A few cities in the entire world present a personality as complex as Florence’s. This is, par excellence, the universal city of art, where beauty lives and breathes in any possible form. Florence has been the cradle of Italian culture and possibly the most relevant landmark, throughout the centuries, for art and literature, inspiring some of the greatest minds ever lived.
Florence is also famous for its cordial and likeable population, characterized by a strong and musical accent. Just think that the Florentine idiom has always been considered so noble and proper to become the basis for the Italian language of today.
Visiting Florence, you come across an inestimable artistic heritage and even just by walking the streets absent-mindedly it will be impossible for you not to notice how extended the concentration of highlights is: churches, public or private palaces, monuments, galleries and museums, the eyes can hardly rest before being drawn by a new incredible discovery.
Consider that Florence preserves about a tenth of the national artistic asset (and Italy has a lot of it). The area that encloses most of this spectacular display is defined by the third - and widest - belt of walls built between the end of the ‘200 and the beginning of ‘300 that is the years of Dante Alighieri, Giotto and Arnolfo di Cambio, when the city was one of the four or five metropolis in all Europe. Today only a small portion of that walls remains, including the Zecca tower and the three gateways.
Florence is a city that will enchant you and make you realize what magnificent works the human mind can give birth to. You will be absorbed in this homogenous expanse of roofs and architectural texture, feeling richer and richer by the hour.
Where is Florence
It’s located in a beautiful setting in the middle of a natural amphitheater-shaped hollow surrounded on three sides by the characteristic clayish hills, covered with woods, beautiful towns and vine plantations.
Getting to Florence
To get to Florence by airplane is quite convenient since there are two airports near the city. Florence’s official one is called Amerigo Vespucci, which it’s located only five kilometers from the city and it has connections with all the major Italian destinations and some European ones.
You can also consider the Galileo Galilei airport which, although is in Pisa (80 km from Florence), it’s well served (buses and trains) and it has the most international flight layovers in Tuscany.
Things to Do in Florence
Around Florence’s historical center you can still have the feeling of an old-time atmosphere, thanks to genuine and original traditions and flavors. Walking these streets you can almost picture the great artists and poets busy at completing their works.
Inspiration is what you’re going to experience while visiting this city of the Renaissance. Piazza della Signoria is the heart of the city, within walking distance from the main attractions and overlooked by Palazzo Vecchio (Old Palace), headquarter of the municipal offices and once the residence of the de Medici family.
Walk only a few meters to arrive at the Uffizi Gallery: this is one of the most important expositions of art in the world. This ‘400 enormous building, commissioned to Giorgio Vasari by Cosimo I de Medici, is the home to a priceless collection of masterpieces by artists like Botticelli (here you can find the famous Birth of Venus and Primavera), Michelangelo, Leonardo, Caravaggio and Raffaello.
Your next stop is Ponte Vecchio, the oldest and most relevant bridge in Florence, and the only one survived to the bombings of the Second World War. Walk across it and stop in the middle to admire a unique and romantic view of the city and of the Arno River. On the other side of the bridge, head to the Pitti Palace. Built by the Pitti family in 1457, it became a new residence of the de Medicis and today is the location of a beautiful park and important exhibits such as the Palatina Gallery, full of works by Rubens, Caravaggio and Tiziano.
Now head back to the center and make your way to the Duomo of Santa Maria del Fiore, the church rising in the middle of the Duomo Square. Its construction started in 1296 and ended in the fifteenth century with the conclusion of the dome by Brunelleschi, that today marks Florence’s skyline. Take your time visiting this building, where you can find precious works by Andrea del Castagno, Donatello , Paolo Uccello, and Luca Della Robbia.
You can’t go to Florence without paying a visit to one of its most iconic treasures: the David by Michelangelo in the Gallery of the Accademia di Belle Arti. This white marble statue is the most sublime expression of the potential of the city, and of its impact in pushing the talent of great geniuses.
Shopping in Florence
In Florence you can find any sort of fashion boutique, from the biggest brands to small artisans that produce unique garments and accessories. Being the city of Art, the best that Florence has to offer is in the antiques shops and goldsmiths, which can also be found across Ponte Vecchio.
Dining and Nightlife in Florence
Tuscany is the land of good wine and good food, and Florence is not an exception. Find a good traditional restaurant (it’s not difficult) and try the classic Fiorentina (a thick steak) while having a glass of the world renowned Chianti. End the dinner with some “Cantucci and Vin Santo”. The nightlife in Florence is about fun, music, beer and new friendships. The city offers a lot of bars and nightclubs, and during the summertime it organizes several open-air events and parties.
Excursions and Tours in Florence
If you love the outdoors, the surroundings of Florence are the perfect scenario for many gorgeous naturalistic and wine/food itineraries. Take (at least) a day to visit the Chianti valley, with its beautiful countryside and towns.
Events in Florence
Boasting being the city where art and the history dominate, Florence is an enviable host city for international events like conferences, congresses, fairs, exhibitions, tradeshows, symposiums and many more. Thanks to numerous cultural activities, attractions and inspiring atmosphere, the delegates from all around the world leave the city in more than satisfaction every year after the events they attend. And Florence continuous to be an unrivaled destination for sector leading international gatherings.