Florence is a beautiful, quaint city thats surrounded by a fascinating history, gorgeous countryside, superb wines and delicious foods. Although you could walk from one end of the city to the other in about a half hour, youll need lots of time to make the most out of this trip. Make sure you pack good walking shoes to guarantee you can see everything this fascinating city has to offer.
The buildings, museums and churches that fill Florence showcase how this city loves to display art and splendor. The Renaissance period can be seen throughout the city. Well known as the capital of the arts, its home to stunning galleries that display the works of many Italian artists. Both Dante and Michelangelo were born here. Its a good idea to grab a map of the city when you get here and plan out what you all want to see. A few places that should be marked as must sees are the Bargello Museum, Santa Croce, Duomo, Pitti Palace, Piazza San Lorenzo, and Piazza della Signoria. Each one is fascinating to explore and filled with a rich history.
The Bargello Museum hosts an impressive collection of medieval and Renaissance sculptures. Some of its works include Michelangelo's drunken Bacchus and Donatello's David. The building itself tells an interesting story as it used to be a prison in the medieval times where many were tortured. The faade of Santa Croce is a fantastic display of marble. But as the old saying goes, its whats inside that counts. Famous Florentines that are buried here include Michelangelo, Macchiavelli, Galileo and Bardi. Although damaged in the flood of 1966, the Santa Croce museum features a partially restored crucifix designed by the Italian artist Cimabue.
Renaissance artist Brunelleschis work can be seen throughout Florence. Duomo was designed by him and is a remarkable display of creativity and design. Its the worlds fourth largest cathedral and took almost 150 years to complete. It dominates the Florence skyline as it stands out with its red-tiled dome and pink, green and white marble faade. Brunelleschi also designed Pitti Palace. It hosts an amazing art collection, gathered by the Medici family, Florences most influential family. The apartments showcase the lavish lifestyle they were accustomed to. The palace also houses a gallery of modern art and a costume collection. Close to the Palace is the Boboli Gardens. The tree-lined Renaissance landscape showcases gorgeous fountains, a grotto, pools and much more. The Piazza San Lorenzo surrounds the San Lorenzo Basilica, which was begun by Brunelleschi in 1425, is the resting place for the Medici family. Other famous artists have all left their mark here. Donatello designed the bronze pulpits and is buried in one of the chapels. The Laurenziana Library features a staircase created by Michelangelo. The New Sacristy was also designed by Michelangelo and contains his Night and Day, Dawn and Dusk sculptures.
Most tourists spend some time at the Piazza della Signoria. The streets are lined with replicas of well-known buildings and sculptures. One of the most impressive is the Fountain of Neptune, created out of black marble. There are fantastic restaurants and cafs for you to enjoy here. Because so many tourists come though, you may pay more for an espresso here than elsewhere in the city.
After all that sightseeing youll need to get refueled before you continue. Your visit to Florence will only be enhanced when you enjoy its culinary delights. Whether its a simple homemade bowl of soup or a gourmet meal, youll love the fresh ingredients as well as the fine wines that accompany almost every meal. Although the ingredients are often simple, the chefs creations will make you want to come back for seconds or thirds.
Enjoy its fascinating sites, beautiful architecture and amazing foods. Explore its rich history and learn about its culture. Your visit to Florence will soon create many memories as you to experience the many wonders this city can provide.