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FLORENCE - GENERAL INFORMATION

Since the early nineteenth century, Florence has been celebrated as the epitome of everything that is beautiful in Italy. For most visitors, first impression tend to confirm the myth. Nowadays, Florence is without doubt one of the finest open-air museums in the world.
Such is the wealth of monuments and artistic treasurers here, it is impossible not to find the experience an enriching one. Tuscany was the powerhouse of what has come to be as the Renaissance, and Florence is the supreme monument to European civilization’s major evolutionary shift into modernity.
Beyond the lures of culture and art, however, lie more subtle charms: the simple pleasures of  a pink sunset enjoyed from an old bridge, for example; or the best ice creams and tastiest cappuccinos in Europe; bustling bars and open-air cafés; fine dining under the stars; or a stroll around geranium-hung streets on a summer evening.
And not so far from Florence, lie beautiful towns such as Siena, Pisa and Arezzo, each a perfect combination of the culture, charm and beauty which makes this unusually blessed region  of Italy so irresistible.


MONUMENTS
     
  • DUOMO
    Florence's most popular site is its Duomo. The huge Gothic cathedral was begun in 1296, consecrated in 1436, and holds 20,000 people. Its exterior, made of green, pink, and white marble, has several elaborate doors and interesting statues. Inside, Brunelleschi's Dome is a masterpiece of construction.


  • CAMPANILE
    The Campanile, bell tower, is in Piazza del Duomo. The first story was designed by Giotto and it is commonly called Giotto's Campanile. Buy a ticket and climb the 414 stairs (no lift) for great views of the Cathedral and its dome and the city of Florence and surroundings.


  • BATTISTERO
    The Baptistery of John the Baptist, from the 11th century, is one of Florence's oldest buildings. Its exterior is made of green and white marble and has three sets of amazing bronze doors.


  • PIAZZA DELLA SIGNORIA
    It is Florence’s most famous square. With its handsome palazzo, sophisticated café terraces and a collection of beautiful buildings and statues, it is the place where the city’s heart beats loudest.     


  • PALAZZO VECCHIO
    Florence’s fortress-like town hall, was begun in 1299 to provide premises for the Signoria, the highest tier of the city’s republican government.


  • SANTA CROCE
    Santa Croce, in Piazza Santa Croce, is the largest Franciscan church in Italy and holds the tombs of several important Florentines including Michelangelo and Dante.


  • SANTA MARIA NOVELLA
    A striking beautiful Gothic Church which contains some of Florence’s most important artworks by such masters as Giotto; Brunelleschi, Domenico Ghirlandaio and Filippo Lippi.


  • SAN LORENZO
    After the Duomo, San Lorenzo is the city’s second most important Church designed by Brunelleschi. The façade remains unfinished to this day. Despite various proposals, including one by Michelangelo.


  • SAN MARCO
    The monastery of San Marco is one of the most spiritually uplifting places in Florence.


  • PONTE VECCHIO
    The Ponte Vecchio (old bridge), built in 1345, was Florence's first bridge across the Arno River and is the only surviving bridge from Florence's medieval days (others were destroyed in World War II). The Ponte Vecchio is still lined with shops selling gold and silver jewelry. From the bridge, you'll have a great view along the Arno River and beyond.


  • PALAZZO STROZZI
    It is the largest palace in Florence built by the banker Filippo Strozzi in the 15th century in an attempt to outdo the Medici family. Today, the palace contains various cultural institures and the first floor is used for major art exhibitions.


  • GIARDINO DI BOBOLI
    A huge park on a hillside in the middle of Florence behind the Pitti Palace. Here you'll find beautiful gardens and fountains and a great view of Florence from the Forte Belveder.


  • SAN MINIATO AL MONTE
    One of Florence’s oldest and most beautiful churches, and the most sublime example of Romanesque architecture in Tuscany.


  • PIAZZA DELLA REPUBBLICA
    It has long been at the heart of Florence history as it was once the site of the Forum, the main square of the Roman city of Florence.

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