The “Cradle of the Renaissance” is one of Italy’s most popular destinations (and Italy is one of the world’s most visited places). Here is a place to immerse yourself in great Art. Plan to spend several days since the city is thoroughly walkable and is packed with worthwhile sights.
Begin with a close look at one of the world’s greatest pieces of Art, the Michelangelo sculpture of “David.” You can find the masterpiece in three (3) locations in Florence. The original is housed in the Galleria dell’ Academia;
one copy can be found on the Piazza della Signoria, Florence’s main square; the other copy sits above the city, in the Piazza Michelangelo, where you can also get a wonderful view of the city’s rooftops and skyline.
Florence’s Duomo, Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, is absolutely stunning with its pink, white, and green marble. It is topped with one of the most famous domes in the world, the Brunelleschi Dome, a marvel of engineering when it was built.
The Duomo is accompanied by a magnificent Baptistry with a golden door sculpted by Ghiberti.
Florence has several other noteworthy churches. Santa Croce contains the tombs of many of the greatest Florentines, including Michelangelo, Galileo, and Machiavelli.
Another worthwhile church is Santa Maria Novella, a lovely church with an interesting history and some excellent artwork inside.
The Uffizi Gallery is one of the world’s greatest Art museums, featuring the largest collection of Italian Renaissance paintings. My favorite is Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus.”
Florence lies on the Arno River, and one of the bridges which span the river is particularly famous. The Ponte Vecchio is a covered bridge which is lined with shops selling Florentine leather, jewelry, and other treasures.
On the opposite side of the river is the Pitti Palace, an estate which features the Boboli Gardens..