Florence Travel Guide
The urban center of Florence is an absolute masterpiece which embodies the ideals of Italian Renaissance.
Florence as well as being in itself a unique artistic realization, is an exceptional testimony of both a medieval city and of a Renaissance one. It also had a strong influence in the development of urbanism, architecture and art, both in Italy and in Europe.
For these reasons, Florence was one of the first places to be registered in the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1982.
Stendhal’s syndrome was often called Florence syndrome. “I had reached that level of emotion where you meet the celestial sensations given by the arts and passionate feelings. Coming out of Santa Croce, I had a heartbeat, life for me was fading, I walked fearing to fall” (Stendhal)
Also called the Basilica of Santa Maria del Fiore, it was started in 1296 by Arnolfo di Cambio and is one of the masterpieces of Italian Gothic. Outside it is covered with polychrome marble panels green, pink and white, coming from the quarries of Carrara, Prato and Siena.
In 1436 it was completed with the construction of the octagonal dome by Filippo Brunelleschi ingenious work of engineering.
At his side is the majestic Bell Tower of Giotto, considered the most beautiful in Italy with its rich decoration in colored marble.
In front of the Cathedral there is the Baptistery of San Giovanni dedicated to the patron of the city.
The exterior is also covered by white and green marble. The three bronze doors were made by Andrea Pisano and Lorenzo Ghiberti.
The most famous is the East gate that Michelangelo also called “Gates of Paradise“.
Piazza della Signoria
It is the city’s main square, the heart of political and social life. There is, among other things, a copy of Michelangelo’s David that stands in front of Palazzo Vecchio (The original is kept in the Museum of the Academy).
Built to host the Council of the Republic of Florence, it is now the Town Hall. Its architecture, deliberately rigid and severe, evoked the justice and soundness of the government.
The palace is crowned by a crenellated parapet, from which stands out the Tower of Arnolfo, 95 meters high, from which you can admire magnificent views of the city.
It was at Palazzo Vecchio that, in 1504, took place the challenge between Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo Buonarroti for the interior decoration of the Salone dei Cinquecento. The challenge was never completed: Leonardo ended up destroying the job trying a new technique of drying the color, while Michelangelo was instead called to Rome by Pope Julius II.
Galleria degli Uffizi
One of the greatest museums in the world, full of masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance and countless paintings from medieval to modern time, sculptures.
Among the most famous works in the museum:
The birth of Venus by Botticelli
The virgin with child and angels by Filippo Lippi.
Venus by Titian
And many others:
L’annunciazione by Simone Martini and Lippo Memmi
Portrait of the Duchi di Urbino by Piero della Francesca
The battle of San Romano by Paolo Uccello
La Madonna del Cardellino by Rapahel
Bacchus by Caravaggio
Giuditta e Oloferne by Artemisia Gentileschi
Where the river Arno, crossing Florence reaches the narrowest point of its course through the city, there it was built this bridge. Ponte Vecchio, with its rows of workshops on the sides has now become a symbol of Florence; its characteristic lowered arches allowed the builders to use less bays than a bridge supported by semi circular arches would have needed.