Florence, the capital city of the Tuscany region and is one of the country’s most historic cities. Famed for it’s Renaissance-style buildings, churches and palaces, with the feeling of an open-air exhibition of art and culture. It is this art and culture that gives Florence a truly unique atmosphere that has not changed greatly since the 16th century.
With it’s positioning alongside the banks of the River Arno, the spreading olive groves and Italian vineyards, Florence is much more than just art and museums, it is a truly beautiful city.
The city itself is relatively small and it is easy to work your way around on foot. For breathtaking views of the Tuscan countryside climb the soaring cupola of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, or Duomo. Michelangelo’s David can be found within the Galleria dell’Accademia and the Uffizi Gallery boasts Boticellis, da Vincis and other Italian greats.
The weather in Florence is generally mild all year round. The warmest months are July and August, while June and September are warm without being too hot.
Winter does make December and in particular January cooler whilst November has the highest average rain fall.
The cuisine in Florence has a real mix from the original and traditional to more recent arrivals and innovations. At the heart of Florentine cookery lie four fundamental ingredients: bread (plain, unsalted, well-baked with a crispy crust and light and airy inside); extra-virgin olive oil, without any doubt some of the best in the world; steaks of beef, roasted or wine-braised game such as boar, deer and rabbit and lastly, wine itself. View Florence Tour
Thanks to this piazzale being located on a hill just south of the River Arno this could be the best place to start your trip to Florence due to it’s magnificent panoramic view of the city. If you needed any more persuading a copy of Michelangelo’s David stands in the center of this square.
Cathedral, Giotto’s bell tower and Brunelleschi’s dome
Brunelleschi’s dome is still the tallest building in Florence, no mean feat as it was completed by architect Brunelleschi in the 15th century Not only is the dome the highest point in the city but it was completed without any use of scaffolding.
The bell tower was planned by Giotto but he sadly passed away before it was completed, it still offers a fantastic view over Florence, as does the Duomo, however there aren’t any lifts so you must climb 463 steps to the top of the Duomo or 414 steps to the summit of the Campanile. If you need any other reason to put this on your must see list the Baptistry contains (a reproduction of) the famous golden “Gate of Paradise” by Ghiberti.
This art museum contains masterpieces of every historical period and is one of the oldest and most famous in the world. Famous paintings include Birth of Venus by Botticelli, Medusa by Caravaggio Madonna of the Goldfinch by Raphael, Annunciation by Leonardo da Vinci, Medusa by Caravaggio, The Battle of San Romano by Paolo Ucello, Birth of Venus by Botticelli and Venus of Urbino by Titian.
Ponte Vecchio – Italian for old bridge, was the first bridge built across the Arno River in the mid 1300’s and is one of Florence’s most beautiful bridges. It is also the only bridge that survived World War II, allegedly ordered to be saved by Hitler. In the middle of the bridge is a bust honoring artist Cellini.
Galleria dell’ Accademia
Ponte Vecchio – This museum is not as big as the Uffizi, but does it matter as it is here you will find one of the most famous sculptures in the world: Michelangelo’s David? Besides David, you can also see the Prisoners by Michelangelo.