In the heart of the historic centre of Florence, Piazza del Duomo is the city’s tourist hub. The exceptional Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore dominates the square, with the enormous cupola of Brunelleschi, the largest ever constructed in brick and stone; in its interior it preserves the largest frescoed area ever produced, a really breath-taking sight! Something to be achieved at least once in a lifetime, the ascent of the 414 steep steps of Giotto’s Campanile will repay you with an unforgettable and unique panoramic view of Florence.
Basilica di Santa Maria Novella
Santa Maria Novella is one of the most important churches of Florence, and at one time was home to the Order of the Dominicans. Its construction, begun by Jacopo Talenti, was completed by Leon Battista Alberti, who left his imprint on the beautiful facade, one of the most important works of the Florentine Renaissance. The Basilica conserves in its interior many surprising treasures – Masaccio’s ‘Trinità’, the frescoes of Ghirlandaio and Giotto’s crucifix.
Basilica di Santa Croce
The Basilica of Santa Croce is one of Florence’s most prestigious symbols, as well as being one of the best examples of Gothic architecture in Tuscany. Santa Croce is known as the “Tempio dell’Itale glorie” (the Temple of Italy’s Glories) since over the centuries it became a true cultural Pantheon, the burial place of famous personages and artists such as Michelangelo, Foscolo, Galileo, Rossini, Alfieri and Leon Battista Alberti. And yet the tomb of Dante is empty – he died in exile at Ravenna, even though his imposing statue watches over the city’s inhabitants right in front of Santa Croce.
The Ponte Vecchio, constructed in the vicinity of an old Roman ford, crosses the Arno at its narrowest point. Above it we can see part of the Vasari Corridor, a fine elevated passageway commissioned by the Medici, which links the Palazzo Vecchio to Palazzo Pitti. And it was the Medici who insisted on the re-location of the rowdy butchers’ stalls which at one time lined the bridge and had them replaced by the goldsmiths’ workshops which still today are the hallmark of this fascinating corner of the city.
Initially the residence of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany and subsequently of the Kings of Italy, Palazzo Pitti mirrors perfectly the ideal of a Renaissance Palazzo. It is situated in the Oltrarno area, on the hill of Boboli, which is also the site of the beautiful park, Florence’s green oasis. Today, Palazzo Pitti is home to important collections of paintings and sculptures, which blend in wonderfully well with the sumptuous interiors of this Florentine residence.
The Uffizi Gallery
The Uffizi Gallery is one of the most important museums in the world and the most visited in Italy after the Vatican Museums. Its fame is due to the immense quantity of works of art on show along its long frescoed corridors, not only masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance (just think of Botticelli’s ‘Spring’ and ‘The Birth of Venus’), but also works by German, Dutch, Flemish and Spanish painters, not forgetting fascinating sculptures from Roman times.
An unforgettable experience, drawing visitors through 45 rooms; an experience you’ll never grow tired of.
The Galleria dell'Accademia is Florence’s second most famous museum, and it owes its popularity to the imposing sculpture of David by Michelangelo, more than four metres of true marble perfection, a magnet drawing tourists from all over the world. The Gallery is also home to other masterpieces by Michelangelo, such as his stone Slaves and also to works of the calibre of the ‘Madonna of the Sea’ and ‘Virgin and Child with Two Angels and the Young St. John the Baptist’ by Botticelli, and Filippino Lippo’s ‘Annunciation’.