THE CITY’S SPIRITAUL CORE
They have been standing in the same piazza facing one another for centuries the Baptistery, where knights and poets were initiated into the Christian community with its octagonal floor plan referring to the eighth day of resurrection and the Duomo worldwide renowed for its dome dominating Florence, an architectural gem by Filippo Brunelleschi, The square is completed with the Bell Tower by Giotto And while one of the three Baptistery doors is known as the Gates of Paradise the immense frescoes decorating the dome lead straight into the three worlds fo afterlife.THE SEAT OF POLITICAL POWER
It has always been the city’s political heart, first as a medieval Commune, then as a proud Republic and finally as a Signoria. There are many traces of the past here, starting with the Loggia dei Lanzi, which was once on arengario the set of all political speeches and public ceremonies, and is now an open-air sculpture gallery with high lights such as Judith and Holofernes by Donatello, the Rape of the Sabine Women by Giambologna and the Perseus by Cellini, which is said to have been forged by melting plates, glasses, cutlery, pots and pans
THE MOSE BEAUTIFUL FACADE
It features one of Florence’s most stunning facades, probably because this Dominican basilica has been watched over since 1350 and after 1458 for following twenty years Leon battista Alberti took care of it on behalf of the rich merchant Rucellai, whose coat of arms was added to the trabeation. The interior houses one of the world’s greatest works of art, the Holy Trinity by Masaccio, whose perspective technique changed forever the way we look at images.
ITALY’S FRANCISCAN PANTHEON
The stained-glass windows that light this Franciscan basilica date back to the 14th and 15th centuries, while the Pazzi Chapel is a masterwork by Brunelleschi, the chruch’s fame, however is also tied to the tombs of some of the greatest men in history Michelangelo, Galilei, Machiavelli, Ghiberti, Rossini Outside , a stature celebrates the father of the modern Italian language Dante Alghieri.
GOLD, JEWELRY AND ANTIQUES
It is the only bridge across the Arno river that was not bombed during World war two and by far the oldest bridge in Florence, as it already existed in ancient Roman times It is surmounted by the Vasari Corridor, which connects Palazzo Vecchio and Palazzo Pitti and it has been lined with goldsmith’sand jeweler’s shops since 1593 when Ferdinando I had them moved there in place of butcher’s shops to eradicate the smell.
THE CITY’S ANCIENT HEART
It has been the heart of the city since Roman times, the point where the cardo and decumanus crossed and where the Forum was located, approximately where now the Colonna dell’Abbondanza stands. According to Dante, nearby there was a temple dedicated to Mars, the god of war which would explain Florence’s bellicose nature. It is also the area where the Jewish ghetto, imposed by Cosimo i was located the piazza as we see it today was redesigned by Giuseppe Poggi in the years of Florence as the capital of Italy, with the literary cafes where intellectuals met and the elegant Palazzo delle Poste.
WHERE MICHELANGELO STUDIED
Tradition has it that Michelangelo, at the young age of 17 stayed in Santo Spirito to study the corpses coming from the convent’s hospital in order to be able to reproduce them more faithfully. By way of thanks, he sculpted a wooden crucifix that went back to its original place, the Sacristy, after many years, but this is f only one of the many masterpieces of this chruch featuring an unassuming facade, the desgn of which was the last work carried out by Brunelleschi in 1444 the interior features a succession of arches and columns with light filtering through the openings.
THE TRENDY DISTRICT
The Oltrano neighborhood extends on the left bank of the Arno river in down town Flrence, and is a charming mix of picturesque streets, such as San frediano, Santo Spirito and San Niccolo imressive palazzos and gardens, and craft shops, antique dealers, restorers and goldsmiths. It became a trendy neighborhood when the Medicis moved to Palazzo Pitti in the mid 1500 and from the mid 1800 on the wealthiest families had their mansions built here.
THE GARDENS. UNEXPECTED OASES
These gardens were built over the centuries, originally as privated, even hidden, gardens, but now are easily accessible places, such as the Boboli Gardens, Palazzo Pitti’s green lungs, the Bardini Museum’s split-level garden and the Rose Garden, enriched by Folon’s sculptures. Not to mention the large private gardens Torrigiani Corsini and della Gherardesca just ouside of Florence, the must see garden if Villa Demidoff.
AT THE FOOT OF THE DAVID
The best views of Florence are right here, at the foot of one of the replicas of the David statue, the city’best-know symbol. Piazzale Michelangelo is reached by climbing up along Viale Dei Colli, the panoramic terace designed by architect Giuseppe Poggi, the man in charge of the city’urban renovation in the years when Florence was the capital of Italy, commands a breathtaking view. Higher above is the Chruch of San Miniato al Monte, one of the finest examples of Florentine Romanesque style.
THE MEDICIS’ HIDDEN TREASURE
Michelangelo realized its potential, but it was Buontalenti who desgned and built iut between 1590 and 1595 by order Ferdinando I The building was desgned to be a spacious fortress and protect the Medici family from any major threat, being within easy reach via the Vasari Corridor which conbected Palazzo Vecchio and Plaazzo Pitti also served the purpose of holding the Medici family’ treasures.
A BOX OF WONDERS
the Uffizi Gallery contains some of the word’s finest artistic treasurs, with master pieces in every single room. Visiting this museum is like browsing through a book of history dedicated to the greatest works in western art. the great Maesta paintings with gold leaf background, Leonado da Vinci dand his Madonnas, the ethereal and sensuous beauty of Botticelli’ fair haired figures, Bronzino’s perfect ovals, Niobe and her children’s agony captured in marble and Goya, Michelangelo, Titian, Durer.
live life when you have it,life is a splendid gift there is nothing small about it