enlarged and enriched it with precious ornaments. Vittorio Emanuele chose it as his residence when Florence became the capital of Italy. Today you can visit the royal apartments, the Pelatina Gallery, the Museo degli Argenti, the Gallery of Modern Art, the Carriage Museum, and the Porcelain Museum. Contemporary exhibitions are held in the Sala Bianca.
Museo della Certosa
Passion of Christ
Museo di San Marco
Dedicated to the paintings of the Dominican friar, Giovanni da Fiesole, known as "Beato Angelico".
In the middle of the 1800s some of Michelangelo’s greatest masterpieces, including the David, were taken out of the Piazza della Signoria and placed here for safe keeping.
National Museum of Bargello
Natural History Museum
Santa Croce Museum
A fourteenth century refectory where a crucifix by Cimabue stands next to a fresco by Taddeo Gaddi and Donatello’s gilt bronze statue of St. Ludovico. The famous Pazzi Chapel is one of Brunelleschi's masterpieces.
Salvatore Ferragamo Museum
On display are 10,000 models of footwear, which document the career of Salvatore Ferragamo and the activities of the fashion house from the 1920s to the present day.
The famous Torrini jewellery house.
Dante’s House Museum
On display in this museum are pictures, illustrations, and documentary material on the life of Dante Alighieri, in addition to various editions of The Divine Comedy.
Parco delle Cascine
Located on the right bank of the Arno, the Cascine is the largest public park in Florence, a place to stroll and relax.
Piazza della Signoria
Dominated by the grandeur of the Palazzo Vecchio, the piazza is also famous for the three arches of the Loggia della Signoria, also called ‘dei Lanzi’, because the Lanzichenecchi camped here. It is adorned with sculptures, including Cellini's Perseus. There are also copies of masterpieces by Michelangelo and Donatello.
Piazza Santa Croce
Via de Tornabuoni
Among the most elegant streets of Florence, it is dotted with fine shops and boutiques of the most prestigious fashion houses.
Built in the middle of the 1800s it offers a wonderful view of the city.
Loggia del Porcellino
It is the popular name for the Loggia del Mercato Nuovo in Florence. Originally selling silk and precious objects, then straw hats, today you can find leather goods and souvenirs. In the middle of the loggia is the "Fontana del Porcellino", a bronze boar made in 1600s by P. Tacca; the original is in Palazzo Pitti. Tradition has it that touching the nose brings good luck. In fact, it has a very a shiny nose, as it is rubbed everyday by hundreds of people.
It is the most hidden and least known Florence which will remain in people's hearts. Tiny artisan shops that have handed down age-old techniques from generation to generation, small churches and markets, typical trattorias and other places off the beaten track.