Florence Italy tourist information:
Florence, which lies in the thriving heart of Tuscany, can best be described as the Renaissance capital of the world and a living breathing exhibition of art and Italian culture. It abounds with some of Italy's most extraordinary museums, basilicas, churches, piazzas (squares) and architecture. The majestic Arno River meanders through the center lending yet another dynamic to this already pictorially blessed city.
Making the most of your valuable time in Florence Italy...
Strolling through the center of Florence is a pleasure, the characterful narrow streets which are mostly closed to traffic are full of surprises and temptations. A good starting point is the Piazza della Signoria, it's the heart of Florence's historic center and an open-air art exhibit. The Loggia della Signoria, which sits on the square, contains a collection of some of the most valuable artworks in the world.
Head down Via Borgo San Lorenzo and you will find il Duomo (the Dome), probably Florence's most popular tourist attraction. The given name is Cattedrale de Santa Maria del Fiore.
Brunelleschi designed the Dome (il Duomo), which highlights the stunning Chiesa Santa Maria del Fiori, and many climb the 463 steps to the bell tower to enjoy the panoramic view over Florence. The cathedral is also a treasure trove of art with contributions from Michelangelo, Donatello and Brunelleschi.
The Baptistery of St John the Baptist lies in front of the Duomo,. It was built on the foundations of an ancient Roman temple and the golden doors which face the cathedral are replicas of an original set by Lorenzo Ghiberti (extensively copied - including the entrance doors to St Peters in Rome) and termed by Michelangelo as the “doors to paradise”.
Florence Italy tourist information: Museums and art galleries
Florence Italy tourist information: The Uffizi gallery (open 8.15am until 7pm) is one of the oldest and most important Renaissance art galleries in the world and is only outdone by the Vatican museums (it's very crowded so buy tickets ahead to skip the queues). Its impressive collection of artworks from the Renaissance period includes Botticelli's Birth of Venus, and art by Giotto, Lippi, Botticelli, Da Vinci, Raphael and Michelangelo. Most of the work was commissioned by the Medici family.
The Galleria Dell' Accademia, contains one of Florence's most renowned symbols, Michelangelo's original statue of David, and an impressive collection of artwork from the 13th-16th centuries including a collection of musical instruments, from the Medici family.
From Galleria Dell' Accademia head down Via Porta Santa Maria and you will find one of the world's most celebrated bridges, Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge), lucky to have survived WWII, it's one of only 3 bridges in the world that houses shops.
For the best views over the city of Florence take a walk from Porta Romana to Piazzale Michelangelo and then onto San Miniato, one of Tuscany's most beautiful Romanesque churches and the oldest standing in Florence.
Florence Italy tourist information
Shopping in Florence! Florence has some of the most exciting shopping in Europe, and is really an adventure rather than a commercial outing. Artisans crafts like leather goods, gold and silver smiths (see Ponte Vecchio) jewelry, art, handbags etc. will surprise down almost every alleyway.
Florence Italy tourist information: Recommended tours
Florence Italy tourist information: Transport to & from the Airports
Florence Airport aka Peretola Airport aka Amerigo Vespucci Airport (Italian "Aeroporto di Firenze"). Transport options from the airport are:
Pisa Airport aka Pisa Galileo Galilei International Airport (PSA). Transport to Florence:
How's your Italian?
You may be planning your holidays in Florence Italy but how's your Italian? With just a basic knowledge of Italian your enjoyment and experience of Florence and Italy could be magnified. It's one thing touring Florence and Italy at an arm's length, but a completely different and way more fun experience getting stuck in and feeling part of the culture! With most Italian courses costing less than one nights stay in a hotel in Italy what's stopping you?!
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