Without a doubt, Florence is an extraordinarily beautiful city. Cradle of the Renaissance and one of Europe’s great art cities, Florence is also well known for its breathtaking landscapes, exquisite cuisine, and rich history. The city of Florence is the capital of the famous region of Tuscany, surrounded by its lovely rolling hills covered with vineyards, olive groves, and breathtaking landscapes. The city of Florences was founded by the Romans, as a military colony in the 1st. Century BCE, and during its long and rich history it has been witness to innumerable changes in Art, politics, and society.
This is a city in which Art is found in every corner, in its architectural masterpieces, the Art that inhabits its spaces: extraordinary paintings, sculptures, and frescoes. Furthermore in its rich culture and its traditions. To this day it gives testimony to the innumerable geniuses that contributed to its current splendor, and the powerful families that supported them. Michelangelo Buonarroti, Dante Alighieri, Galileo Galilei, Leonardo da Vinci, Sandro Botticelli, just to name a few of the countless brilliant figures and their powerful and famous patrons: the Medici Family.
A stroll around Florence
If you take a walk around this breathtaking city with its picturesque crimson rooftops and narrow streets, you will see some of Europe’s most stunning buildings. From Santa Maria Novella Station you can see Santa Maria Novella church, built on the 13th. Century with its beautiful combined-styled marble facade.
If you continue down the main street you will inevitably run into the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral with its striking facade, bell tower, and most notably the Duomo which represents a breakthrough in architectural engineering. With its 45.5 meters of diameter and a total height of more than 116 meters, the dome is the largest masonry vault in the world and was built between 1420 and 1436 by Filippo Brunelleschi. His major innovation was to build the Dome without a supporting structure.
The Cradle of Reinassance
By resuming your stroll you will arrive at The Signoria Square (Piazza della Signoria) Florence’s main square. It was named after the Palazzo della Signoria (Signoria Palace) also called Palazzo Vecchio. This square is the main point of the origin and history of the Florentine Republic and still maintains its reputation as the political focus of the city. It is historically a meeting place for Florentines and currently for numerous tourists. It hosts several statues by some of Florence’s most brilliant sculptors: Giambologna, Donatello, Cellini just to name a few. Guarding Palazzo Vecchio’s gate you can find a copy of Michelangelo’s masterpiece: The David (the original piece currently stands in Galleria dell’Accademia). Next to Palazzo Vecchio, you will see Galleria degli Uffizi (The Uffizi Gallery) famous worldwide for its magnificent collection of ancient sculptures and paintings, from the Middle Ages to the Modern period. The collection of paintings from the 14th-century and Renaissance period includes some absolute masterpieces: Giotto, Piero della Francesca, Filippo Lippi, Botticelli,, Leonardo, Raffaello, Michelangelo, and Caravaggio, in addition to many precious works by European painters.
Surround Yourself With Art
Carry on following the Arno River and you will see Ponte Vecchio or “Old Bridge” one of Italy’s most famous and recognized bridges. Its architecture has changed over the years combining different styles and details. It crosses the Arno river uniting two areas of Florence. In the past, Ponte Vecchio hosted butchers, fisher shops, and merchants on its premises. Nowadays it hosts jewelry shops and stores.
By following the Vasari Corridor (a hallway that connects Galleria degli Uffizi with Palazzo Pitti) on top of Ponte Vecchio, starting from the ground floor of the Uffizi, goes on over Ponte Vecchio and reaches the Medicean Gardens of Boboli and the Grand-Ducal residence of Pitti Palace beyond the Arno River, you will find Palazzo Pitti or Pitti Palace.
Palazzo Pitti was chosen by Cosimo I de Medici and his wife Eleonora of Toledo as the new Grand Ducal residence, and it soon became the new symbol of the Medici’s power over Tuscany. It also housed the Court of other two dynasties: the House of Habsburg-Lorraine and the Kings of Italy from the House of Savoy, who inhabited it from 1865. Nonetheless, the palace still bears the name of its first owner, the Florentine banker Luca Pitti. Today the Palace is divided into four museums: the Treasury of the Grand Dukes on the ground floor, the Palatine Gallery and the Imperial and Royal Apartments on the first floor, the Gallery of Modern Art, and the Museum of Costume and Fashion on the second floor. There are infinite spots in Florence in which you can find traces of History and Art. This is without a doubt one of the most beautiful cities you will see. Inspiration of great poets and artists, one lifetime is not enough to discover the infinite gems this city has to offer.