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A Historic Visit To Florence, Italy

''If you want to go back in history, Florence will welcome you with open arms!''

Florence, the capital of Italy’s Tuscany region and the birthplace of Renaissance, is known for its history and artistic legacy worldwide. The city’s museums, palaces, and churches are a testament of the history of architecture and house some of the greatest artistic works in the world. Most of these were the brainchild of greatest minds of all time and illustrious artists like Brunelleschi to Michelangelo. Their paintings, sculptures and frescoes can be seen all over Florence.

LOCATION : Florence is the capital of Italy’s Tuscany region.

THINGS TO SEE

• Located in the heart of Florence, The Uffizi Gallery is among the most visited museums in the world and is famous for its rich, unique artworks and masterpieces conserved within its wall, most of which belong to the Renaissance period. You may come across a long queue of visitors at the entrance because only smaller groups are allowed in at a time. To escape the long queue, book your ticket in advance for a small fee.

• The Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore or the Florence cathedral is the key church of Florence. This Gothic church, designed by Arnolfo di Cambio, stands tall in the city with its magnificent Renaissance dome. The dome was, however, designed by Filippo Brunelleschi. The biggest artwork within the cathedral is Giorgio Vasari's frescoes of the Last Judgment.

• Overlooking the marvelous Piazza della Signoria is one of the most famous symbols of Florence. Palazzo Vecchio is the town hall of Florence. It was originally designed Arnolfo di Cambio and has seen modifications and revamping over the centuries. Various statues are lined up in front of the Palazzo Vecchio, including a copy of Michelangelo's David and the group of Hercules and Cacus by Bandinelli. While a majority portion is used by the city’s council, a part has been converted into a splendid museum.

• No visit to Florence is complete without a leisurely stroll at the Ponte Vecchio, a medieval stone closed-spandrel segmental arch bridge over the Arno River. Standing firm on stone pillars and wooden planks, the current bridge was rebuilt after a flood in 1345. There are a few jewellery shops as well on the bridge.

Basilica of Santa Croce is the burial place of Michelangelo, Rossini, Machiavelli, and Galileo Galilei. It overlooks the Piazza Santa Croce, which is the site of the annual soccer game in medieval costume, the Calcio Storico Fiorentino. This neo-Gothic Franciscan church is known for frescoes by Giotto.

David is a masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture created by Michelangelo that took three years to complete. It is a 14 feet marble statue of a nude male that depicts the Biblical hero David and is an excellent addition to the beauty of Piazza della Signoria.

• Designed in 1869 by Florentine architect Giuseppe Poggi, Piazzale Michelangelo is a famous square with a magnificent panoramic view of Florence and the Arno valley. Poggi designed it with a view to display Michelangelo's works, including the David and Medici chapel sculptures from San Lorenzo. But the project could not take off due to some reasons, and currently houses only a bronze replica of Michelangelo's David.

Palazzo Pitti, also called the Pitti Palace, was formerly the residence of the grand dukes of Tuscany and later of the King of Italy. It now houses important collections of paintings and sculpture, works of art, porcelain, silver and period costumes by Raphael, Titian, Correggio, Rubens, Pietro da Cortona and other Italian and European masters of the Renaissance and Baroque periods.

Bargello, also known as the Palazzo del Bargello, is a must visit museum for sculpture lovers as it houses a remarkable collection of sculpture and works of art by Donatello, Luca della Robbia, Verrocchio, Michelangelo and Cellini. It was formerly the head of the police and was used as as prison during the whole of 18th century. It is also a home to Bacchus, one of the first sculptures of Michelangelo.

SHOPPING
• Florence is full of designer boutiques, vintage shops and handicrafts outlets. Shopoholics can check out the following streets:
Via Tornabuoni: Is home to luxury brands like Gucci, Prada, Pucci, Ferragamo, Versace, Pomellato, Roberto Cavalli, Tiffany & Co, and Cartier to name a few.
Via della Vigna Nuova: Houses brands like Etrò, Lacoste and Monteblanc
Via Maggio: For antiques, art works and collectables
Via de' Fossi: For antiques, art works and collectables. You can identify the shops by the works of Renaissance on their windows.
San Lorenzo Market: For leather products such as jackets, bags, belts, and wallets
Oltrarno: For sulptures, books and jewellery
Ponte Vecchio: For handmade jewelry such as necklaces, rings, earrings, and bracelets
• Most shops are open until around 7:30pm

FOOD/DRINK

From classic trattorias to market stalls, Florence is full of eateries. Here are a few places in Florence where you can enjoy luscious Tuscan food and drinks.

Casa del Vino: It is located at St Lorenzo street. Try hams, sausages and the delicious porchetta sandwich made of pork here.

Trattoria da Mario: It is located behind the food market the Mercato Centrale. Here, you can try ribollita vegetable soup, bollito misto (boiled beef and tongue with a zingy parsley sauce) and the massive bistecca Fiorentina.


Source / Review By : Triponomics

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