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Top Attractions

Top Attractions of Florence

Ponte Vehicco

Ponte VehiccoThe Ponte Vehicco is one of the oldest brand identities of Florence. An iconic bridge in Florence, the Ponte Vehicco spans across the Arno River at the narrowest point, bridging the gap between Via Por Santa Maria and Via Guicciardini. Built in 1345, it has made its way to the present decade through destructions during the Second World War. The Ponte Vehicco, a place of trading activities, was occupied by tanners and butchers before it became home to the city’s goldsmiths in the regime of Grand Duke Ferdinando 1, in the 16th century. The bridge is a must visit to click photographs of the Aron River and its busy banks. Another reason to visit the Ponte Vehicco is jewellery shopping in Florence.

The Duomo

The DuomoWhy is Florence proud of its possessions? The Duomo is the answer. Dominating the city’s skyline, the Duomo is a marvellous masterpiece of Italy’s medieval architecture. The construction of this historic landmark was begun in 1296 and completed in 1436. Several massive doors and statutes dominate its exterior, made of white, pink and green marble. Also known as Cattedrale de Santa Maria del Fiore, the Duomo has an illustrious interior with the della Robbia sculptures and Renaissance frescoes. A flight of 463 stairs takes to the pinnacle of the Duomo, from where the aerial visuals of the city are stunning beyond imagination. Beautified by renowned Rennaisance artists Lorenzo Ghiberti, Paolo Uccello and Donatello with stained glassed windows and mosaics, the inside is spacious enough to accommodate a crowd of 20,000 visitors. The fresco of the Divine Comedy and its poet Dante by Domenico di Michelino grabs eyeballs of the visitors. Dominating the entrance door is the cathedral clock. The fresco of The Last Judgement is another attraction of a visit to the Duomo.

Galleria degli Uffizi

Galleria degli UffiziOne of the top attractions of Florence and the best museums of Italy. The Galleria degli Uffizi or the Uffizi Gallery contains the most precious treasure of Italy’s Renaissance art. Once a residence of the Medici family, the museum is a valuable possession of Florence because of its rich collection of art works from the repertoires of Renaissance masters: Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Giotto, Raphael, Botticelli, Caravaggio, Piero della Francesca and Perugino. The shrine to Italy’s artistic heritage in Florence, the Uffizi gallery takes the visitors on a tour from the present day to the 13th century through its visually stunning exhibitions of sculptures, paintings, tapestries, etc. A visit to the gallery not only pleases one’s eyes but also nourishes one’s artistic sensibilities. Buying tickets in advance is the only way to avoid the long queues.

Giotto’s Bell Tower or Campanile

Giotto’s Bell Tower or CampanileLocated in between the Duomo and the Baptistery, the Campanile is a towering pride of Florence. The Campanile is also known as Giotto’s Bell Tower since its foundation brick was laid by Giotto di Bondone, in 1334. Climbing 414 stairs to the top of Bell Tower takes almost an hour. Viewing the cityscape from the height of 85 metres is a rare experience. Part of the Duomo complex, the Campanile is a must visit to capture the scenic visuals hanging around Piazza della Signoria. Bell Tower is a work of wonder by three geniuses Giotto di Bondone, Andrea Pisano and Francesco Talenti. Giotto’s Bell Tower is not just a local tourist attraction, but a brand icon of Florence. Like the Duomo, the Bell Tower is a wonderful work of white, pink and green marble. This slender and symmetrical tower consists of five different levels. The lower two levels are delicately decorated. The second level is sumptuously decorated with the statues of Biblical prophets. The curving Gothic columns are eye-catching attractions of the Campanile on the third and fourth storeys. The fifth storey is the tallest level.

Palazzo Vecchio

Palazzo VecchioPart of Florence’s historical and artistic heritage, Palazzo Vecchio is a dominant edifice in the Piazza della Signoria. It was an overriding symbol of power and influence in Florence. The raised porch of Palazzo Vecchio, once the city’s headquarters, is the platform, from where political speakers used to address the masses assembled in the Piazza below. This imposing structure is a marvel of the 13th century Gothic architecture. The Palazzo appears as a monument inside because of its palatial rooms. A section of this palatial building is transformed into a museum where some of the precious works by Vasari and Michelangelo are on display. The construction of the Palazzo Vecchio was finished in 1322. It still plays its role as the city’s town hall.

Piazza della Signoria

Piazza della SignoriaThe crowded heart and the most important square of Florence. With several fairs, concerts, and rallies being held the year round, the Piazz della Signoria is the most eventful centre of the city. The square is the primary meeting place for locals and the grave of Italian medieval history in Florence. The Guelphs had taken control of the city by defeating the Ghibellines and levelled many of the palazzi which belonged to their rivals. The piazza was decorated with innumerable statues designed by some of the best Florentine artists. Most of the original statues have been moved indoors for preservation. Of the sculptures in the piazza is a copy of David by Michelangelo. Other famous sculptures adding to the artistic beauty of the Piazz della Signoria include Cacus and Heracles by Baccio Bandinelli; Rape of a Sabine and Grand Duke Cosimo 1 by Giambologna; Medusa and Perseus by Cellini. The Neptune Fountain by Ammanati is the central attracton of the square. The piazza boasts the Duomo, the Bell Tower and the Palazzo Vecchio, three of the greatest Florentine architectures. Historical significance of the square is no less than the artistic importance. A plaque marks the spot of public execution that had taken place in the Piazz della Signora on May 23, 1498.

Palazzo Pitti

Palazzo PittiReflecting the grandness and grandeur of Florence is Palazzo Pitti, a series of buildings. Once it was a residence of the Grand Medici Dukes and then, home to the Italian royal family. Delicately decorated with a harmonious blend of Baroque as well as Victorian styles, the Palazzo Pitti is the grandest palace of of this Italian city. Located on the southern bank of the Arno River, the palace was designed by Brunelleschi for the Pitt family in the 18th century. Palazzo Pitti houses many galleries displaying numerous notable Baroque and Renaissance art works by Raphael, Lippi, Filippo, Veronese, Tintoretto, Rubens and Titian. Encircled by statues and fountains, the surrounding of the Pitti is a model of Renaissance landscaping, with gardens and ponds. Dominating the landscape just behind the Pitti Palace in the middle of Florence is the Giardino di Boboli, a huge hillside park. Palazzo Pitti offers glimpses of the city’s majesty and magnificence.

Galleria dell’Accademia

Galleria dell'AccademiaA repository of art works which have earned Florence a place among the museum cities of the world. At Galleria dell’Accademia the collection of paintings and sculptures from the era of 13th to 16th centuries is vast and rich. Michelangelo’s David, one of the most famous art pieces in the world, is the centre of attraction in this Florentine museum. Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo had founded Galleria dell’Accademia along with the Accademia di Belle Arti in 1784. The duke amassed lots of Tuscan artworks including sculptures, drawings and paintings from the medieval to the Shakespearean era for the students of the Accademia. The lifetime works by Pontormo, Botticelli, Lorenzo Monaco and Giambologna are on display. The most outstanding symbol of Florentine art and sculpture, Michelangelo’s David was moved to the museum in 1873. St. Matthew and Four Prisoners are other works by Michelangelo in the collection of the Galleria dell’Accademia.

The Baptistery

The BaptisteryOne of the oldest buildings in Florence. The Baptistery of John the Baptist takes the history of Florence back to 11th century. Next to the Duomo, the building has an excuisite exterior of white and green marble. The Baptistery has three sets of stunning bronze doors with dazzling depictions of Biblical moments from the life of St. John the Baptist, including the most famous and beautiful east-facing entrance. The entrance was so sumptuously sculptured and delicately decorated that Michelangelo called it ‘The Gates of Paradise’. The decor is full of dazzling mosaics. There is a splendid marble Zodiac pavement in the building. According to historians, construction work for the Baptistery began in 1059. The Baptistery is open to public only in the afternoon.

Santa Croce

Santa CroceThe largest Franciscan church in Italy. Santa Croce, located in Piazza Santa Croce, is a must-visit shrine for art worshippers from across the world. It contains the monumental tombs of many eminent luminaries like Dante, Machiavelli, Michelangelo, Gioacchino and Galileo from the Renaissance and other eras of Italy. The interior flaunts a delicate design consisting of frescoes and contains intricately stained windows. The Cappella dei Pazzi, one of the most notable works by Brunelleschi, steals the show with visitors in Santa Croce. The construction of the church began in 1294. Travellers from across the globe visit Santo Croce to pay homage to the great Italian masters.

Florence Overview