Florence Tour Guide
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Known to some as “La Citta Viola”, or in English “The Purple City”, Florence is a city in Italy. It is known, among other things, for the purple lilies that grow there. Florence is the capital of the Tuscany region of the country.
In the 14th thru 16th centuries, the city was way ahead of its time, earning it quite a reputation for commerce trade.
It is said that one-third of the world’s treasures lay in Florence. There are many masterpieces of art, amazing architecture, and historical places to visit there. For that reason, people come from all parts of the world to soak in the beauty and to revisit the past.
One of the most spectacular sights is a cathedral that was built in Gothic times, in 1334. It has a terracotta-tiled dome which was designed by a famous engineer named Brunelleschi. There is a bell tower on the cathedral by the notorious painter, Giotto.
The Galleria dell’Accademia is also in Florence. That is where you’ll find Michelangelo’s sculpture of David. “The Birth of Venus” and da Vinci’s “Annuciation” are on display at the Uffizi Gallery.
Florence is known for being romantic too. From the quaint cobble streets to the delicious gourmet Tuscan cuisine, it’s almost impossible not to fall in love with the city.
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Top Historical Places
Basilica di San Lorenzo
Basilica di San Lorenzo is a large and beautiful church in Florence, Italy. It’s the burial place for the Medici family who were rich and powerful rulers in Italy. It was built outside of the city walls in the year 393.
Inside the Basilica di San Lorenzo is a decoration and sculpture by the famous artist, Donatello. There is also the Laurentian Library that was influenced by Michelangelo and the Old Sacristy by Bruenelleschi where church furnishings and vestments are kept.
In the museum area, there is a crypt belonging to Donatello and the tomb of his close friend, Cosimo di Medici. The main part of the church has gorgeous arches and columns that stretch up to the ceiling for all to admire.
Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore
Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore is the third largest church in the world. The Italian Gothic building was finished in the 15th century. It was built on the site of a 7th-century church – the remains of that church can be viewed in the crypt.
The interior holds significant works of art, including impressive frescoes painted by Andrea del Castagno in 1456 and Paolo Ucello in 1436.
One of the most popular things to do in Florence is to climb to the top of the dome where you’ll be surrounded by lavish frescoes while taking in an awe-inspiring vista of the city’s endless red roofs.
Palazzo Vecchio is the town hall of Florence, Italy. It is a beautiful building that overlooks the gallery of statues. The Palazzo Vecchio is built on top of an ancient Roman theater that was once part of the Roman colony of Florentia. You can purchase tickets to view the ruins.
Inside the Palazzo, there are many famous paintings. A microcosm in the palace keeps art and history safe for visitors to enjoy. A massive hall named Salone dei Cinquecento was built in 1494. It has paneled ceilings and walls decorated with frescoes, gold, and large statues. Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo Buonarroti were commissioned to paint two large murals on the walls.
The oldest bridge in Florence, Ponte Vecchio opened in 1345. A timeless symbol of the city, the original Roman crossing stood here as the only bridge over the Arno River until 1218.
It’s easy to imagine the early residents of Florence bustling about Ponte Vecchio, with shops here since the 13th century, from fishmongers and tanners to butchers.
Ponte Vecchio is Florence’s only bridge that managed to survive World War II, with all the others bombed and destroyed.
Today, it’s a lively spot packed with tourists. If you arrive early, just before dawn, you can enjoy serene views over the river and a colorful sunrise without the crowds. After dark, the shops’ wooden shutters create a look of wooden chests and suitcases that make it especially inviting for an evening stroll.