“And when I think of Florence, I think of a city like a corolla that exudes a magical scent, because it is called the city of lilies, and its cathedral is called the Madonna.”
– Marcel Proust《Remembrance of the Year》
Florence is the cradle of the Italian Renaissance and one of the most beautiful cities in Italy and the world. There are more than 40 museums and art galleries, more than 60 palaces and many large and small churches and squares. The city houses a large collection of fine art works and fine cultural relics. People praised Florence as the “City of Flowers” and “Athens next to the Arno River”. The literati wrote too many poems and stories, and the artist created too many sculptures and murals. In the long history of the city, there are too many moments that shine. Here is the list of top 10 great places to visit in Florence.
1. Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore is the symbol of Florence. It is the tallest building in Florence and the fourth largest Catholic church in the world. What is more important is that it’s a representative building in the early Renaissance. The dome designed by the local architect Brunelleschi is a miracle in the history of architecture. He used a special architecture method to make the dome without scaffolding. The entire exterior wall of the building is made of marble in three colors: white, green and rose, so it’s very solemn and beautiful when viewed from any place. The 10 little angels on the door of Mandola at the entrance to the cathedral are vivid and ingenious with the superb carving technique.
2. Michelangelo Square
If you stand at the Michelangelo Square, you can overlook the panorama of Florence. It is the best place to watch the sunsets of Florence. The Michelangelo Square was built in 1869 for the city’s revival plan to commemorate the great Renaissance artist Michelangelo. The Michelangelo Square becomes the first stop of the tour in Florence for many visitors because the symbol of Florence– the statue of David is on the square.
3. Uffizi Gallery
The Uffizi Gallery is one of the most important art galleries in Italy and the most important art museum in Europe. It is the richest and most valuable asset left by the Medici family. The Medici family funded many Renaissance artists including Da Vinci, Michelangelo and Donatello and that’s why there are their works of art in the gallery. The entire museum has more than 100,000 exhibits. It is divided into 46 exhibition halls according to the creation time and creation genre. It is recommended to come here to visit early and see the important works such as Botticelli’s “Spring”, “Venus Birth”, Leonardo da Vinci’s “Adoration of the Magi”, Michelangelo’s “The Holy Family”, Titian’s “Urbino Vina”.
4. Giotto’s Campanile
Giotto’s Campanile is located next to the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and was designed by the famous painter Giotto. The style of this bell tower belongs to the Gothic style. The plane is a square with a circumference of 14.45 meters. The four corners are four polygonal buttresses with a height of 84.7 meters. The four vertical lines are divided by four horizontal lines. The whole building is covered with rich carvings with multi-colored marble inlayed. Many art lovers praise it for its spectacular architecture and ingenious design.
5. Florence Municipal Square
It’s named the Municipal Square because it’s closed to the City Hall. It is the central square of Florence with the impressive 14th-century architecture. The entire square is L-shaped. The square is not large but there are many great sculptures on the square. The famous one is Michelangelo’s David that is a replica. The original David is now in the Academy Gallery. There are also the Neptune Fountain, the statue of Cosimo I, the lion statue, the head of Medusa and so on. There are also street performers and clowns at the square. It is the focal point of the origin and history of the Republic of Florence and still enjoys the reputation of the city’s political center. It is a meeting place for Florentines and tourists.
6. Florence Cathedral Square
The Cathedral Square is located in the heart of Florence, which is arguably the most famous attraction of Florence. There’s the landmark of Florence – The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, San Giovanni Chapel and the Giotto Bell Tower. At the center of the square is the bronze statue of the first king of the Italian kingdom – Emanuel II, and there is a luxury commercial street called Emmanuel II. All the visitors gather here, that’s why it’s one of the few attractions in Florence that is crowded.
7. Arno River
The Arno River is a beautiful river running through the city. There are four unique old bridges on the river. Each bridge has a history of hundreds of years and can be traced back to the Renaissance. From the upstream to the downstream, they are the Griez Bridge, the Viggio Bridge, Holy Trinity Bridge and Karaa Bridge. This is the mother’s river in Florence that witness the vicissitudes of the millennium ancient city of the Renaissance. There are various historical buildings at the two sides of the river, which are very representative of Italy.
8. Vecchio Bridge
It’s the most famous and oldest bridge on the Arno River that witness the prosperity and decline of Florence. It was built in the Middle Ages, and it is said that the old bridge was a place where local pork was sold at the beginning. Later, Medici Grand Duke felt that it was stinking and replaced the meat shops with jewelry stores. Medici Grand Duke built the famous Vasari Corridor on the Old Bridge to connect the Vecchio Palace and the Pitti Palace in order to not follow the same path as ordinary people. It’s said that the old bridge was the place where Dante and his wife met, so there are still many couples who lock the lock on the railing of the bridge to show true love.
9. Florence Academy of Fine Arts
The National Academy of Fine Arts of Florence founded in 1339 is the highest institution of art in the world, which is the world’s first art academy creating a precedent for world art education. Formally established in 1562, it is called Diano College. The first dean is the outstanding artist and writer Vasari. “The mother of the World Academy of Fine Arts and the first of the four major art academies”, this is the most succinct evaluation of the Academy of Fine Arts. The significance of the existence of the Academy of Fine Arts has transcended the meaning of a school, which exists as a witness to the development of world civilization, a milestone in art and education. There is an art gallery in the college for young artists to study. What’s the most meaningful is the Academy Gallery houses Michelangelo’s original David.
10. Holy Cross Cathedral
The church of the Holy Cross is an important church. Firstly, it is the largest church in the Franciscan sect. Secondly, this church is a fairly standard secondary church because most of the internal structure of the European Catholic Church is based on the form of this church. Another important feature of the church is that it has buried many celebrities in Tuscany and Italy including Dante, Galileo, Michelangelo, Machiavelli, Marconi and many more.