Famous for its authentic neighborhoods, spectacular architecture and small shops, Florence is a historic city an a popular tourist destination. Here are some good reasons to visit Florence-Tuscany.
Florence has been the cradle of Renaissance and a cultural and trade center since the 15th century. It hosts some of the most famous museums in the world and its iconic landscapes spread as far as they eye can see. For people who love art, then Florence should definitely be in their bucket list. This is because it is a city exploding with history and you can literally see some impressive masterpieces at every direction you turn your head. Although you will need more than a weekend to experience Florence at its fullest, here are some must-see spots:
Duomo of Florence
This symbol of Florence and the Italian Renaissance begun during the 13th century. The impressive dome which dominates the exterior, is added by Filippo Brunelleschi in the 15th century. The cathedral named in honor of Santa Maria del Fiore is a vast Gothic structure built on the site of the 7th century church of Santa Reparata, the remains of which can be seen in the crypt. Additionally, famous artists are buried there, including Giotto di Bondone.
Decorated with frescoes by very skilled artists, including Giorgio Vasari and Giotto, this is in itself a symbol of status. The best information that we can give you however, is that it is entry free. You do have to buy the single “Grande Museo del Duomo” pass to visit the other monuments in Piazza del Duomo (climb up the Dome and the bell tower, the Baptistery and the museum).
Ponte Vecchio Bridge
This is the oldest bridge in Florence. It is believed that it is build during the ancient Roman times. Moreover, the bridge tells the story of art, war, infrastructure and international trade. The medieval structure stands tall today and tells the story of the impressive renaissance capital. You will find this amazing bridge between the Ponte Santa Trinita and the Ponte alle Grazie on the river Arno.
The Boboli Gardens is an oasis in the heart of Florence. The gardens were built during the 16th century for Cosimo de Medici. They host a huge variety of plants. The exquisite fountains and statues that decorate the vast green landscapes, are built from famous artists, Michelangelo among them. If you get a guide, he\she will share with you amazing must-know facts about the history of the gardens.
San Lorenzo Market
The central market in the San Lorenzo neighborhood, is the largest covered market in Florence. it is separated in two parts, the indoor and outdoor market. Between the hundreds of stalls on either side of the street you will find vendors selling pottery, clothing, notebooks, souvenirs, and various leather goods including bags, belts, wallets, and jackets. Many of the stall owners have small warehouses closeby where they restock every night and store their stalls. The market is located in a beautiful building designed by Giuseppe Mengoni, the same architect who designed the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan, built from 1870-74 when Florence was still capital of Italy. Additionally, the location was used for filming for the movie Inferno, which is based on Dan Brown’s book.
Some other famous museums in Florence that are worth visiting include:
-Uffizi Gallery: the next most popular museum in Florence
-Pitti Palace And The Boboli Gardens
-Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore