Florence
 
Florence is a unique Italian city-museum which should definitely be visited by every tourist who is interested in Italy. The name of the city of Florence is translated from Italian as "blooming". Historians believe that the city was founded in 59 BC making Florence one of the most ancient centers in Europe. The city can rightfully be called the founder of the Renaissance and the sights of Florence are vast and unique.

Today tourists in Florence can enjoy world-famous masterpieces and spiritual food, many ancient cathedrals and churches, magnificent palaces and monuments of culture and art. In particular Florence is famous for the works of Michelangelo, Boccaccio and Leonardo da Vinci.


History
Florence was founded in 59 BC. by Roman veterans. Former soldiers called the new settlement Florence, which translates as "blooming." By the 4th century, the settlement had become the bishop's city and residence.

Further development of the city slowed down, because after the collapse of the Roman Empire Florence was first under the rule of Byzantium, then the Ostrogoths, Lombards and even the Franks.

The city's revival began in the 10th century and in the early 12th century Florence became an independent commune. In the 11th-12th centuries the Baptistery and the church of San Miniato were erected. In the 13th century the main cathedral of Florence Santa Maria del Fiore and the palazzo Vecchio were built. At the same time the city was embroiled in a fight between the Guelphs and the Gibbels. Although this did not prevent further prosperity. In the mid-13th century Florence began to mint its own coin the florin that has become the standard in Europe.

The 14th century in Florence is marked by the following important events. At the beginning of the century Dante wrote the legendary Divine Comedy. This work played a major role in the formation of modern Italian the basis of which was precisely the Tuscan dialect.

Also in 1334 the Medici dynasty came to power in Florence. However as early as the end of the 14th century they were banished by the people and proclaimed the Florentine Republic.

It was during the times of the Republic of Florence that it became the cradle of the Renaissance. Here the brilliant Leonardo da Vinci the great Michelangelo and many other geniuses of creativity and thought lived and created.

The Medici family managed to regain power only in the 16th century. The Grand Duchy of Tuscany was founded again and it existed until the unification of Italy in the second half of the 19th century.

It should also be noted that Florence was significantly damaged during the bombing of World War II.
Notable sights
Florence's landmarks are known all over the world: the legendary and amazing Santa Maria del Fiore, Ponte Vecchio, Santa Maria Novella and many other historical and architectural monuments attract millions of tourists. And the special atmosphere of the Old Town which was played and created by Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, Giotto, gives the Tuscany pearl a special charm and charm.

The main attraction and most recognizable symbol of Florence is the
Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore or just the Duomo. It is a beautiful and significant cathedral with a decoration of pink, white and green marble made in Gothic style. The Duomo was built on the site of the ancient Florence Cathedral of Santa Reparat whose remains can be seen in the basement.

Construction of the cathedral began in the late thirteenth century. The architect was Arnolfo di Cambio. A beautiful dome was erected in the fifteenth century. The architect was Filippo Brunelleschi who won the competition for its construction in 1418. The dome has the characteristic egg shape and was built without the use of scaffolding.

The marble finish and fine murals of Giorgio Vasari completed after his death by the disciple Federico Zaccari are also remarkable inside the cathedral. Admission to the Church of Santa Maria del Fiore is free. To get inside the dome and evaluate the frescoes at close range you need to overcome 463 steps.

Just next to Santa Maria del Fiore making it the only architectural ensemble is the Giotto bell tower. Designed in the style of a grand cathedral, the bell tower is a fine example of fourteenth-century Florentine Gothic architecture. The building has a square base about 15 meters wide and faces up to 84.70 meters. He began to build a bell tower in 1334 the brilliant Giotto continued Andrea Pisano completed the construction of Talenti. The bell tower has seven bells. The largest bell is called Santa Reparat in honor of the saint who was dedicated to the first ancient cathedral on this site. To climb up and enjoy the stunning panorama of Florence you need to overcome 414 steps.


Basilica of Santa Maria Novella as a rule is not among the most popular places in Florence and this is really unfair. Architecturally it is one of the most important Gothic-style churches in Tuscany. The famous architects Talenti and Alberti worked on the facade. The interior contains unusual masterpieces including the Trinity by Masaxio the murals and the Crucifixion by Giotto. The well-known engineer and architect Brunelleschi contributed to the creation of the dome. The church is built on a Romanesque foundation traces of which can be seen at the bottom of the marble facade.

The
San Giovanni Baptistery located on Duomo Square directly opposite the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore is one of Florence's most important landmarks. The origin of this building is uncertain. It is believed to have been built on the ruins of an ancient Roman temple, most likely dedicated to the god of Mars in the 4-5th century AD.

The first mention of it dates from the late 9th century when it is referred to as the Basilica. Baptistery named after the patron saint of the city of St. Giovanni is an octagonal building covered with an eight-segment bathhouse with a pyramidal roof. The facade of the building is decorated with white and green marble characteristic of the Florentine architecture of the Romanesque period. Be sure to pay attention to the front door which was made in the first half of the 15th century and represents scenes from the Old Testament.

The
Basilica of Santa Croce was built for the Franciscan Order in 1294 by the project of Arnolfo di Cambio. It rests the legendary sons of the city - Michelangelo, Machiavelli and Galileo Galileo, who has never been baptized. It also has a Dante tomb, but it is empty. The facade of the church is made of multicolored marble. Inside you can admire the frescoes of Gaddy (1380) in the main chapel, the beautiful frescoes of Giotto and other masters. Also, don't miss the tomb of Italian playwright Giovanni Battista Niccolini (left of entrance), who inspired the authors of the Statue of Liberty monument.

Sant Trinita Church is a Romanesque church founded in the mid-eleventh century. Located in the immediate vicinity of the ancient city walls of Florence it was later rebuilt in the Gothic style. The facade of the building was designed by Bernardo Buontalenti (one of the main representatives of Tuscan mannerism) and decorated with sculptures by Giovanni Kaczini.

Medici Chapel is the pearl of the San Lorenzo Monumental Complex. This mausoleum is a rare example of the Florentine Baroque. The grand dome and luxurious interiors were designed to symbolize the grandeur of the Medici family. And for the creation of some sculptures Michelangelo himself laid his hand.

The
Palazzo Vecchio and the Arnolfo Tower are a political symbol of Florence. The original design of the building is attributed to Arnolfo di Cambio. The fortress was built in 1299 on the ruins of the towers of the Uberti ruins conquered by the Guelphs. The large palace rests on the ancient ruins of a Roman theater. The Palazzo Vecchio was created to house the council of Florence.

Ponte Vecchio is the eternal symbol of Florence. Once the only bridge over the Arno River was built in 1218. Damaged after heavy flooding it was rebuilt in 1345. The bridge survived the floods World War II (fascists destroyed all the bridges except that) and became one of the most popular and famous places in the capital of Tuscany.

Signoria Square has been the center of Florence's political life since the fourteenth century. Square Square saw all the major historical events of the city it made all the major historical decisions. Here are the Palazzo Vecchio, the Uffizi Gallery, the Neptune Fountain, a copy of the sculpture by Michelangelo "David", the Loggia de Lanza.

Florence Abbey is an ancient monastery located in the historic center of Florence opposite the Bargello Gallery. Founded in the late 10th century by Benedictine monks. This architectural complex is made mainly in the Gothic style. The bell tower stands out in its architecture.

The Republic Square has been one of Florence's main squares since Roman times. The modern rectangular shape with nineteenth-century magnificent buildings is the result of urban modernization when Florence was the capital of Italy. Unfortunately the thirteenth-century walls that surrounded the city were demolished. In the center of the square there is a large column commemorating the site of the Ancient Roman Forum.

Michelangelo Square offers great panoramic views of Florence and Arno, and is definitely a great place to visit. The square was designed in 1869 by Florentine architect Giuseppe Poggie.

The
Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens are a huge palace and park complex that is one of the largest examples of Florentine architecture. The palace was originally built by the Pitti family in 1457 based on a painting by Filippo Brunelleschi and his student Luke Fanselli. In 1549, the building was purchased by the Medici becoming the residence of the Grand Duke family. Later the palazzo was greatly expanded and rebuilt. In 1560 Bartolomeo Ammannati designed and built a large magnificent courtyard and added two wings. The Cosimo II Medici Palace not only enlarged but also organized the palace area. The facade remained virtually unchanged except for two wings covering the area. At the moment there are galleries and museums here.
Museums
Uffizi Gallery - Florence's oldest and most famous gallery, not inferior to the Paris Louvre. It exhibits more than 2,000 works of art and the number of visitors exceeds 2,000,000.

Uffizi is the oldest museum of painting in modern Europe exhibiting masterpieces of different historical eras. It features classic sculptures from the Medici family's collections and a large collection of Italian and European painting from the 13th to 18th centuries with a focus on the Tuscany the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance schools.

The Uffizi Gallery is housed in a historic 16th-century building built for the Medici family. The creation of the gallery was largely due to this legendary Florentine dynasty. In 1581 the first collections were exhibited here under Francesco Medici which were then continuously replenished.The Medici family managed to regain power only in the 16th century. The Grand Duchy of Tuscany was founded again and it existed until the unification of Italy in the second half of the 19th century.

Among the works of the Florentine school stand out paintings by Giotto, Masaccio, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo. Among the works of Italian painting stand out paintings Duccio, Perugino, Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio, Canaletto. Among the works of European painters draw attention to the work of Hugo Van der Hus, Hans Memling, Lucas Cranach, Albrecht Durer, El Greco, Rubens, Rembrandt.

Main masterpieces:

Botticelli, Birth of Venus, 1484

Botticelli, Spring, 1482

Leonardo da Vinci, Annunciation, 1475

Michelangelo, Tondo Doni, 1506

Raphael, Portrait of Leo X, 1518

Titian, Venus Urbinska, 1538

Caravaggio, Bacchus, 1597

Gallery Della Academy is another famous museum of Florence the main masterpieces of which are the statue of David and other works by the ingenious Michelangelo. Also presented here are works of Florentine painting including masterpieces by Botticelli, Perugino and many others.

The Bargello Museum is another top gallery in the gallery. It houses the largest collection of Tuscan Renaissance sculptors in the world, including masterpieces by Donatello, Della Robbia, Verrocchio and Michelangelo. The museum is located in an ancient building of the 13th century - the Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo. The Bargello Museum was opened in 1865.

Palatine Gallery is another museum-gallery located in the Pittsburgh Palazzo building. There are many masterpieces of Raphael, Caravaggio, a rich collection of works by the Venetian school among which are many masterpieces of Titian.

Archaeological Museum - for lovers of history and antiquity. It is one of the most famous archaeological museums in Italy with a collection of exhibits from the Etruscan period and Ancient Egypt.
Food and drinks
For food we recommend to prefer traditional Florentine and Italian dishes. There are many different places to choose from, from cozy street trattoria to luxurious restaurants.

Attention: Florence is one of the most expensive cities in Italy. Therefore eating in restaurants (especially in the city center) is quite expensive. For two per lunch you can easily leave 100 euros. To save money you can have a meal at Florentine street food or order pizza at inexpensive pizzerias a little further from the hiking trails. It should also be noted that the Florentine pizza is cooked on thin dough. If you like pizza on thick dough you should order it neapolitan.
The 14th century in Florence is marked by the following important events. At the beginning of the century Dante wrote the legendary Divine Comedy. This work played a major role in the formation of modern Italian the basis of which was precisely the Tuscan dialect.

For traditional dishes we recommend to try:

Gelato -  ice cream

Peposo  - pepper meat

Crostini Neri - appetizer toast with chicken pate

Baccalà alla fiorentina - cod with tomato, onion and rosemary.

Fagiuoli (Fagioli) all'uccelletto - chicken beans

Crespelle alla Fiorentina - pancakes stuffed with ricotta and spinach under cream sauce. Ancient Florentine dish

Schiacciata Fiorentina - pastry with custard.

Trippa & Lampredotto is a minced meat that is served as a side dish and used in street food

Bistecca alla Fiorentina - grilled bone steak

Front in zimino - Cuttlefish with vegetables

Zuccotto - dessert.

Piselli “alla fiorentina” - peas with parsley, bacon, garlic
How to visit
Florence has an airport named Amerigo Vespucci which receives flights from Paris, Lyon, Vienna, Brussels, Copenhagen, Geneva, Frankfurt, Munich, Stuttgart, Amsterdam, Barcelona, ​​London, Madrid, Prague and Zurich. Florence from Perugia, Viareggio, San Remo, Via, Cagliari and other Italian cities can be reached by train and bus. A high-speed train from Rome will take you to Tuscany's capital in 1.5-2 hours.
Shopping
One of Florence's major shopping districts is the Oltrarno District just beyond the Vecchio Bridge. There is an interesting flea market on Piazza dei Ciompi. You can buy souvenirs, ceramics, leather goods, food and more at the central San Lorenzo market. A large number of shops are located on the streets: Via Tornabuoni, Via della Vigna Nuova, Via dei Fossi, Via Maggio.

Florence is famous for producing leather goods: bags, shoes, clothing. Shops with these goods are concentrated in the Santa Croce area. The Designer Outlet Barberino Outlet is located 30 km from Florence, with over 100 branded stores: Cavalli, Micheal Kors, Desigual, Furla, Hugo Boss, Dolce & Gabbana, Patrizia Pepe, Twin Set, Nike, Guess, Prada, Pinko, and Adidas with discounts from 30 to 70%.
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