Florence: magical city of art and culture
- Name: Florence;
- Founded: 1st century BCE;
- Population: 390,000 (city);
- Area: 102.41 km2 (39.54 sq mi);
- Known as: Capital of Tuscany and “cradle of the Renaissance”.
Florence, capital of Tuscany region in Italy, is rightfully referred as a ‘cradle of the Renaissance’: many of Renaissance artists were born there. To name just a few: Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian, and list goes on, with dozens of world famous artists, painters, sculptors born in Florence or in region of Tuscany.
With so many masterpieces hosted in the city, it’s no wonder that historic center of Florence was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982. Visiting tourists per year exceeded 10 million in 2017 and numbers are constantly growing. People are visiting Florence not only for art masterpieces in several world known museums and galleries, but also for high-end fashion and great food in famous restaurants serving tasty Italian food with a Florentine specific recipes. By adding to the food glass of Chianti, Italian wine from Tuscany, and Tiramisu, sweet originating from Florence, wraps the visit to this magical city in a best possible way. Enjoy!
Florence Cathedral. Better known as Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, or simply as il Duomo, this 13th century medieval cathedral with iconic red dome is recognisable landmark of Florence, with its beautiful marble facade and elegant Giotto tower. Uffizi Gallery. A 16th century built, art museum with numerous Renaissance masterpieces, a must see during Florence visit. Ponte Vecchio. Iconic stone bridge over river Arno, lined with jewelry shops, dating from ancient Roman times.
Palazzo Vecchio. A 13th century fortified palace and a town hall, hosting spectacular chambers and ornate courtyards. Piazza della Signoria. Central square in front of the Palazzo Vecchio, with many shops and restaurants, favorite meeting place for tourists in between visits of attractions. Palazzo Pitti. Impressive Renaissance palace and art gallery complex, hosting large Italian and European masters art collection.
Galleria dell’Accademia. An art museum, home to world known Michelangelo’s David and many Renaissance paintings. Piazzale Michelangelo. A 19th-century piazza with spectacular views over Florence. Hosts replica of Michelangelo’s David. Boboli Gardens. Public gardens set between 15th and 16th century, lined up with Renaissance statues and ornate fountains, located behind Palazzo Pitti.
Top things to do. Dedicate several days for museums and galleries, because there is a plenty of things to see. For visiting various sites, it is recommended to do a bike or Segway tour. You can also go on a foodie tour, wine tasting in Tuscany vineyard or even go for instant cooking classes of genuine Florentine food.
Festivals and events. Epiphany (January, global Italian holiday), Carnevale (February), Florentine New Year (25th Mach), Scoppio del Carro (April), Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (May), Patron Saint Day (24 June), and several events for Christmas and New Year’s.
Best time to fly to Florence. The peak season for flights to Florence is July, September and October. The low season for purchasing tickets is February, November and December.Florence is served by Firenze-Peretola Airport (FLR). Direct flights to Florence are offered by 7 airlines.
Interesting facts about Florence:
- Florence is the birthplace of Leonardo da Vinci, who was born in the lower valley of the Arno River on the 15th of April 1452.
- Florence was the first city in Europe to have paved streets in 1339.
- The world’s most famous nurse, Florence nightingale was born in Florence on the 12th of May 1820.