To the many tourists who visit Florence it looks as a city that has maintained its charm and its beauty. The result of a glorious past are unique artistic works. Florence is a lovely city that even for those who know it already (maybe because they have visited it several times) never stops amazing people with its masterpieces of art, the colored marbles of the churches and buildings that evoke the splendor of it and its role in the development of culture and art of the Renaissance.
The center of Florence is well represented by Piazza del Duomo, where we can find the most important monument of Florence: the Florence Cathedral. It is also known as Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore. The famous Brunelleschi dome stands at the top of it. In front of the cathedral is the Baptistery of San John, a sumptuous example of Florentine Romanesque architecture. Campanile di Giotto is another masterpiece of Gothic architecture in Florence.
Behind the Cathedral is the Museum of the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore, the museum of the workshop of the Cathderal, which houses a valuable collection of works of art from the Cathedral, the Baptistery and the Campanile (bell tower).
Another historic square is Piazza della Signoria. It has always been the headquarters of the political and civic life since the beginning of Florence. In the square there are other artistic and architectural works, such as the fourteenth-century Loggia dei Lanzi, the Fountain of Neptune and the Palazzo della Signoria, also called Palazzo Vecchio, one of the symbolic monuments of the city, in front of which are displayed some of the most famous statues in the city including a copy of Michelangelo’s David. The original Michelangelo’s David is protected from the use of time in the Accademia Gallery, one of the most important museums not only in Florence but in whole Italy.
Near Piazza della Signoria is the majestic Uffizi Gallery, the most visited Italian museum. It holds the distinction of being the first museum open in Europe thanks to the will of the Medici family, which even then gave people a chance to visit it, although initially only on specific request. The Uffizi Gallery houses works by Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and many other great artists. Architectural element of particular importance and unique in the Uffizi Gallery is the Vasari Corridor, designed by Vasari in the mid-sixteenth century on demand of Cosimo de’Medici, who wanted to connect the structure of the seat of his government, Palazzo Vecchio, with Palazzo Pitti, his residence. This work was intended to give the rulers of that time the ability to move between a building and the other without having to go through the city streets and avoiding exposure to any possible attack.
Between the two central squares – Duomo and Signoria – you can find other architectural treasures such as the Church of Orsanmichele and the thirteenth-century Palazzo del Bargello, now the National Museum, one of the most important in the world for the sculpture of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Other architectural masterpiece to be seen is the sixteenth-century Loggia del Mercato Nuovo (new market), known as Loggia del Porcellino for the characteristic bronze statue of a wild boar. In the center of Florence is also the sumptuous Palazzo Strozzi, built between the end of the fifteenth century and the beginning of the sixteenth century, where today are hosted important exhibitions of paintings and artistic works of various kinds.
Another architectural masterpiece of the old town is the Basilica of Santa Croce, known for its frescoes by Giotto and tombs of many famous Italian artists, including Michelangelo, Galileo and Machiavelli.