Florence is a huge and beautiful monument to the Renaissance period. One of the world's greatest cities of art.
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Florence in 20 seconds
Florence is a huge and beautiful monument to the Renaissance period. Many artists in the city have helped shape Florence into the city we know today. One of the world’s greatest cities of art.
Florence’s historic center, which is of course a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has been since 1982, is extremely compact and most sights can easily be reached on foot.
Florence is located in Tuscany
Holiday in Florence
The majority of the many tourists in Florence head straight for the Duomo, the historical and geographical center of the city.
Here you will also find the Campanile, the Baptistery and the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo.
To the south you can reach Piazza della Signoria, for many years the political heart of the city, along with the city hall. Further south you’ll find the Uffizi Museum, containing one of Italy’s greatest art collections.
East of the Duomo you can experience the Church of Santa Croce. And to the west of that lies another great church, Santa Maria Novella.
And you will not need to travel far outside Florence to enjoy and experience the Tuscan countryside. When walking across the Ponte Vecchio, probably the most photographed bridge in the world, you cross the Arno River that beautifully divides the city in two, and over the other side you find the Oltrarno district.
Oltrarno is characterized and dominated by the Santo Spirito, as well as the great Palazzo Pitti, where the Renaissance masters also left their mark.
You should not deprive yourself of a walk up to Piazzale Michelangelo, which gives you a stunning view of Florence and definitely requires you to snap a photo, or maybe two.
Palazzo Pitti is a huge palace and one of the greatest architectural buildings in Florence. The Pitti family had the building designed by Filippo Brunellschi in 1457, but it was later sold to the Medici family, who had it altered and extended, this time designed by Bartolomeo Ammannati.
Today the Pitti houses some of the most important museums in Florence. On the first floor you will find the Palalina Gallery, where you can marvel at paintings from the 16th and 17th centuries. On the ground floor there is the so-called Silver Museum and the Museo degli Argenti, home to a rich collection of high-value artifacts commissioned by the Medici family.
On the top floor is the Museum of Modern Art. Here there is a wonderful collection of paintings, including several Tuscan painters, with works dating from the late 18th century and all the way up to World War I.
The Boboli has had an enormous historical importance for Florence. The garden is not just a green spot in the middle of the city, where you can breathe for a few minutes and then quickly move on. It is actually an outdoor museum featuring ancient sculptures, museums and fountains. It is beautiful no matter the season. So visit during the spring, summer or the colorful autumn days. Boboli is magical in every way, and with the Palazzo Pitti in front of it, the place is truly unique.
In the middle of this huge oasis, where the peace has really settled in, there are several places where you can get a beautiful view of Florence. It is also where you have the opportunity to see a huge amphitheater, with the famous Neptune Fountain. Inside the garden you will find Il Viottolone, Prato del Cavaliere, Grotta Grande and Koffeehouse, where you can drink an amazing cup of Italian coffee while gazing at the beautiful frescoes.
To visit these places, you will need a pair of strong legs and a good physique. As if you have not already walked enough this day, you should treat yourself to just a bit more walking in order to reach the Piazzale Michelangelo, which I think you should experience. The atmosphere up here and the view over Florence is absolutely breathtaking.
The square lies just less than 2 kilometers away from the Boboli Gardens, and the climb is rapid. And on a summer’s day, as when I was there, the walk doesn’t get any easier. So make sure you have a bottle of cold water at hand for the trek, which will make the going much easier and worthwhile, especially when you reach your destination and you have the whole of Florence at your feet.
For me it is only because of the view that you should walk these kilometers up a hill. But to me, it is absolutely worth every step.
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At the Ponte Vecchio bridge you will experience what a crowd feels like, because this bridge is full of people, especially on the weekends and during summer.
Personally, I find the bridge most beautiful at a distance, in the sense that you get the full view of it. But you can of course also venture out on the bridge itself, where a whole range of stores are open for business, primarily selling jewelry.
But no matter how you go about it, you need to see Ponte Vecchio when in Florence.
The region of Tuscany is known for its fine wine, and you need a good meal to go with that. Luckily, I can guarantee that you will find plenty of great food in Florence.
I have been visiting the city regularly for more than 20 years, and have thus visited many different kinds of restaurants, always with the sole purpose of having an Italian meal.
Here I have included a number of texts and pictures from various restaurants that I have noted down over the years. This will not be a rating or anything, because I am not good enough to convey that, but only a recommendation of the various places, because I can do that after all.
One more note on the topic of eating in Italy, I always order a local wine, or at least one from the region. I can not remember all of the wines, but I know almost for sure that the wine I have ordered for the ones below comes from Chianti, an area that lies between Florence and Siena.