Lives in London, United Kingdom
Since May 2012
Churches & Cathedrals, Historic Sites, Sacred & Religious Sites
Architectural Buildings, Sacred & Religious Sites, Historic Sites, Points of Interest & Landmarks
Art Museums, History Museums
Architectural Buildings, Observation Decks & Towers, Monuments & Statues, Sacred & Religious Sites
Architectural Buildings, Churches & Cathedrals
Architectural Buildings, Sacred & Religious Sites, Historic Sites, Lookouts
This is the very heart of Florence: The main church with the famous Cupola by Brunelleschi. The exterior walls are built in different marbles which combine with one another in a captivating game of hues, a style that has given Tuscan cities a most distinguished look throughout the centuries. The building was initiated in the early Italian Renaissance, in the 13th Century, and completed during the high Renaissance period. Although construction and decoration took several hundred years, once you enter and have the chance to admire it in its full splendor, you’ll conclude it was worth the wait!
If you want to give chronological sense to your art tour, it is important that you visit this attraction before the others in Piazza Duomo: Il Battistero is a more medieval accomplishment and more faithful in its interiors to earlier style trends. It is entirely decorated in gold and the light reflections are impressive.
Behind Piazza Duomo, this taverna has a good selection of local dishes to choose from, and a good wine list. Prices are very reasonable, considering the very central location, and while the food is not high standard or sophisticated cuisine, it is good food on a budget and I would recommend it at least for a quick bite. My personal favorite here is the 'pasta e ceci' with 'lardo di colonnata' - a typical Tuscan dish.
This museum is located directly behind the Duomo and contains the major oeuvres relating to the buildings surrounding the square. It gives visitors a very good background on how the famous Florentine buildings were constructed, as well as playing host to some of the most prominent Renaissance artworks. My personal favorite is Michelangelo’s Florentine Pietà. Although the one mostly referred to is situated in the Vatican museums in Rome, the one you'll find here is definitely worthy of attention, too. It is a later work by a more mature Michelangelo. The sculpture represents the Virgin Mary, Mary Magdalene and Nicodemus holding Jesus as they take him down from the cross. The young Michelangelo is apparently also represented by Jesus himself, who is sculpted with a remarkably more vigorous and robust body than its counterpart in the Vatican.
It’s 85 meters tall, and of course, I took the stairs all the way up, which is exactly what I advise other visitors to do! The reward at the top? Florence — the view of the entire cityscape in all its glorious colors and gentle forms. It makes for a memorable experience.
Possibly the most important museum in the city. If you are an art lover, you have found Mecca. This gallery includes works by Michelangelo, Botticelli and Da Vinci, to name but a few...
This unique gallery is located near Piazza San Marco, and it's famed for hosting the original statue of David by Michelangelo. (The most photographed version in Piazza della Signoria, is, in fact, a replica.)
Florence is not a metropolis by any standard: It is a fairly small city, easily toured on foot and not overpopulated. Still, the sheer amount of art it contains is overwhelming, and exploring it all makes for hungry work. If a delicious Florentine steak (when in Florence!) is just what your appetite is craving, Buca Lapi is the place for you. The atmosphere is warm, the smells are sensational, and the steaks are perfectly cooked, rare and served in generous portions.
One of my favorite churches: Its colors are vivid and you get an immediate sense of harmony and peace when you venture inside. The main attractions here are the Crucifix by Giotto, Masaccio's Holy Trinity and the Crucifix by Brunelleschi.
This Basilica is located a little outside the city center and therefore tends not to be as crowded as the other churches in Florence. Reaching the building preceded by incredibly steep steps is an experience in itself, and attention must be paid to the church's stunning mosaic decoration.
Head to Ponte Vecchio on foot and explore this ancient photogenic bridge, first built in Roman times, and then rebuilt in the Middle Ages. It crosses the Arno River and makes for an evocative stroll.
This is a great local place for good local food at a good price, situated near to the outdoor market. Tripe, a most popular Florentine dish, is one of their specialties, and the ribollita is delicious, too. Ribollita consists of a chunky soup whose main ingredient is usually cannellini beans, also very typical of the area.