“Stand on a bridge over the Arno River several times in a day and the light, mood and view changes every time. Firenze is magnetic, romantic and busy. Its urban fabric has hardly changed since the Renaissance and its narrow streets evoke thousand tales.” – Lonely Planet
Florence is the capital of Italy’s Tuscany region. Who could ever resist such a beautiful and classic travel destination, which is home to Renaissance art and architecture masterpieces.
Here is the Florence skyline from the Piazza Michelangelo where you can see the view of the Cathedral, Palazzo Vecchio and the Ponte Vecchio.
Two days in Florence is not enough to explore the iconic highlights of this city, but too bad, that’s the only time we have on this European tour.
There are many cities in Europe that are walkable, and Florence, Italy is one of them. By wandering the cobbled street alleyways and backstreets, there are so much to discover like old churches, shops and beautiful empty streets away from where all the tourists are.
Basilica of Santa Groce
Located in the Piazza Santa Groce, this church is truly beautiful with its front facade coloured green, pink and red marble panels in contrast with the marbled white stone. It was constructed at a similar time as the Duomo thus it has the same features. But aside from being one of the biggest Franciscan churches in Italy, it is also famous for being the burial place of well known people such as Galilei, Michelangelo and Machiavelli.
In front of the Basilica, on the left hand side, is a marble monument dedicated to Dante Alighieri by Enrico Pazzi to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Dante’s birth.
Who hasn’t heard of Pinocchio, the wooden puppet whose nose grows everytime he lies. Le Avventure di Pinocchio was published by Carlo Lorenzini (pen named Collodi) and he was a Florentine. In Florence, you will find a Pinocchio shop named Bartolucci Shop Firenze. It is a quaint little shop with everything and anything Pinocchio and the child in you will enjoy the magic spell that it will cast on you. Have fun!
Museo Casa di Dante is a 3 floor museum about the life and works of the great Italian poet.
Now, you will know that the Duomo is just around the corner, when you see the crowd just getting bigger and bigger.
The Cathedral Complex in Piazza del Duomo consist of the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, Giotto’s Bell Tower and the Baptistery of St John which are all part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Florence Cathedral or the Duomo
This is one of the most celebrated cathedrals in the world, located in the centre of the old city, the Duomo stands out for miles amongst the other olden style architecture in Firenze.
The Florence Cathedral is a Gothic structure that was begun in 1296 and completed by 1436. The dome that covers the cathedral was the largest dome in the world at the time when it was designed.
The Giotto’s Bell Tower is red, green and white marble campanille. It is a fair way to the top and if you are fit enough, I believe that the bird’s eye view is breath taking.
The Florence Baptistery, also known as the Baptistery of St John is part of the of the Duomo complex and is octagonal in shape. It is a religious building in honour of St John, the patron Saint of Florence. The Gates of Paradise is the main gate of the Bapistery located in the front of the cathedral. This seventeen-foot tall, three ton bronze doors has become an icon of Renaissance, one of the most famous works of art in the whole world.
Church and Museum of Orsanmichele is famous because of the sculpture of saints placed in niches or tabernacles on all four sides of the church.
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