After spending almost two weeks exploring the north at a leisurely pace, it was time to quickly travel through Central Italy. I arrived in Tuscany and only had 4 days to do it. It’s time to make a list of things to do and then cut that list in half. Tuscany has been drawing interest from the outside world since the 16th Century. Florence became a beacon of shining light, bringing the Renaissance to Europe and beyond. Made rich and prosperous by the Medici Family in the 1500s, it quickly became one of the most important cities of the Medieval ages. To visit Tuscany you must first experience Florence. This is where it all began.
The city is home to many palaces turned art galleries, and is home to one of the most famous pieces of art of all time; Michelangelo’s David. To say there is a lot of history in Florence would be quite an understatement. I spent two days visiting Florence, allowing one full day to explore the art Galleries and another visiting the other sights while wandering the streets. One of the most impressive things Florence has to offer is the Duomo. This incredible church still dominates the city center today and is a testament to the importance of the city. The white marble shimmers and shines in the sunlight, reflecting off its exterior.
There were two incredible places to take pictures from above in Florence; the Duomo and Michelangelo’s plaza, across the river from the city center. Both of these destinations feature prominently in the following pictures. We’re in a bit of a hurry here, so let’s get on with the show.
What makes Florence so Amazing?
Florence was one of the most important religious, political and economic cities in the world during its height. It was home to some of the greatest Italian artists at the time and is still home to some of the greatest works of art, including one of the most famous sculptures in the world; Michaelangelo’s David.
Most of the major sites in the city are listed inside of the UNESCO World Heritage historic Center. Two of the most important things Florence has to offer – the Uffizi Gallery and Galleria dell’Accademia – will have their own galleries to impress.
Without a doubt, you must visit the Duomo, officially known as the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower (Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore). This impressive cathedral in the heart of the city will wow you from the outside before doing it again on the inside. For a long time, the dome was one of the largest in the world, and today, you can go up to the top to view the city from above. This is just one of the many reasons to come visit Florence.
Where is Florence and how do you get there?
Florence is in the heart of Tuscany and Florence is easy to access by train from any of the other major cities on the peninsula. Once you’ve arrived in the city, its best to travel on foot.
The city today is still the capital of Tuscany, and the perfect place to begin exploring outwards to other cities and nearby towns (like Prato, Pisa or Sienna). There are over 300,000 people living inside the city and 1.5 million in the greater area, making it the most populated city in the region.
Make sure to take a trip across the Arno River – a good excuse to wander towards the famous Ponte Vecchio bridge – and take in the view from Michelangelo’s plaza on the other side. This slightly inclined location is a great place to take pictures of the Florence skyline, especially the Duomo rising above the city’s skyline.
Florence will quickly become one of your favourite cities in Italy, so don’t delay any longer. It’s time to finally start planning your trip.