Florence is universally recognized as a city of art, a priceless heritage of architecture, paintings, sculptures - historical and scientific - which form the fabric of the city.
The heart of Florence is the Piazza della Signoria with its majestic Palazzo Vecchio, with its gallery of masterpieces of sculpture in the Loggia dei Lanzi and the nearby Uffizi Gallery, one of the most famous art museums in the world. Not far away is the religious center: the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, with its majestic dome (the largest ever built) that, at the time of the Grand Duchy, it was said that with his shadow to cover the whole of Tuscany, the huge Cathedral is beautifully accompanied by the Bell Tower, one of the most beautiful in Italy, and the Baptistery of San Giovanni, with its famous bronze doors among which is the golden gate of heaven.
The Arno river, which passes through the city, occupies a place in the history of Florence at par with the people who live there. Historically, the locals have had a love-hate relationship with the Arno, which alternately led the benefits of trade and the disasters of floods. Among the bridges that cross the Arno is the unique Ponte Vecchio, with the characteristic jewelery shops in houses built on it. Crossed by the noble Vasari Corridor, it is the only bridge in the city to have survived the Second World War.
In addition to the Uffizi, Florence has other museums that would be the main artistic attraction of every other major city in the world: the Galleria dell'Accademia, the Bargello or the Pitti Palace with its eight museums, including the Palatine Gallery. The Florentines boast of possessing the best example of beauty in both women (Botticelli's Venus) and men (Michelangelo's David).
Historic center of Florence
World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982, the historic center of Florence, enclosed by a circle of paths traced on the old medieval walls, collects the most important cultural heritage of the city. Bordered by the layout of the walls of the fourteenth century, erected thanks to the commercial and economic power reached, met in the two centuries that followed its heyday.
The town can be appreciated in its entirety from the surrounding hills, especially from Fort Belvedere, Piazzale Michelangelo with the Romanesque Basilica of San Miniato al Monte and the hills of Fiesole, which offers one of the most beautiful views of the Arno valley.
The left bank of the Arno (Oltrarno) is an area rich in monuments where you can still breathe, between its secular workshops, the atmosphere of Florence for a time, as described for example by Vasco Pratolini. But there are many literary ideas across the city: from the neighborhoods of the tower houses, where plaques commemorate the verses of the places that inspired Dante Alighieri, the serenity of the Medici villas, where they often met the Platonic Academy of Lorenzo the Magnificent, to the theaters at the Pergola and the Boboli Gardens, where they were placed in the scenes for the first time melodramas that led to opera.
Florence as the "cradle of the Renaissance" has its masterpieces in the works of Filippo Brunelleschi (the Hospital of the Innocents, the church of San Lorenzo and Santo Spirito) and Leon Battista Alberti (the facade of Santa Maria Novella and the Palazzo Rucellai) but also other artistic periods have left their masterpieces: from Romanesque to San Miniato al Monte, the Gothic Santa Croce (where the graves of the Italic glories are, as defined Ugo Foscolo, also buried there), to the vagaries of Giambologna's Mannerist or by Bernardo Buontalenti (such as the Fountain of Neptune or the Boboli Gardens), up to the masterpieces of the greatest Italian architects of the twentieth century as the station of Santa Maria Novella and the Stadio Artemio Franchi, respectively by Giovanni Michelucci and Pier Luigi Nervi.
The center of Florence, with its hundreds of business is a paradise for shopping and leisure, with its elegant boutiques, cafes and historic concert at the historic outdoor bustling markets, in addition to hosting numerous nightclubs, discos, American bars, lounge bars and meeting places for a drink (the famous Negroni cocktail was born here).