Incomparable Florence: what to see in “Italian Athens”
Tourists, going on a trip to Italy, often ask the question of what to definitely see in Florence. The capital of the region Tuscany bears the name of the progenitor of the Italian language — a prototype of the Florentine dialect.
Also a city founded in 59 BC. Julius Caesar, later became the birthplace of the Renaissance. The great painters Michelangelo, da Vinci, Raphael and the famous writers Dante, Boccaccio, Petrarch lived and worked in Florence, praising her with his works. And in terms of the majestic cathedrals, chic villas and palazzo, green gardens, this place is not inferior to other significant cities of Italy.
Religious buildings of Florence
Coming for a day or more, travelers will certainly get acquainted with the temples and cathedrals, churches and basilicas of the capital of Tuscany. And there are a lot of them here:
- Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore.
- Basilica of Santa Croce.
- Church of San Lorenzo.
- Basilica of Santa Maria Novella.
- Church of Orsanmichele.
- Russian Church of the Nativity of Christ and St. Nicholas.
And this is only a part of religious buildings erected in different periods in the city: they can be viewed in one or a few days.
The gigantic red dome of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore towers over the capital of Tuscany. It is equipped with a viewing platform, and from here it is possible to look at the city. In the cathedral building there is a museum where, among numerous rare exhibits, two priceless paintings draw attention to themselves — “Mary Magdalene” by Donatello and “Lamentation of Christ” by Michelangelo.
The Gothic Basilica of Santa Croce was finally built in 1385. And today it is recognized as the largest Franciscan church on the planet. Her beauty was glorified by stained glass panels, Giotto’s paintings, as well as many sarcophagi. Galileo Galilei, Dante Alighieri, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Gioacchino Rossini, among others, rest in the necropolis.
Church of San Lorenzo began to build in 393, and in the XI-XVII centuries. not once reconstructed, completed and transformed. Pilgrims come here to see the inimitable tombs of the Medici family in this Florentine attraction. Its representatives dominated Florence and were known as patrons of the arts who later became famous artists and architects of the Italian Renaissance.
The Church of Santa Maria Novella is an ancient religious building, which was built in the XIII-XVI centuries. Its light openwork facade adorns the city and invites tourists who have come here even for one day to get acquainted with a myriad of works of art of those times: crypts, gravestone panels, sculptures, paintings. The unparalleled Crucifix, the creation of the Italian architect Brunelleschi, opens its gaze.
Orsanmichele Church — building in 1350, in which there are stunning «lace» arcades on the first tier, a sculpture of St.. Mark of development Donatello and a remarkable altar tent.
The Orthodox Church of the Nativity of Christ and Nicholas the Wonderworker decorated the “heart” of Florence in 1903. The two-story building is equipped with a high porch and Russian five-domes, its facade is similar to the exterior of St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow.
Palaces of Florence
Also pay attention to the numerous beautiful palaces of the capital of Tuscany.
- The Palazzo Vecchio is an ancient palace, designed in 1299. It is interesting for the museum with a multitude of salons, halls and private apartments that cannot be seen in one day. Among them stands out the greatness of «Salon Five» with the works of Michelangelo, Vasari, Bandinelli. The palace tower Arnolfo in 95 m — the highest part of Vecchio, it is equipped with a viewing platform.
- Palace Strozzi — a grand structure, erected in 1539, modeled on the Palazzo Medici Riccardi in Florence. The stand-alone building is distinguished by its graceful forms, lined with uncooked rust and has a closed courtyard with arches and pilasters. Nowadays, in the palace fashionable collections of clothes by designers of Italy, art expositions are displayed.
- The Palazzo Pitti (XV century) was rebuilt many times during its existence. Today, together with the Boboli Gardens, the palace is part of a beautiful architectural complex. Its territory is a storehouse of museums. And it is worth spending at least one day to look at the canvases painted by Titian, F. Lippi, Velasquez, van Dyck and Rubens in the Palatine Gallery, as well as in the Gallery of Modern Art, to admire the works of painters of Italy who lived in XIX –XX centuries. In the Silver Museum, jewelry, crystal and Chinese porcelain items are displayed, in the Costume Museum — dresses of different time periods, and in the Museum of carriages — crews of the XIX – XX centuries.
- Palazzo Medici Riccardi (1444) of strict four-sided parameters is equipped with a closed courtyard with arcades and lemon flora around the perimeter. The day spent here will not be in vain. In the building, lined with uncrushed rust, on the 1st floor you can see the stalls for horses, servants’ rooms, and the kitchen room that were previously located here. The 2nd and 3rd floors will introduce the apartments of the owners of the palace. The Chapel of the Magi, the most famous palace of the Palazzo Medici Riccardi, is decorated with the painting “The Procession of the Magi in Bethlehem” by B. Gozzoli. On it the owners of the palace are represented by vedunami against the background of famous landmark persons — participants of the Council of Florence in 1439. Now the Prefecture of the city sits in the palace.
- The Bargello Palace was erected in 1256. Until 1574 it served various authorities. In the same year, becoming the property of Bargello (police guard captain), he transformed into a prison.
Today, a three-story building is crowned with a roof with battlements and arches. When the day comes, it is clearly visible that the twin and single window openings are located at the top, the transom windows — at the bottom. The castle tower is equipped with a bell, the sound of which is heard in the event of disturbing and joyful events, as it was during the floods of 1966 and on the same day of 1945, when the Second World War ended. Transformed into the National Museum in 1859, the palace still pleases visitors with an unsurpassed collection of sculptures from the 14th – 16th centuries.
Walk through Florence
Walking independently through the city-museum, you can take a lot of self against the magnificent buildings of ancient architecture, monuments and fountains, turn into narrow streets.
Esplanade Piazza Duomo is considered the main attraction of Florence. It is decorated with a unique architectural complex created by architects in the Gothic style. In addition to the Cathedral, the Baptistery and the Bell Tower are attracting the attention of tourists.
Piazza della Signoria is known for its sculptures, including a copy of David (by Michelangelo). These attractions carry tourists to the Renaissance.
Among the streets in the center of Florence stand out Calzajoli and Tornabuoni. They are always lively because they have the best shops selling products of world brands, luxury hotels and restaurants. Via Viña Nuova, where there are a lot of elite and fashion boutiques, conquers with its elegance.
The longest in Florence is recognized as the Via del Corso, which appeared in the capital of Tuscany during the rule of the Roman state. You can even devote all day to get acquainted with her! On Corso Avenue, travelers are attracted by epoch-making sights and an opportunity to shop at numerous stores and boutiques.
Florence for young travelers
Children will be curious carousel on the Piazza della Republique. The most beautiful in the evenings, because it lights up, it invites to skate, when pleasant music is heard on the square.
Older children in the Museum of Geology and Paleontology are waiting for the study of the skeletons of ancient representatives of the fauna, specimens of diverse flora and geological substrates, the marks of the Mesozoic first lashes.
The Children’s Museum of Vecchio will give a visit to the hidden premises and passages of the Medici Riccardi Palace, a theatrical show with fitting of clothes, masks and capes of 16th century samples.
Pinocchio Park with magical houses, a carousel for little travelers will provide an opportunity to visit the workshop where fairy tale characters are born. Disguised in their costumes, you can capture yourself in the photo in such a role.
Young sweet teeth will enjoy a visit to the chocolate factory Cioccolato Vestri. In addition to becoming familiar with the process of making sweets, children will turn into grateful tasters. Teens from 14 years old will become participants in the master class.