Florence is a city in central Italy, is known as the “cradle of the Renaissance” (la culla del Rinascimento) for its monuments, churches, and buildings. The best-known site of Florence is the domed cathedral of the city, Santa Maria del Fiore, known as The Duomo. The nearby Campanile (partly designed by Giotto) and the Baptistery buildings are also highlights. The dome, 600 years after its completion, is still the largest dome built in brick and mortar in the world. If you like the historic building culture, this will be one of the best place to visit.
During ancient history, Florence was once a Roman city and then developed into a thriving medieval commune. It is hailed as the birthplace of the Renaissance movement, and throughout the 12th, 15th and 16th centuries, was one of the most important cities of the world. Notable residents of Florence included Machiavelli, Lorenzo Medici, Dante, Michelangelo, Donatello, Galileo and Raphael.Today, tourism is undoubtedly a major part of the economy of Florence and an average of 13 million people visit the city each year. Aside from tourism, Florence has a major industrial sector and is a producer of such goods as furniture, rubber, chemicals and food. Industrial districts such as Prato-Pistoria have historically exported high-quality goods such as Vespa scooters. If you are looking for a dose of culture and want to see fantastic buildings such as the Duomo, Florence will not disappoint.
Lets discover the best things to do in Florence:
1. Florence Cathedral
Located in the centre of the old city, the Duomo stands out for miles and creates an imposing sight amongst the other medieval buildings.The exterior and front facade of the Cathedral are monumental – covered in white marble and red, pink and green polychrome designs; the colour and style is breathtaking.
2. Palazzo Vecchio
Whilst the Duomo is the most important religious building, the Palazzo Vecchio is the most importance administrative building in Florence.With a square design and a number of crenulations, the building almost looks like a castle; it also has a large bell tower.The interior of the palace is also sublime with a series of originally decorated rooms such as The Hercules Room and The Room of Cybele.
3. Ponte Vecchio
Florence is full of famous buildings and the Ponte Vecchio is an extremely famous and old bridge. Spanning the river Arno, the Vecchio Bridge is noted for the number of shops that are built into the sides of the bridge, its decorated history and the plethora of shops that line the main walkway. Walk onto this fantastic structure and look at the various shops and vendors – You will find jewellers, art dealers and souvenir shops. Once at the midpoint, the bridge opens up and you are rewarded with fantastic views down the river Arno.
4. Basilica of Santa Croce
Constructed at a similar time to the Duomo, it also features a front facade that includes pink, green and red marble polychrome panels contrasted with polished white stone.Sitting in the Piazza di Santa Croce, the Basilica takes centre position and frames the square perfectly. Aside from the beautiful exterior, the interior is home to the tombs of some of the most influential Renaissance artists and scholars in the world including Galileo, Michelangelo and Machiavelli.
5. Piazza Della Signoria
The square is located to the south of the Piazza del Duomo and is easily accessible due to its central location. The main structure of the Piazza is the magnificent Pallazo Vecchio with its huge clock tower and fantastic statues of David and Hercules.To the left of the palace is the wonderful fountain of Neptune, and to the right is the Loggia dei Lanzi which contains some beautiful Renaissance sculptures including Perseus, Menelaus and Hercules.Finally, a grand statue of Cosimo Medici stands near the fountain of Neptune, and a host of high-end shops line the buildings.