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Florence Italy -Tourist Guide
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Sunset in Florence Italy
Florence is a city full of art, world famous architecture, history, culture and iconic sights.
The capital of Italy's Tuscany region, Florence is a Renaissance lovers dream. As the city is quite compact, unlike say Rome, everything to see is all within walking distance. One reason Florence is so popular for mini breaks. With so much accommodation available, there's something to please everyone - Find a great deal in Florence here...

Florence.
A city synonymous with the Renaissance and possessing every ingredient to make up the archetypal Tuscan city, Florence is unique and amazing. If Dante were to return to his native Florence today, he wouldn't see too much difference from the days when he lived in there back in the 13th century. Take away the odd modern addition and a few thousand tourists and you still have the medieval city and all of the magic encapsulated within it. Due to it’s modest size, Florence is incredibly easy to see in a short space of time. All of the sights are within walking distance of each other and the city’s narrow streets hug the visitor protectively as they weave from one stunning piazza to another.

The major landmark symbol of Florence is the dusky orange dome of Santa Maria del Fiore which towers above the city. Still the tallest building in the city after over 500yrs, the Duomo designed by Brunelleschi is the place to visit. The interior is elaborately beautiful with intricate marble pavements, works of art and frescoes of the Last Judgment by Vasari decorating the inside of the Dome. It is also well worth taking a trip up the exquisite 85m high Campanile for fabulous views across the city. A stone’s throw from the Duomo is the Piazza della Signoria immortalised by a fainting Helena Bonham-Carter in ‘Room with a View’, and the very piazza where Michaelangelo’s 4.34 m high David was originally placed. The original can now be found in the Accademia, although a perfect copy stands in the original spot in front of the Palazzo Vecchio, the Florentine town hall and draws massive crowds. Another main tourist attraction is the Ponte Vecchio - the oldest bridge in city, built in 1345 that stretches out across the Arno as one of Florence’s key sights. The bridge is crammed with jewellers and antique shops all along the bridge, the prices are slightly higher than those in the surrounding area, so if you’re not up to abusing the old credit card simply enjoy the fabulous views up and down the hazily romantic Arno. Florence is chock full of culture, from the Renaissance Art packed Uffizi Gallery (the greatest art gallery in Italy) to the huge Palazzo Pitti with it’s ornately decorated rooms and chambers and the beautiful Boboli Gardens. Florence is one of those lucky places that is blessed with fantastic architecture, atmosphere, history and location and is easily one of Italy’s brightest stars.

Fiesole.
Nestled amongst olive groves on the beautiful hillsides that overlook the Florentine basin, Fiesole is a perfect countryside retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city, a mere 5 miles away. Fiesole was once a Roman city (Faesulae) with a forum, temples, theatre, baths. The well-preserved theatre, which is still used, has a capacity of about 3000 people. With the ancient remains, the beautiful duomo of San Romolo, the fascinating collections of the Museo Faesulanum and the 15th century church of San Domenico means there is plenty to see. Fiesole however is more about relaxing amongst the stunning Florentine hills.

Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens.
A short walk from the Duomo across the Ponte Vecchio will bring the Florentine wanderer to the huge Palazzo Pitti. Once residence of the Medici’s who took it on after the Pitti bankruptcy, the Palazzo comprises some of the most ornately decorated rooms and chambers you’ll ever see. With barely a gap on the walls, there is masterpiece upon masterpiece from the Medici collections. The Palazzo and the Boboli gardens behind it house some of the most important museums and galleries in Florence including the also houses a number of galleries including the Palatine Gallery the Silver Museum and the Gallery of Modern Art. There is a small charge for each gallery, but well worth it - you could easily lose yourself for an entire day at the Palazzo Pitti.

Ponte Vecchio.
As the oldest bridge in city, built in 1345, the Ponte Vecchio stretches out across the Arno as one of the major symbols of Florence. The shops that make up the bridge used to be full of blacksmith’s and butchers until they were kicked out by higher rent paying jewellers in 1593. Still crammed with jewellers and antique shops all along the bridge, the prices are slightly higher than those in the surrounding area. Spend spend spend, or simply enjoy the fabulous views up and down the hazily romantic Arno.

The Duomo.
As the major landmark symbol of Florence, the dusky orange dome of Santa Maria del Fiore towers above the city. Still the tallest building in the city after over 500yrs, the Duomo designed by Brunelleschi is the place to visit. The interior is elaborately beautiful with intricate marble pavements, works of art and frescoes of the Last Judgement by Vasari decorating the inside of the Dome. It is also well worth taking a trip up the exquisite 85m high Campanile for fabulous views across the city and out across the architectural magnificence of Florence’s famous Duomo.

The Uffizi Gallery.
Built over 400yrs ago, the monumental Uffizi Gallery is still the greatest art gallery in Italy. Amassed by the Medici family, the gallery houses the world’s greatest collection of Italian Renaissance Art alongside countless masterpieces from all over the world. From Boticelli to Leonardo da Vinci, the Uffizi has them all. There is also a collection of Greek and Roman Sculptures. Open from 9am-7pm, there is plenty of time to take everything in. Beware during the summer however when the gallery gets very busy, so expect to queue.

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