Main attractions and info about Florence

Florence, the city that gave birth to the Renaissance, is filled with monuments that boggle the mind and excite the eye! (Find some videos at the bottom!)

 

Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, the Duomo

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The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, also known as the Duomo, is the main church of Florence.  Construction began in 1296 and was completed in 1436. In a Gothic style, it is especially famous for its cupola made by Filippo Brunelleschi.

Campanile di Giotto

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the Campanile is a free-standing bell tower next to the Duomo.  It was designed by Giotto, in a  Gothic style, built between 1334 and 1359.

Battistero San Giovanni

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The Baptistry of Saint John the Baptist is a minor basilica and is located just in front of the Duomo.  It is one of the oldest buildings in Florence.  In an octagon shape, it was built in a Romanesque style between 1059 and 1128.  It replaced an earlier baptistry dating from the late 300s.  It is especially known for its exquisite interior Byzantine mosaics and its 3 sets of exterior bronze doors.

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 Michelangelo described the east doors as the gates to paradise. In fact, until the end of the nineteenth century, all Catholic Florentines were baptized here.  A visit for the mosaic interiors is NOT to be missed!

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Palazzo Vecchio & Piazza della Signoria

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The Palazzo Vecchio, Old Palace, was the city’s town hall.  It’s a massive Romanesque style building dating from the early 1300s.  It gained its name when the Medici family, who had been living there, moved to Palazzo Pitti, the new palace.  

Galleria degli Uffizi – Uffizi Gallery

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The Uffizi, offices in Italian,  was commissioned by Cosimo de’ Medici, built between 1560 and 1581and housed the Tribunal and State Archives.  It housed Medici works of art from the beginning on the piano nobile.  The Medici used it as a private gallery.  It was opened to the public in 1765 when the last Medici, Anna Maria Luisa, donated all the Medici art collection to the city.  It is today one of the world’s oldest and foremost museums.  A must see sight for all Renaissance art lovers!

Ponte Vecchio – Old Bridge

Ponte Vecchio

Ponte Vecchio

There has been a bridge at this site since Roman times.  The current bridge was constructed in 1345.  Until the late 1500s, the bridge housed butcher shops, but because of the pollution caused to the river and the terrible smell, the butchers were replaced by the jewelry shops we still see today.   

Palazzo Pitti – Pitti Palace

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The palace was commissioned in 1458 by Luca Pitti, a Florentine banker and was never finished when he experienced severe financial losses.  The Medici bought the work in progress in 1549.  The palace was vastly enlarged to more than double its original design.  

Basilica of Santa Maria Novella

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Santa Maria Novella was first great basilica in Florence, 50 years before the Duomo.  When the church was assigned to the Dominican order, they decided to build a larger church to replace the one existing.  Construction began in 1246 and was completed in 1360.  Giovanni di Paolo Rucellai, a wealthy wool merchant, commissioned Leone Battista Alberti to design the upper facade.  A look at the impressive artwork inside is recommended.

Galleria Accademia

The gallery was founded in 1784.  Its most famous sculpture, Michelangelo’s  David, was moved from the Piazza della Signoria and installed at the gallery in 1873.  A copy of the David stands in its original location today.

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Museo del Convento di San Marco

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Today’s museum was originally a convent housing Dominican friars.  The convent stands on ground that has been occupied for religious matters since the 12 century.  The current building was commissioned by Cosimo d’Medici the Elder and built under the supervision of the Florentine architect Michelozzo between 1439 and 1449.  The convent walls are covered with frescoes by the famous early Renaissance painter Fra Angelico which makes this a must see stop on any itinerary.

Basilica of San Lorenzo

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The Basilica di San Lorenzo, St. Lawrence, is one of the largest churches in Florence and located in the center of the city.  It claims to be the oldest church in Florence and was consecrated in 393 when it was outside the city walls.  It was the city’s cathedral of 300 years until the bishop’s seat was transferred to Santa Reparata which stood on the site now occupied by Santa Maria del Fiore, el Duomo.  The current structure was commissioned by Giovanni de Bicci de’Medici in 1419 and designed by Filippo Brunelleschi.  The church is part of a larger complex  and buildings by other famous Renaissance architects, especially the Laurentian Library and the Medici Chapels designed by Michelangelo.

Cappelle Medicee – Medici’s Chapels

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Palazzo Medici-Reccardi

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Mercato Centrale

Mercato Centrale

Mercato Centrale

Basilica di Santa Croce

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Bargello Museum

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Badia Fiorentina

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Palazzo Strozzi

Palazzo Strozzi, exterior

Palazzo Strozzi, exterior

Piazzale Michelangelo 

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Palazzo Davanzati 

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Palazzo Rucellai

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Basilica of San Miniato al Monte

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More information of Florence: Florence the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany, sits on the banks of the River Arno. The city is known for its rich history, and brilliant art and architecture. A hub for medieval European trade and finance, it is often regarded as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance and has been often referred to as the “the Athens of the Middle Ages”. Declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 1982, Florence continues to allure millions of tourists every year from all across the globe. Lodging is not at all a problem in the city as it boasts of a fabulous selection of Florence accommodations and nice apartment for you stay offert from airbnbflorence.Florence is home to some of the world’s most remarkable monuments, churches, and buildings. One of the major landmarks is the domed cathedral, Santa Maria del Fiore, known as The Duomo. It was built by Filippo Brunelleschi. The dome, 600 years after its completion, is still the largest dome built in brick and mortar in the world. Walk down the historic center of Florence, which was declared as World Heritage Site by the UNESCO for the importance of its rich cultural heritage. The city center is fortified by an imposing wall, that was built in the 14th century to defend Florence. Located in the heart of the city in Piazza della Signoria is Bartolomeo Ammanati’s Fountain of Neptune, which is an incredible masterpiece of marble sculpture. Do not miss on a visit to the huge Palazzo Pitti that contains a part of the affluent Medici family’s former private collection besides a large number of Renaissance works, costumes, porcelain, and modern art. Adjoining the palace are the well landscaped Boboli Gardens, which are adorned by many ornate and huge sculptures. Within close vicinity to Florence holiday homes and apartment rentals are many challenging golf courses where you can hone your golfing skills while basking under the bright sun. If you are in mood to explore beyond Florence then you can take interesting excursions to the surrounding tourist hotspots such as Il Chianti, Siena, Fiosole, San Geminiano.There is a plethora of shops and outlets in and around Florence, which offer a great opportunity to enjoy discounted prices on some of the most famous brand names in Italy. Easily accessible from Florence house rentals and homes, these shopping establishments sell everything from precious jewelry and trendy clothes to homemade cheese, bottles of sparkling wines and beautiful handicrafts. As far as dining is concerned, there is no dearth of fine quality taverns, food joints, and restaurants in the city where you can pamper your palate to a wide array of mouthwatering local as well as international delicacies and desserts. Also, there are several pubs, bars, and nightclubs which are perfect for experiencing the sizzling nightlife of Florence.

Our videos of ‘Must See’ Monuments in Florence:

http://www.loveflorenceitaly.com/i-love/churches-of-florence-video/