Florence is the capital and most-populous city of the Tuscany region of Italy. It is located in the north central part of the country. Once the center of a major trade route, Florence has over the years earned the attention of the world for its stunning Renaissance architecture. The city attracts millions of visitors every year. This artistic and architectural gem was once ranked as one of the most beautiful cities in the world by Forbes. Here is a look at 10 of the city’s top tourist attractions.
- Palazzo Pitti
The Palazzo Pitti, or, the Pitti Palace, is located on the south bank of the River Arno. This majestic Renaissance palace was built in the mid-15th century and served as a royal residence until the beginning of the 20th century. It is now a state-owned complex and has been transformed into the largest museum of the city. It is home to artworks by several legendary artists including Raphael, Paul Rubens, and Titian. The palace is located on an elevated area which offers a beautiful view of the city of Florence.
- Boboli Gardens
The Boboli Gardens is a beautifully landscaped garden that is located behind the Palazzo Pitti. This Italianesque garden was created in the 16th century by the Medici family. Boboli Gardens is sprinkled with many sculpted artworks dating from the 16th to the 19th centuries. Aesthetically laid out pathways and fountains enhance the beauty of the place. The gardens went through several restructuring and enlargements over the years. One of the popular attractions of the Boboli Gardens is its outdoor museum displaying Roman antiquities.
- Piazzale Michelangelo
This is a very popular public square located in the Oltarno district of the city. It is on the south bank of the River Arno and is visited for its beautiful panoramic views of the city on the opposite bank of the river. The square was designed by Giuseppe Poggi in the mid 19th century, who is also credited for creating several other boulevards in the city. The square is dedicated to Michelangelo and there are several copies of his sculpted artworks on display in the square, including a bronze cast of David.
- Basilica di San Lorenzo
The Basilica di San Lorenzo is one of the oldest and largest churches in the city of Florence. It is believed to have been consecrated in the year 393. The church has served as the burial place for all the major members of the powerful Medici family. The present building was designed in the 15th century in a Renaissance style of architecture by Filippo Brunelleschi. Interestingly, the construction of the church was never fully completed. It is for this reason that the interior reflects a neo-classical splendor while the outer façade is rather plain and rustic.
- Palazzo Vecchio
The Palazzo Vecchio is one of the most historically significant buildings in the city of Florence. It was built in the 12th century and was home to the Medici family. It was transformed into a museum and town hall in 1872. The impressive palace is located on the Piazza della Signoria and has a steady flow of visitors for its huge collections of art works and artifacts. Inside the palace, you will see stunning frescoes and painted ceiling depicting various Biblical and historical events.
- Piazza della Signoria
The Piazza della Signoria is one of the most beautiful and historically significant squares in Florence. For centuries, the square served as a center for politics of this Italian city. It was also witness to numerous historic events of Florence. Today, the square is nothing short of an open museum. It is dotted with replicas of several famous sculptures like the statue of David, Hercules, and the Fountain of Neptune. Notable attractions in and around the square include the Palazzo Vecchio, Palazzo Uguccioni, Uffizi Gallery, Ponte Vecchio bridge, and the Loggia de Lanzi. The Galileo Museum and the Bargello National Museum are also within walking distance from the Square.
- Florence Cathedral
The huge domed cathedral that dominates the skyline of the city of Florence is the Cattedrale Santa Maria del Fiore, or the Florence Cathedral. Construction of the cathedral started in 1296 but was completed much later in 1436. The dome of the cathedral was the largest in the world for several centuries after its completion. It remains the largest brick dome in the world. It is located in Piazza del Duomo and is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Ponte Vecchio
The Ponte Vecchio is one of the most notable landmarks in the city of Florence. It is a historic stone bridge across the River Arno at its narrowest point. The bridge, one of the oldest in the city, is easily recognized with its three arches. The present structure was built in the 14th century. In the medieval period, bridges often had shops built on them. Ponte Vecchio is no different. The only difference is that the meat shops have been replaced by jewelry stores, art stores, and souvenir stores. Visit the riverside after sundown when the bridge is beautifully lit up.
- Galleria dell’Accademia
The Galleria dell’Accademia, or, the Gallery of the Academy, is one of the first stops for art lovers visiting the city of Florence. It is home to many art works by the legendary artist Michelangelo including his iconic sculpture David. The gallery also has a few of Michelangelo’s unfinished paintings and sculptures. The Galleria dell’Accademia was founded in 1784 by the Grand Duke of Tuscany Pietro Leopoldo and has since been visited by millions of art lovers. Other than the works of Michelangelo, the gallery also features major artworks from artists like Sandro Botticelli, Giambologna and Paolo Uccello, to name a few.
- Uffizi Gallery
The Uffizi Gallery is considered to be one of the foremost art galleries in the world. This major tourist attraction is located just south of the Piazza della Signoria, on the bank of the River Arno. This museum, one of the largest in Italy, is world renowned for its priceless collection of artworks from the Italian Renaissance period. It is housed in a palatial building from 1581 and attracts a footfall of around 2 million every year. The museum was opened to the public in 1765. It features works by some of the most famous artists of the world including Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, and Titian, to name a few.
Originally posted 2017-06-01 06:48:27.