Roaming the city of Florence is like visiting a vast and open air art museum. Being the very city where Italian Renaissance was born, it is home to numerous magnificent masterpieces. It is considered one of the most important European cities culturally, historically and artistically. Being in this city is being surrounded by authentic and exquisite works of arts by the masters like Michelangelo, da Vinci and Botticelli. So take a stroll and experience history with those beautiful cathedral and churches, majestic sculptures and splendid frescoes.
Florence is a city you can visit any time of the year but it is in its most lovely and romantic moods during summer when you can enjoy everything the city has to offer. The silent and calming walk while admiring the city’s marvels, the open-air arts that inspire young artists, the concert season that makes Florence one of the most festive and vibrant summer destination in Italy. And if you are lucky enough, you can have a once in a lifetime music experience visiting the Teatro del Maggio Musicale. It is a renowned world-class music and opera venue that features classical shows.
The most famous images of Florence are ones with the Ponte Vecchio in it. Literally meaning “old bridge”, this is the oldest bridge across the Arno. There have been different stores on the bridge since the 13th century when it was rebuilt after a flood destroyed the original one (which was built in 1218) until Ferdinand I decreed in 1593 that only jewelers and goldsmiths would be permitted to build their shops on the bridge of Ponte Vecchio. It also features the Corridoio Vasariano, an elevated walkway over the Ponte Vecchio that connects the Uffizi to the old Medici Palace or the Pitti Palace.
The Pitti Palace is a former Medici family palace where a collection of Medici’s artworks and historical treasures are preserved. After appreciating these beautiful works, visit the Giordino di Boboli or the Boboli Garden, the best garden in the city that offers excellent views of Florence.
The Uffizi Galleries are one of the most famous museums in the world. They are located in the heart of Florence and are home to great work of arts by equally great Italian artists. This lineup includes Botticelli’s Birth of Venus and Primavera, Michelangelo’s only painting and masterpiece in Florence Tondo Doni, Leonardo da Vinci’s the Annunciation, Filippo Lippi’s Madonna with Child and Two Angels and many more artworks of the 12th to 17th centuries. So don’t hesitate to pave your way through the long lines at the entrance of the museum. It will be worth it.
Another gallery you wouldn’t want to miss while in Florence is the Galleria dell’ Accademia, or Accademia Museum, if only to have a glimpse of Michelangelo’s magnificent statue of David! One of Michelangelo’s finest and most famous works, David attracts visitors like a flower to the bees. Other great works by Italian artists such as Domenico Ghirlandaio, Pontormo, Andrea del Sarto and many more are also featured in the halls of this museum.
Museums are not the only place you can go in Florence to see and learn more about art. Cathedrals and churches in Florence are masterpieces in their own right. Don’t forget to visit the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, also known as the Duomo di Firenze. Climb up to the top of the cupola or most commonly known as the Brunelleschi’ cupola, named after the man who designed the dome. From there, you have a spectacular view of the whole city. For an architectural trip, you should go and visit the Church of Santa Maria Novella. It is one of the most significant Gothic churches that can be found in Florence. There are works of art that are conserved inside the church like the Crucifix by Giotto and frescoes by Filippino Lippi and Domenico Ghirlandaio.
Another sight to see is the Piazza della Signoria or the Signoria Square, one of the most important public places in Italy. Feast your eyes on the marvelous statues that are abundant in this side of Florence. Here you can find the copy of Michelangelo’s famous David (the original being in Accademia Museum), Donatello’s impressive works, Hercules and Cacus by Baccio Bandinelli and other sculptures that make the plaza remarkable. The plaza is surrounded by equally important structures such as the Palazzo della Signoria, Palazzo degli Uffizi, Palazzo degli Uguccioni and the Palazzo delle Assicurazioni Generali.
Make the visit unforgettable by going to Vivoli and have a taste of Florence’s best gelateria (or ice cream parlor).