Florence is an Italian municipality, the capital and biggest city in the Tuscany region. It’s the cradle and the treasure of the Renaissance, and one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

Several writers such as Dante, Petraca and Machiavelli constitute its literary heritage but, some names such as Leonardo Da Vinci,  Michelangelo and Donatello make this city one of the most artistic, historical and perfect places of all time. It is a city where culture and art breaths in every corner, where our senses meet with centuries of history and evolution, and a place where we are sure to be before the origin of everything we call beauty!
Florence has its origin in the ancient Etruscan people, but it only acquired relevance as a roman colony since the year 59 B.C.. In the XIII century it transformed itself into one of the biggest Italian powers through the wool and textile commerce, sustained by a powerful banking system. It was governed by the Médici family, an influent dynasty of bankers, since the beginning of the XV century until the mid XVIII century. During this governing, the artistic growth was promoted, turning Florence into the cultural and intellectual center of Europe, with some of the best Renaissance works in the world. In 1860 Italy unified, and between 1865 and 1871 Florence was its capital.
Florence is a perfect city to visit and explore, sure that we’ll leave a lot more culturally rich.
Duomo – Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore

Duomo and baptistery

The symbol of Florence is, undoubtedly, the Duomo with its brick color dome. It is the fourth biggest European cathedral and the tallest building in the city.

Started in 1926 by the architect Arnolfo di Cambio, the cathedral took almost 150 years to be finished.

The belfry is covered with white, green and pink Tuscan marble and has 85 meters of height. The neo-gothic frontage was projected in the XIX century by the architect Emilio de Fabris to replace the incomplete original, demolished in the XVI century and reflects the belfry style of Giotto.

One of the best masterpieces of the Renaissance is the famous cathedral dome, built by Brunelleschi between 1420 and 1436. It is a real engineering accomplishment that can’t be appreciated without walking up its 463 steps. On the top of the dome there is an sphere of gilded bronze, built by Verrocchio, Leonardo Da Vinci’s teacher. The Duomo museum interior has works of very important artists, such as Michelangelo’s Pietá of Florence.


The baptistery, with the famous Ghiberti bronze doors, is one of the oldest buildings in Florence. These doors were ordered from Ghiberti in 1401 to celebrate the end of the plague. They are constituted by ten embossing panels that describe biblical passages; Michelangelo dubbed these scenes the “Gates of Paradise”. The originals are in the Duomo museum. This work is considered the origin of Renaissance.  (web)

 The Uffizi facade is adorned with statues from the most emblematic Florentine artists


This building was constructed, between 1560 and 1580, to lodge the Cosimo I. Offices. Nowadays it is the largest museum of all Italy, where we can find some of the biggest tresures of the Médici.

As well as presenting, probably, the most beautiful Italian Renaissance paintings collection in the world, it allows us also to find masterpieces from Dutch, Spanish and German painters.

Here we are able to admire and glimpse Gothic, Proto-Renaissance, Renaissance and Mannerism Art as well as late paintings.

Some of the most important paintings in history are disposed in this museum, such as The Birth of Venus by Botticelli, The Sacred Family of Michelangelo, Ticiano’s Venus of Urbino, Caravaggio’s Baco, among others. (web)

Replica of David

Galleria dell’accademia

This academy was founded in 1563 and was the first European school created to teach painting, sculpture and drawing techniques. The Art Collection exposed in this gallery was created in 1784 with didactic intents.

It is one of the most important galleries in Florence and has works of various important artists of the time, from Michelangelo, Botticelli, Jacopo Pontormo, to Bronzino, among others.

The most famous piece of work in this gallery is the Michelangelo’s statue of David, dated of 1504. (web)

Vecchio Bridge

Vecchio bridge

Built in 1345, it is the oldest in the city and was projected by Taddeo Gaddi. At first it was used by butchers, blacksmiths and curriers for the discharge of waste in the river. Then, in 1593, this trade was put aside and the bridge started being used by jewelers and goldsmiths, traditions that remain today.

The Vasari Corridor along the bridge was designed by Vasari in order to allow the Médici family to move between its residences without mixing with the people. This was the only bridge that survived the World War II.

It is one of the most perfect places in Florence to look at the Arnos River.


The Bargello is the second most important museum in Florence, after the Uffizi. It is constituted by Italian Renaissance sculpture and applied arts.

In the beginning, 1255, this building was used as City Hall and it was consecutively used as a jail and as Bargello’s residency, the chief of police. The yard was used as the stage for public executions during many years. Lastly, in 1865, it was transformed into a National Art Museum.

This museum presents very important pieces of art as Michelangelo’s Baco, the bust of Brutus, and the Virgin and Child or the Donatello’s Saint George and the androgynous David.  (web)

Details of Michelangelo’s tomb 

Santa Croce Church

Gothic church dated of the year 1240 that turns famous for containing the tombs and monuments of various noted persons, like Michelangelo, Galileo, and Machiavelli. It also has Giotto’s and Taddeo Gaddi’s frescoes. The Pazzi Chapel in the cloister is one of Brunelleschi’s masterpieces. (web)

 Fountain of Neptune

Piazza della Signoria

The Palazzo Vecchio and the Piazza della Signoria were the political and social center of Florence for centuries. Nowadays is one of the most relevant squares, if not the most important, and also the most visited one in Florence.

Here we can find a copy of Michelangelo’s David; the original was also located in this place until 1873. You can also find here some statues celebrating the main historical events of the city, such as Cellini’s Perseus, a statue of Perseus with the decapitated head of Medusa, the Fontana del Nettuno that celebrates the naval victories of Tuscany, and the Marzocco, a copy of the heraldic lion of Florence, by Donatello.

However, the conviction of Girolamo Savoranola to the fire, one of the most historical events, is described only in a simple plate near the loggia.

The Palazzo Vecchio is still Florence’s city hall. Its construction was finished in 1322, when the bell, used to convene the citizens, was placed in the bell tower.

Inside the palace, in the Salone dei Cinquecento, we can find Vasari’s frescoes, Bronzino’s paintings, sculptures by Michelangelo and Donatello, among works of other artists.

 Detail of the Pitti’s Palace ceilings

Palazzo Pitti This palace was initially built for a family of bankers named Pitti. The construction started in 1457 and was projected by Brunelleschi. The palace’s objective was to overcome the wealth of the Médici family. Irony or not, in 1550 it was bought by the Médici family, due to the Pitti’s family bankruptcy and it became the family’s main residency. Currently, it exposes the relics and treasures of the Médici collections. It is composed by the Palatina Gallery, which features masterpieces by Botticelli, Tiziano, Perugino, Raphael, Caravaggio, and others; by the Museo degli Argenti, or museum of silverware, which exposes precious objects of decorative arts; by the Appartamenti Reali, royal accommodations decorated with frescoes from various artists from Florence, Médici’s portraits, sets of tapestries, gold and silks; by the Galleria del Costume, that reflects the courtesan fashion of the XVIII century until 1920; and by the rooms of the Modern Art Gallery which exhibit paintings dated from 1784 to 1924. This palace is also known by its magnificent Boboli Gardens, with its Renaissance landscape and numerous statues that decorate the gardens. (web) These are some of the places that demand a visit; however, Florence has enchantment in every street, around every corner, in each square meter. It is a city where we want to lose ourselves and never be found again! If you wish to visit these, and many other places in Florence you can opt for the Firenze Card.

Where to stay
Hotel Il Salviatino
JK Place
Antica Torre di via Tornabuoni 1

How to get there Several airlines fly to Bologna or Pisa, that are a short train ride from Florence  

Texts: Cíntia Oliveira | Photos: Flavors & Senses


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