Florence the capital of Italy’s Tuscan region is surprisingly small. The city is magnetic, romantic and busy. Its urban fabric has hardly changed since the Renaissance, its narrow streets evoke a thousand tales. Fashion designers such as Gucci and Roverto Cavalli (both born here) parading there newest fashion collections on the Via de' Tornabuoni. Don’t miss the sunset over the Arno and the famous wines fo the Chianti region just south of the town.
PLACES TO VISIT
1.CATHEDRAL OF SANTA MARIA DEL FIORE AND PIAZZA DUOMO
The group of buildings that form the cathedral complex gather some of Italy's greatest artistic treasures into one relatively small area. In the baptistery, bell tower, cathedral, and museum, you'll see some of the best-known masterpieces of art and architecture by the greatest artists of the Italian Renaissance -- Ghiberti, Brunelleschi, Donatello, Giotto, and Michelangelo. Around the square you can admire the intricate inlaid marble exteriors, then step inside each one to look more closely at the stained glass works of art that greet you wherever you look.
The bridge has traditionally been the home for the shops of the talented goldsmiths. A stroll across the bridge still shows a dazzling array of fine jewelry.
3.SANTA MARIA NOVELLA
In this Dominican church the striped façade of inlaid marble had been interpreted quite differently, tracing graceful curving designs, imitating windows, and highlighting rows of arches in the lower story. Inside some of the city’s finest frescoes by masters Masaccio, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Lippi, Paolo Uccello can be found.
4.GALLERIA DELL’ACCADEMIA (ACADEMY GALLERY)
Inside this museum you can find the best-known Michelangelo work, David. Due to an attack the statue is behind glass. Unfinished work by Michelangelo such as “Slaves” and “St. Matthew” is also on display. In the other galleries you can see highlights by 13th- to 16th-century Florentine artists. Sandro Botticelli's Madonna is a highlight.
5.PALAZZO PITTI AND BOBOLI GARDENS
The Pitti Palace complex has many things to offer, an outstanding art gallery, a Medici palace, Florentine craftsmanship, museums, history, royal apartments, fountains, statuary and one of Italy's premier gardens. A faux grotto carved into the hillside was a faux grotto, a maze, formal beds, even an amphitheater in the quarry hole left from removing stone to build the palace.
6.GIOTTO’S BELL TOWER (CAMPANILE DI GIOTTO)
Designed by Giotto in the 14th century, it actually required three architects to finish the design. The changes in style and design are apparent. You can admire the tower's external design from the square below and admiring the statues and reliefs by such famed artists as Donatello and Andrea Pisano. Climb to the top and view the Duomo from this vantage point.
7.BASILICA OF SANTA CROCE
This principal Franciscan church is a very important landmark of the city. Some of Italy’s most famous nationals including Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli, Foscolo, Gentile and Rossini is buried here.
OTHER PLACES TO VISIT
The best way to get around in Florence is by bus, taxis, biycles and electric minibuses.
The best time to visit Florence is between May and September when warm weather ushers in art festivals, open-air dining and the kind of Italian sunshine that inspired the Renaissance painters.