Day 1: Tue, Apr 6, 2010
Added Nov 16, 2009 by MalcolmThis Palazzo was commissioned by Filippo Strozzi and the job was undertaken by Benedetto da Maiano, who began work in 1489. He enlisted the help of Simone del Pollaiuolo , who made the splendid jutting cornice in 1502, and who finished the large internal courtyard with porticoes on all sides. Even though it was inhabited from 1504 the building was never fully completed, leaving the cornice and the southern façade unfinished. The rustication is present on three sides of the façade, which features many iron embellishments, including torch holders, hooks for horses or standard bearers. Some of these were substituted in the 19th century with exact copies of the designs by Benedetto da Maiano. Today the Palazzo is a famous site for temporary exhibitions which take place in the first-floor rooms, while in other rooms accessible from the courtyard are based certain cultural organizations such as the Gabinetto Vieusseux, and the Instituto Nazionale di Studi sul Rinascimento.
piazza degli Strozzi 1, 50123 Florence, Italy
+39 055 277 6461
Added Nov 15, 2009 by MalcolmThe Basilica di Santa Maria Novella church was built in 1278 by architects Fra Sisto and Fra Ristoro, who were part of the Dominican order. The work was carried on by Fra Jacopo Talenti and Fra Giovanni da Campi and was constructed in a Gothic style. The church still bears evidence of the Gothic style in the lower part of the facade in its grave niches, with its pointed arches, which are clad in green and white marble. The most important and interesting objects of art are to be found in the chapels of the prized and famous families. The sacristy and its furnishings can be seen on the left side of the church. As you descend the steps from the Capella Strozzi, you can purchase books and religious objects from here.
piazza Santa Maria Novella, 50123 Florence, Italy
+39 055 21 5918
Added Nov 15, 2009 by MalcolmThe Church was built in the middle of the thirteenth century and largely reconstructed during the Baroque period. Entering behind the third altar, notice the fresco by Sandro Botticelli of St. Augustine in His Study (1480) and, in the same partition, the second chapel. This belongs to the Vespucci family and contains frescoes by Domenico Ghirlandaio as well as other frescoes in which one can recognize members of the same family, probably including Amerigo Vespucci. From the cloister next to the church it is possible to enter the Refectory where there is the exemplary fresco by Dominico Ghirlandaio of Last Supper. This church is also the burial site of the great Renaissance artist, Sandro Botticelli. Admission: Free.
piazza d'Ognissanti, 50123 Florence, Italy
+39 055 239 8700
Added Nov 17, 2009 by MalcolmThis market winds around the Chiesa di San Lorenzo and the Mercato Centrale. There are stalls with all kinds of things: from jumpers to leather hats, from souvenirs to linen. There are also second-hand goods, precious stones, bags, scarves and Florentine paper.
piazza di San Lorenzo, 50123 Florence, Italy
+39 055 23 320
Added Nov 15, 2009 by MalcolmIn this large iron and glass building you can buy meat, fish, fruits, vegetables and many culinary rarities including fruit and fresh vegetables. On the upper floor there are also flowers of different kinds.
via dell'Ariento, 50123 Florence, Italy
Day 2: Wed, Apr 7, 2010
Added Nov 15, 2009 by MalcolmThe building which contains the Bargello dates back to 1255. In the 16th century, it became the residence of the Bargello (head of police) and doubled as a prison. Then halfway through the 19th century it was given to the National museum. A visit begins with the splendid courtyard and the ground floor room where some of Michelangelo's masterpieces are exhibited, including the bust of Brutus and the David-Apollo statue. There are several of the early works of Donatello on the first floor, amongst them statues of David in marble and of St George and David in bronze. Also here are terracottas, glazed by Luca della Robbia, of the Virgin Mary with Child. The museum bought some minor decorative art including ivories from the Roman and the Byzantine periods, medieval enamels, German and French goldsmith's art and Renaissance jewelery.
via del Proconsolo 4, 50122 Florence, Italy
+39 055 238 8606
Added Nov 15, 2009 by MalcolmAcquired by the artist in 1508, Casa Buonarroti was enlarged and restructured by his grandson, creating a sumptuous building which stands as a true monument to Michelangelo and to his work. The main episodes of the artist's life are illustrated in the magnificent rooms and two famous works of his youth stand out: the Battle of the Centaurs and the Madonna of the Scala. In the galleria, there is a collection of works which are in the planning stage, amongst them the fortifications of Florence and the frontage of San Lorenzo. Temporary exhibitions are also organized. Check website for timings.
via Ghibellina 70, 50122 Florence, Italy
+39 055 24 1752
Added Nov 15, 2009 by MalcolmThe construction of the Basilica of Santa Croce began in 1294. Giotto's frescoes in the chapels at the head of the transept are considered to be some of the finest examples of 14th century painting, while the 19th-century architect Niccolò Matas is responsible for the church's distinctive green and white marble façade. The church contains the tombs of the intellectual, artistic and religious figures from Italy's past, including Michelangelo, Machiavelli, Gioacchino Rossini, Galileo and Ugo Foscolo. Although exiled from Florence and buried in Ravenna, Dante, father of the Italian language, is honored with a cenotaph.
piazza Santa Croce 16, 50122 Florence, Italy
+39 055 246 6105
Added Nov 15, 2009 by MalcolmIn times gone by, this lively Piazzetta was the stage for dramatic events in the history of the city; one example is when the workers, excluded from the Arti, revolted in 1378. Today, a flea market is held here. The Loggia, near via Pietrapiana, is decorated with multi-colored terracotta and was built by Giorgio Vasari. It was originally erected in 1567 in the present Piazza della Repubblica, where the old market was once held. It was dismantled in the 19th century to make way for construction work in the Piazza. It was then that Vasari's Loggia was moved to the Piazza dei Ciompi.
piazza dei Ciompi, 50122 Florence, Italy
Day 3: Thu, Apr 8, 2010
Added Nov 15, 2009 by MalcolmThe Medici Chapels are historical labors that are as grand in their own way as are the pyramids of Egypt. Started in 1605, these shrines were under construction for centuries. 85 years earlier, Michelangelo was tasked to design and build the New Sacristy from one of the Medici cardinals Giulio de' Medici, dedicated to the memory of Giuliano (Duke of Nemours) and Lorenzo (Duke of Urbino). The bodies of several other Medici family members are interred in the Cappelle Medicee, most notably Lorenzo the Magnificent, Giuliano de' Medici and all of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany. Typical of a spiritual leader, he was obsessed with the here-after and the creation of these intricate chapels testifies to that. Of artistic note, are the actual charcoal sketches by Michelangelo's own hand.
piazza di Madonna degli Aldobrandini, 50123 Florence, Italy
+39 055 238 8602
Added Nov 15, 2009 by MalcolmBiblioteca Medicea Laurenziana (Laurentian Library) could be considered the Medici's family's library. Located to the left of San Lorenzo church (entrance on second floor through San Lorenzo cloister), the library was founded by Cosimo il Vecchio but it was Lorenzo the Magnificent who consistently enlarged the book collections. The monumental vestibule was designed by Michelangelo, with a large staircase, Grey sandstone framework of columns, pilasters, and corbels standing out against whitewashed walls. He also designed the beautiful wooden ceiling and carved benches/reading desks of the Reading Room. The library contains thousands of manuscripts, especially relating to Florentine Renaissance including autographs of Petrarch and Boccaccio, illuminated codices, and an uncommon collection of about 2,500 papyri.
piazza San Lorenzo 9, 50123 Florence, Italy
+39 055 21 1590
Added Nov 15, 2009 by MalcolmEncompassing the Biblioteca Laurenziana and the Cappelle Medicee, this basilica is a testimony to the political power and patronage of the Medici family. Its origins date back to 393 when St. Ambrose consecrated it in memory of the martyrdom of St. Lawrence. Adorned with fabulous artwork, including the marble Altar of the Sacrament carved by Desiderio da Settignano, the basilica features major artists of the period, including Donatello, Verrocchio, Filippo Lippi and Brunelleschi. This church contains the tombs of many members of the Medici family as well as that of one of their favorite artists, Donatello. Check website for timings.
piazza di San Lorenzo, 50123 Florence, Italy
+39 055 21 6634
Added Nov 15, 2009 by MalcolmThe Accademia Gallery is perhaps best-known for Michelangelo's David, removed after four centuries from Piazza Signoria, now exhibited in a specially constructed hall. Other works by Michelangelo include some of his Slave series and his sculpture of San Matteo. Also featured is an impressive collection of paintings from the 13th to 16th Centuries. Among the gallery's most important works: a Sienese school Crucifix from the 13th Century, 24 panels by Taddeo Gaddi representing scenes from the life of Christ and St Francis and Giovanni da Milano's Pietà.
via Ricasoli 60, 50122 Florence, Italy
+39 055 238 8612
Added Nov 15, 2009 by MalcolmThis building forms part of one of the most significant architectural complexes of the early fifteenth century in Florence. It was built by Filippo Brunelleschi and finished in 1457. It was intended that the hospital should care for abandoned children and provide them with a trade so that they could rejoin society. The initial structure, planned by Brunelleschi, included refectories, cloisters, dormitories and rooms for nurses and nannies; over time it was enlarged and frescoed with scenes documenting the work of the hospital and the patronage of the Medici. The gallery displays only a part of the outstanding gifts and collections which have been assembled over the centuries.
piazza della Santissima Annunziata 12, 50122 Florence, Italy
+39 055 2 0371
Day 4: Fri, Apr 9, 2010
Added Nov 15, 2009 by MalcolmAs the city's skyline symbol, the legendary Duomo is famous above all for its dome: Filippo Brunelleschi's Renaissance masterpiece, completed in 1436, created a double dome shell so that the dome is entirely self-supporting. It still stands as the largest masonry dome in the world, containing over 4,000,000 bricks! Climb to the top (all 463 steps) to get an unforgettable panoramic view of the city, which has changed little in the past 500 years. Construction started in 1296 on the site of the Roman basilica of Santa Reparata, of which there are still visible remains with a design by the great Florentine architect, Arnolfo di Cambio. The existing neo-Gothic facade was added in the 19th century by Emilio De Fabris. Covering a massive 3,600 square meters, the frescoes inside the dome depict the Last Judgment, painted by Giorgio Vasari and Federico Zuccari. If you can stand the throngs of people and get a good spot early, come on Easter Sunday for the
Scoppio del carro(Explosion of the Cart) where a oxen-drawn cart stuffed with fireworks comes from Prato to the center of the city and ignited.
piazza del Duomo 17, 50122 Florence, Italy
+39 055 21 5380
Added Nov 16, 2009 by MalcolmAlthough the Baptistery's precise origins remain unclear, its foundations are known to date back to Roman times. The central doors are stunning works of art, depicting scenes from the Old and New Testament and they have been called The Gates of Paradise. Lorenzo Ghiberti who worked on them from 1403 to 1424 designed these ornate doors. Inside, the octagonal structure is richly decorated with Roman columns and gilded column heads. The floor's marble inlay features Islamic-style patterns and the apse is decorated with 13th-century mosaics. Coppo di Marcovaldo and Cimabue were among those involved in the cupola's decorative mosaic work.
via della Canonica 1, 50122 Florence, Italy
+39 055 230 2885
Added Nov 16, 2009 by MalcolmDesigned by Giotto, the bell tower to the right of Santa Maria del Fiore was begun by the artist in 1334 but continued by Andrea Pisano (who modified part of the design) following Giotto's death in 1337. Francesco Talenti finally completed it in 1359. Originally the tower was linked to the Duomo via a passageway situated at the level of the first cornice but this was demolished before 1437. Reliefs carved on the side where the passageway once existed are later works by Luca della Robbia; Andrea Pisano's original stone reliefs can be seen in the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo. The concepts of universal order and redemption are recurrent themes; hexagonal tiles on the tower's lower level (now replaced by copies) portray scenes from daily human life whilst diamond-shaped reliefs on the upper level illustrate more ethereal subjects in the form of the Planets, Virtue, Liberal Arts and the Sacraments. There's no lift, but climbing the 414 steps to the top of the 85m tower is well worth the effort!
piazza del Duomo, 50122 Florence, Italy
+39 055 230 2885
Added Nov 15, 2009 by MalcolmMuseo dell'Opera di Santa Croce is located in rooms of the Convent of Santa Croce. You can see frescoes by Taddeo Gaddi and Orcagna which were rediscovered under the 16th century plaster. The most important piece is the large gilded bronze of San Lodovio di Tolosa which was made by Donatello in 1423. In the other rooms there are terracottas made by the Robbia family, the remains of the 14th century windows, and works by Bronzino, Vasari and other artists.
piazza Santa Croce 16, 50122 Florence, Italy
+39 055 246 6105
Added Nov 15, 2009 by MalcolmPiazza della Signora has been the hub of Florence's political life since the Republic at the end of the 15th Century. This L-shaped square is surrounded by its most famous buildings. Among them, the Palazzo Vecchio, head of the Florentine government, the Galleria degli Uffizi and the Ponte Vecchio. Look around you to see reproductions of Michelangelo's David and the original fountain of Neptune by Bartolomeo Ammannati. Enjoy a full view of the Piazza from the terrace of the Loggia dei Lanzi. The place is a good starting point to begin your tour of the city.
piazza della Signora, 50122 Florence, Italy
Added Nov 16, 2009 by MalcolmAlso called the Loggia della Signoria, the Loggia was named the Loggia dei Lanzi when the Duke Alessandro de' Medici made it the camp of the Lanzichenecchi after the fall of the Florentine Republic. It was the Signoria which commissioned a great Loggia for public use in 1350. The job was started by Orcagna, but continued and finished by Benci di Cione and Francesco Talenti only in 1382. Made in Serena stone with acute pointed arches and bricks decorated by sculptures designed by Agnolo Gaddi, this taste for a clasical style is what characterises Florentine art of the time. Benvenuto Cellini's famous Perseus was installed under the Loggia, and in the central arch Giambologna's marble Rape of the Sabine Women, which can be found next to Hercules with Nessus also in marble. The other statues at the back near to the walls came from the Medici villa in Rome.
piazza della Signoria, 50122 Florence, Italy
Added Nov 15, 2009 by MalcolmThe Palazzo's construction began in 1299 and it was enlarged repeatedly - in 1343, 1495 and lastly in the 16th century by Giorgio Vasari and Buontalenti. It has been the symbol and the political center of the city for centuries. The Great room of the Cinquecento stands out: it was designed as a reception area and decorated with frescoes celebrating Florentine victories against the other Tuscan cities and with sculptures depicting the deeds of Hercules by De Rossi. On the upper floors the Quarters of the elements are noteworthy as are those of Eleonora of Toledo who was the wife of Cosimo I and to whom the little chapel by Bronzino is dedicated. The Sala dei Gigli and the Sala dell'Audienza, which has a marble entrance, are sumptuous. On the Mezzanine there is the Loeser collection of painted sculptures. It is recommended that you visit the upper balcony where you can enjoy a fabulous view of Florence. In front of the museum, you'll find a copy of Michelangelo's David.
piazza della Signoria, 50122 Florence, Italy
+39 055 276 8325
Day 5: Sat, Apr 10, 2010
Added Nov 15, 2009 by MalcolmCompared to other religious buildings from the same period, this fourteenth-century church is somewhat unusual in design. Rectangular in shape, with two naves, it does look more like a grain store, which was in fact how it started out when first built by Francesco Talenti, Neri di Fioravente and Benci di Cione. After the previous grain store built in 1290 by Arnolfo di Cambio was destroyed, its replacement had to be built on a larger scale, enabling it to contain a marketplace. Arches were later closed off and the structure acquired two floors that were used for shops. At the end of the 15th century the building was converted into a church and became a powerful symbol for the city guilds, which met the cost of decorating the niches situated along the outside walls. For this they commissioned several of the most talented artists of the day to produce magnificent pieces of artwork, including Lorenzo Ghiberti, Donatello, Giambologna, Luca della Robbia and Verrochio. Of particular note are the copies of Donatello's statue of San Giorgio and bas-relief, whose originals are now in the Bargello museum.
via dei Calzaiuoli 15, 50122 Florence, Italy
+39 055 2 3320
Added Nov 15, 2009 by MalcolmThis market is mainly directed towards visitors to the city. It owes its name to its proximity to the famous statue of the wild boar known as the "Porcellino" and features an array of bags, souvenirs and products made of Florentine straw.
piazza di Mercato Nuovo, 50123 Florence, Italy
+39 010 868 7452
Added Nov 15, 2009 by MalcolmBest known of all Florence's treasures, this glorious bridge was the only one of six spared by the retreating Germans on 4 August 1944. Over the centuries flooding unfortunately took its toll; few traces of the 10th-century bridge remain. Today's bridge, built in 1345, was filled with butcher's shops which would routinely discard the carcasses into the Arno causing quite a stench. Grand Duke Fernandino I issued an edict to replace the butchers with goldsmiths to eradicate the smell and gentrify royalty's route to Palazzo Pitti, reached via the Vasari Corridor that passes over the bridge. Also, do not padlock anything to the statue of Benvenuto Cellini, often practiced by lovers who padlock a lock to the gate of the statue and toss the key into the river - otherwise face a fine of EUR 50!
Ponte Vecchio, 50125 Florence, Italy
Added Nov 16, 2009 by MalcolmThis 2nd-century church is found in the Oltrarno. It was completely destroyed by a fire and rebuilt in the 18th Century by Ruggieri and then Mannaioni. The Brancacci Chapel is the most precious part remaining from the fire. It was frescoed by Masolino and Masaccio beginning in 1424 and was finished by Filippino Lippi after 1480. Inside, two particular scenes frescoed by Masaccio stand out: "The payment of tribute" and the Purge from Paradise. These constitute an example imitated throughout the Renaissance, especially in the ways in which naked bodies were studied at close quarters, both in their proportions and in their volumes. The chapel has a separate entrance where a charge is applicable. Admission: EUR 4.
piazza del Carmine 14, 50124 Florence, Italy
+39 055 238 2195
Added Nov 17, 2009 by MalcolmRenowned for its panoramic views of Florence and the Arno valley, this terrace is a popular spot with locals and tourists. Created as part of major restructuring of the city walls, Giuseppe Poggi's sumptuous terrace is typically 19th century. In 1871, Poggi designed a monument base dedicated to Michelangelo. The monument itself was to be composed of copies of Michelangelo's works, including David and the Medici chapel sculptures from San Lorenzo. When the terrace was finished, Poggi designed the hillside building, now a restaurant, as a museum for Michelangelo's works.
piazzale di Michelangelo, 50125 Florence, Italy
Added Nov 15, 2009 by MalcolmSan Miniato is one of the most striking examples of Florentine Romanesque architecture, characterized by its bicoloured white and green marble façade. The altar, pulpit and transept recess feature fine marble décor, while the floor, in keeping with the Romanesque style, is decorated with symbolic ornamental motifs. Halfway along the nave on the left is another chapel; the Cappella del Cardinale Portogallo, which was designed by one of Brunelleschi's pupils. The architectural and decorative style resembles one of Brunelleschi's first creations; the Sagrestia Vecchia (Old Sacristy), which can be seen in San Lorenzo church.
via del Monte alle Croci 34, 50125 Florence, Italy
+39 055 234 2768
Day 6: Sun, Apr 11, 2010
Day 7: Mon, Apr 12, 2010
Added Nov 15, 2009 by MalcolmThe Medici family reserved rooms for their prestigious collection during use of the gallery as magistrate's court in the 1700s. Made up of 40 rooms, the gallery contains works by Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, Caravaggio and Botticelli's Birth of Venus and Primavera. Note the collection of Flemish, French, Dutch and German masters. The corridors, ceilings with splendid frescoes, are lined with Roman and 16th-century sculptures. By reservation, the Vasari Corridor above the Ponte Vecchio offers a link between Pitti Palace and Palazzo Vecchio. The Galleria houses 700 paintings including well-known self-portraits.
piazzale degli Uffizi 6, 50122 Florence, Italy
+39 055 238 8651
Added Nov 16, 2009 by MalcolmWhen Cosimo de'Medici, Grand Duke of Florence, addressed his commute to work in Palazzo della Signoria (Palazzo Vecchio) from his home one mile away in the Palazzo Pitti, he worried about the dangerous, dark trek he had to endure. Because the Medici already had assassination attempts, his architect, Giorgio Vasari, designed the elevated sky way so he could travel back and forth without being seen. The corridor became known as the Vasari Corridor and is now a gallery of self-portraits from Renaissance era to present day. Access is only available for groups of 15 or more and booking is a must.
piazzale degli Uffizi, 50122 Florence, Italy
+39 055 238 8651
Added Nov 15, 2009 by MalcolmThis complex was enlarged in 1437 by Michelozzo to accommodate Dominican monks who had moved to the city from nearby Fiesole. Traces of frescoes from the 14th and 15th centuries remain today, although some parts of the structure were modified during the Counter-Reformation and the facade was finally completed in the 17th century. One of the oldest pieces of artwork on display is the crucifix by an artist whose style is similar to Andrea Orcagna's, while at the far end of the church on the main altar is Fra'Angelico's "Crucifix."
1 Piazza San Marco, 50121 Firenze, Italy
+39 055 238 8608
Added Nov 15, 2009 by MalcolmThis building was originally erected in the middle of the 11th Century and after modifications spanning three centuries, the church finally took the form of the plans drawn up by Neri di Fioravante at the end of the 14th century. The façade however was the work of Bernardo Buontalenti. Inside, the only chapel to preserve its original 15th century decorations is the fourth in the right-hand nave. It was Lorenzo Monaco who, between 1420-1425, painted the series of frescoes telling the story of the Virgin Mary and the altar-piece with the Annunciation. The first chapel on the right, in the apse walls, was owned by the Sassetti family who commissioned Domenico Ghirlandio to paint the series of frescoes telling the stories of St Francis of Assisi which depict aspects of 15th century life with particular realism. Ghirlandaio also worked on the altar-piece with the sweet Shepherd's Worship, dated 1485. Admission: Free.
piazza Santa Trinita, 50123 Florence, Italy
+39 055 216 912
Added Nov 15, 2009 by MalcolmThis welcoming wine bar is located near the Duomo in the centre of the city. Visitors can taste quality cheeses and locally produced meat accompanied by good Tuscan wines. It's an excellent choice, therefore, for lunch or for a light dinner. The dishes are all decided according to the wine that one is drinking. There is a choice of avocado snacks, fresh cheese and caviar mousses, salmon steak and different kinds of mushrooms. Wine is served by the glass.
via delle Oche 15r, 50122 Florence, Italy
+39 055 230 2153
Added Nov 16, 2009 by MalcolmThe foundations of one of the city's oldest churches date back to the 4th century, when Christianity was in its infancy. Named after Roman martyr St Felicita, the church gradually took shape during the Romanesque period. In the first half of the 18th century Ferdinando Ruggieri made changes to the building, one of which was the inclusion in the structure of the Vasari Corridor that connected the Palazzo Vecchio to Palazzo Pitti. During the reign of Medici successors the Lorraine family, the church was used as a court chapel. Designed by Brunelleschi for the Barbadori family, little of the original structure of the chapel (later known as the Capponi Chapel) remains due to renovation work carried out during the 18th century. It does however contain two sixteenth-century masterpieces - the Deposition and the Annunciation - by Jacopo Carrucci (also known as Pontormo) that were commissioned by Ludovico Capponi. Admission: Free.
via de' Guicciardini 3, 50125 Florence, Italy
+39 055 213 018
Added Nov 15, 2009 by MalcolmThe church can be found in one of the most lively piazzas in the Oltrarno. The scrolled plaster facade is from the 18th Century, but is only the last phase of the building. The building was started in 1444 by one of the greatest creators of the Renaissance in Florence: Filippo Brunelleschi. Brunelleschi's geometric measurements are visible in the line of perspective that exists in the church's foundation, with its three naves which run down into the transept. The internal perimeter wall is punctuated with apses in which there are aristocratic family chapels which are decorated with architectural motifs, altar pieces or paintings from different periods. Out of the many works, the ones which stand out are the decoration of the Corbinelli Chapel by Andrea Sansovino (1492) in the left transept and in the right transept there is the Altar piece of the Madonna on the Throne with Saints (1493-94) by Filippino Lippi. On the altar there is the wooden crucifix which is attributed to Michelangelo. Admission: Free.
piazza di Santo Spirito, 50125 Florence, Italy
+39 055 23 330
Added Nov 15, 2009 by Malcolm
Florence (Firenze in Italian) is the capital of the region of Tuscany in Italy. The epicenter of the Italian Renaissance, Florence remains a top destination for art lovers; it is a cultural and architectural gem, and one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Located in the heart of Tuscany, a stunning province of hills and mountains, it has many famous sons like Leonardo, Dante, Machiavelli and Michelangelo.
Among the things you can’t afford to miss are the Uffizi Galleries, one of the best art museums in the world, the Duomo, the Santo Spirito church and the Ponte Vecchio. To get a great overview of the city, you have plenty of choices: climb the “Cupolone” of the Duomo or the Giotto Tower, head for Piazzale Michelangelo in Oltrarno (other side of river Arno) or farther up to the church of San Miniato.
Added Nov 15, 2009 by MalcolmCommissioned by grand duke Ferdinando I, this unusual fort (also known as Forte San Giorgio) was built by Buontalenti and Don Giovanni de' Medici at the end of the 16th century to defend the city from enemy attack. It could be reached - and still can be today thanks to restoration work carried out during the 1950's - from the east side of the Boboli gardens. The pathway around the perimeter of the fort gives visitors breathtaking views of Florence's skyline as well as the Tuscan hills beyond and overlooks nearby Palazzina del Belvedere. Built by Bartolomeo Ammannati a few decades before the fortifications, the Palazzina is a popular art exhibition venue. The fort holds temporary exhibitions on a regular basis (for which it charges an admission fee), while access to the lawns surrounding it is usually free.
costa San Giorgio, 50125 Florence, Italy
+39 055 23 320
Added Nov 15, 2009 by MalcolmA pint of Guinness, karaoke nights, live music sessions, all the sports you need on TV. This is what you will find at this Florentine Irish pub. Not the best place to be if you want to meet a local crowd, but people from all over the world meet at The Lion's Fountain to enjoy a good Irish beer on tap or a super Bloody Mary. Prices are not the cheapest in Florence (about EUR 5 a pint) but the authenticity is worth it! The Lion's Fountain is the place to be on St. Patrick's Day - wear green, drink a pint of Guinness and celebrate with the Irish in Florence! –Luca Giani
34 Borgo degli Albizi, 50122 Firenze, Italy
+39 055 234 4412
Added Nov 17, 2009 by MalcolmUnderneath the Loggia del Porcellino, the marble wheel can be found which commemorates the place where the carroccio was left, an emblem of the Florentine Republic. In medieval times it was used as a pillory for those who dared to dupe the merchants of the city. The Loggia was the work of Giovan Battista del Tasso who built it in the middle of the 16th century as a market place for the sale of fabrics and objects of different kinds. Today the Loggia also houses a market, mainly for tourists. Leather bags, silk scarves, straw hats and other art and craft objects can be found there. The Porcellino is the boar which is part of the fountain on one side of the market. This bronze sculpture was made by Pietro Tacca at the beginning of the 17th century after a marble original of the Hellenistic period (on show at the Uffizi).
via Porta Rossa, 50123 Florence, Italy
Added Nov 15, 2009 by MalcolmAfter you've gotten your fill of Italian art at the Galleria degli Uffizi, step outside and fill up on some Italian food. With a shaded terrace right on Piazza della Signoria, I'Lorenzaccio Ristorante Pizzeria is the perfect place to experience local cuisine and people watch in one of Italy's most famous piazzas. From filletto di manzo to pizzas and pastas there is something for everyone, and Lorenzaccio also offers a fixed degustazione menu featuring all the specialties of the house. Closed on Thursdays.
piazza della Signoria 32, 50122 Florence, Italy
+39 055 29 4553
Added Nov 17, 2009 by MalcolmBeneath the Loggia del Grano, just a step away from the Ponte Vecchio can be found this small and truly unusual market. Don't be deceived by appearances, which might lead you to think that the place is a bit dodgy, because in reality it is a place where you can find interesting and unusual things at affordable prices. Recommended for those interested in ethnic and new-age items.
via dei Neri, 50122 Florence, Italy
Added Nov 16, 2009 by MalcolmMuseo dell'Opera del Duomo has been totally renovated and is located behind the Duomo. The museum shelters many works of art from the Duomo (cathedral), Campanile (bell tower) and Battistero (Baptistery), such as the statue of Boniface VIII, the work of Arnolfo di Cambo, or Donatello's Saint John and Magdalene. The furnishings are also important, for example, the silver altar from the Battistero and the restored panels of the "Gates of Paradise".
piazza del Duomo 9, 50122 Florence, Italy
+39 055 230 2885
Added Nov 15, 2009 by MalcolmThe museum connected to the opificio (meaning 'factory') contains the Medici collection of carved hard stone. At the beginning of the 19th century the opificio began restoring inlays, mosaics and subsequently sculptures, for which it is now widely renowned. The present site is where the Great Duke's workshops were set up when they were transferred to him from the Lorena at the end of the 18th century. Some of the most important pieces are the Florentine and Northern landscapes, the models and panels for the Chapel of the Princes and the 19th century tables which have been made with an extraordinary eye for detail.
via degli Alfani 78, 50125 Florence, Italy
+39 055 2 6511
Added Nov 15, 2009 by MalcolmMuseo di San Marco is situated in an old Dominican monastery, restored and enlarged by Michelozzo, under the wishes of Cosimo the Old of the Medici family. A visit is divided between the perfectly conserved 15th Century monastery and the museum which dedicates itself to Angelico. There is the famous Crucifixion which was painted in the Great room of the Capital and amongst the tableaux there are the early works of Angelico, notably the altar frontal with Universal Judgment and the Deposition. The museum also has a fresco of the Last Supper which was painted by Ghirlandaio at the end of the 15th Century. It is possible to visit the simple cell where Savonarola lived and where Cosimo il Vecchio retired to meditate. In the cells there are masterpieces like the Annunciation, the Transfiguration and the Crowning of the Virgin. In the library there are a series of finely drawn manuscripts, which were written inside the convent. Underneath the convent, there are precious relics, which were saved from 19th century destruction, as well as a fascinating collection of bells.
piazza San Marco 3, 50121 Florence, Italy
+39 055 238 8608
Added Nov 15, 2009 by MalcolmIn the lively neighborhood of San Niccolò, within a few minutes walk from Ponte Vecchio, this tiny bar is packed with mostly young people in their 20's and 30's chatting, drinking and listening to the music from late afternoon till night. On weekends the place is so busy that, especially in summer evenings, the crowd spills out onto the outdoor seats and the sidewalk. A sumptuous buffet-style aperitif with a large choice of appetizers and a wide range of cocktails and long drinks is served every day from 7p. Lunch and breakfast are also served, and DJ music is featured on weekend nights.
via dei Renai 17, 50125 Florence, Italy
+39 055 24 3647
Added Nov 15, 2009 by MalcolmIdentical in every way to its sister establishment in Monte Carlo, this upscale, cosmopolitan bistro offers a variety of food, drinks and snacks throughout the day. Hot and cold dishes range from a light salad to smoked salmon, to something a little more filling. Or just stop by for a couple of drinks with friends. On Sundays, American-style brunch, the perfect start to a long lazy Sunday, is served in this popular cocktail rendezvous.
lungarno Corsini 12r, 50123 Florence, Italy
+39 055 210 751
Added Nov 15, 2009 by MalcolmThis is probably the best Chinese restaurant in the city. Its cooking is based on three distinct traditions, Canton, Szechuan and Zheijang and there are also styles from other oriental countries. It has a rather elegant setting with marble and velvet and varnished woods imported from China. It is further enriched by a summer garden which is full of statues and water games. Their specialties are Peking duck and the sea bass in squeezed fruit juices. There are also little capesante fish pancakes with sesame, rice with lotus leaves, chicken with mango. The wine list is remarkable.
viale Spartaco Lavagnini 22, 50129 Florence, Italy
+39 055 474 942
Added Nov 15, 2009 by Malcolm
The name Osteria de’Pazzi probably refers to the ancient Florentine Pazzi family once living in the area, but it might also hint at the crazy atmosphere of the place! (“pazzo” = “crazy” in Italian). Just round the corner from Santa Croce square, this old fashioned trattoria offers both a lunch menu at reduced price and a wider one including all highlights of tuscan traditional cuisine. It is worth mentioning the large variety of meats, some of them cooked with the delicate “lardo di Colonnata” and fine herbs. This special lard is prepared with sea salt, garlic, herbs and spices and left for months in marble basins in the village of Colonnata near the Apuan Alps. - Maria Frullini
via dei Lavatoi 3r, 50122 Florence, Italy
+39 055 234 4880
Added Nov 15, 2009 by MalcolmThis building was constructed between 1444 and 1460 by Michelozzo Michelozzi on the orders of Cosimo il Vecchio. It represents the prototype of the Florentine Renaissance style, characterized by mullioned windows of every size. Halfway through the 17th century it was sold to the Marchesi Riccardi family who enlarged it, adding the gallery which has Baroque frescoes by Luca Giordano. The Riccardi family held onto the palazzo until 1814 when it became the site of the Ministry of the Interior and, from 1871, the Prefecture. Inside there is a beautifully porticoed courtyard where there are many Roman remains gathered as well as various sculptures. The Chapel which was designed by Michelozzi is also noteworthy. There you will find frescoes by Benozzo Gozzoli which show the journey of the Magi to Bethlehem (1459). Within them, there are various famous people of the period including Lorenzo the Magnificient and Galeazzo Maria Sforza. Go early - only 8 guests permitted in at once!
via Camillo Cavour 1, 50129 Florence, Italy
+39 055 276 0340
Added Nov 16, 2009 by MalcolmPiazza del Duomo is one of the most famous landmarks in Florence. Truly an architectural piece of beauty, it encompasses the art and history of medieval Italy, through its sheer design. A visit to this city is not complete without visiting the piazza's cathedral
'Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore' whose dome dominates the skyline. It is no wonder that tourists are spellbound and spend hours trying to capture these images for eternity.
Piazza del Duomo, 50122 Florence, Italy
+39 055 2 3320 (Tourist Information)
Added Nov 15, 2009 by MalcolmVery interesting Indian restaurant that offers not only ready made dishes but also a selection of typical foodstuffs to try out at home in tasty and unusual recipes. Deliveries of personalized meals can also be made to your home so you can treat your guests to something a little out of the ordinary, but which is guaranteed to be tasty and exotic too.
via Ghibellina 61r, 50122 Florence, Italy
+39 055 240 999
Added Nov 15, 2009 by MalcolmAnyone wanting to try real Neapolitan pizza with traditional dough has a good opportunity to do so here.This is a simple restaurant with pleasant management and owners form Campania. A familiar, lively atmosphere, the restaurant is always filled with lovers of good pizza. As well as pizza, there is very good fish available such as clams and the Luciana style squid. Local and regional wines are available to complement the menu.
via del Ponte alle Mosse 102r, 50144 Florence, Italy
+39 055 353 2558
Added Nov 15, 2009 by MalcolmFounded before 1000 C.E., this church was reconstructed in the 13th Century in Gothic style for the Vallombrosiani family. On entering there is a sober atmosphere which comes from the internal structure with its three naves, broken up into arcades with pointed arches on quadrangular pillars. It was based on the cistercene model from the time of Buontalenti. In the large Chapel, the frescoes contain scenes from Herototus Ordering the Massacre and The Massacre of the Innocents from the end of the 14th Century.
piazza di Santa Maria Maggiore, 50123 Florence, Italy
+39 055 23 320
Added Nov 15, 2009 by MalcolmStrategically placed in front of the Stadium (Stadio Artemio Franchi) this sandwich shop is well known by all Fiorentina football supporters and is home to the panino of "infinite choices." They offer a huge variety of toppings and several types of breads to eat standingat the bar or take away. A few primi piatti (first courses) that change daily are also available. In the warm season there are a few tables outdoors on the sidewalk. Fantastic, no frills food at a great value. After football season is over they are closed on Sundays. -Maria Frullini
viale dei Mille 1, 50131 Florence, Italy
+39 055 588 076
Added Nov 15, 2009 by MalcolmTrattoria Enzo e Piero is a century old restaurant which continues to offer traditional Tuscan recipes, in a family style atmosphere. The desserts here are delicious and well presented so do not forget to try any of these if you are in Florence. Please call for open hours.
via Faenza 105r, 50123 Florence, Italy
+39 055 21 4901
Added Nov 17, 2009 by MalcolmThis is one of two tourist information offices located near the Piazza Santa Croce. Here you will find notices with addresses of hotels, opening hours of various museums, information on historic monuments, transport timetables (trains, planes and so on), as well as leaflets which show the opening hours of private institutions which can be visited.
borgo Santa Croce 29r, 50122 Florence, Italy
+39 055 234 0444
Added Nov 15, 2009 by MalcolmThis pub's impressive range of British and Irish beers beats other city bars hands down. Excellent hamburgers, fish & chips and pizzas available to accompany your beer. Cozy surroundings of plain brick walls decorated with objects from across the Channel and friendly, cheerful bar staff. Happy hour kicks off at opening time. Sit inside at a booth or at the bar, or (weather permitting) sit outside at one of the many tables and benches.
via Antonio Magliabechi 9r, 50122 Florence, Italy
+39 055 263 8357
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