Florence with its museums, palaces, and churches hosts some of the most important artistic treasures in the world ⚜️.
The beating heart of Florence is Piazza del Duomo 💘, with the monumental complex of the Basilica of Santa Maria del Fiore, surmounted by the majestic dome by Brunelleschi, the Baptistery of San Giovanni, a magnificent example of Florentine Romanesque, Giotto’s Bell Tower, a masterpiece of architecture Florentine Gothic.
Behind the Cathedral stands the Museo dell’Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore, where you can admire a precious collection of works from the Cathedral, the Baptistery, and the Bell Tower.
Piazza Della Signoria represents the historical center of civil life and houses the fourteenth-century Loggia Dei Lanzi, the Fountain of Neptune, and the Palazzo Della Signoria or Palazzo Vecchio, one of the symbolic monuments of the city, in front of which there are some famous statues including a copy of Michelangelo’s famous David.
Next to the square is the majestic Uffizi Gallery, home to one of the most important museums in the world, which includes works by Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and many other great artists. An architectural element of particular importance in the Gallery is the Vasari Corridor designed by Vasari in the mid-sixteenth century which connects the structure with Palazzo Vecchio and Palazzo Pitti.
Between Piazza del Duomo and Piazza Della Signoria, there are architectural treasures such as the Church of Orsanmichele and the thirteenth-century Palazzo del Bargello, today the National Museum, among the most important in the world for fifteenth-sixteenth century sculpture. Do not miss the sixteenth-century Loggia del Mercato Nuovo, also called Loggia del Porcellino for the characteristic bronze statue, depicting a boar, considered a lucky charm, and the grandiose Palazzo Strozzi, from the late fifteenth-early sixteenth century, with a magnificent internal courtyard.
Of particular interest is the medieval district of Santa Croce, dominated by the Basilica of the same name, famous for Giotto’s frescoes and for guarding the tombs of many illustrious Italians, including Michelangelo, Galileo, and Machiavelli. The extraordinary monumental complex of San Lorenzo and the Convent of Santa Maria Novella is also worth a visit, with the church that preserves famous frescoes and precious works of art and the Museum, including the famous Green Cloister and the Cappellone degli Spagnoli.
When you feel tired of seeing museums and art galleries, go outside and you will discover that in Florence it is also nice to just walk through the beautiful streets of the historic center. Walk until you reach the Arno, linger on the romantic Ponte Vecchio and continue to the Oltrarno, the “newest” part of Florence. Spend a day at the Boboli Gardens or go up the hill behind Piazzale Michelangelo and reach the Church of San Miniato al Monte to enjoy an incredible view of Florence 🌆.
CATTEDRALE SANTA MARIA DEL FIORE
The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore is an imposing Gothic-style church, beginning at the end of the 13th century by Arnolfo di Cambio, while the beautiful dome by Filippo Brunelleschi was added in the 15th century.
It is one of the most illustrious medieval architectural masterpieces in Europe, due to the boldness of its structures, the sumptuousness of its decorations, and the authoritativeness of its history. For this reason, together with other monuments in the historic center of Florence, it was recognized as a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1982 🏆. It is the fifth-largest church in Europe, after St. Peter in Rome, St. Paul in London, the Cathedral of Seville, and the Milan Cathedral.
The church was consecrated when the facade was still to be finished.
The facade is covered with pink, white, and green marble and honors the Madonna, depicting her enthroned with a flowered scepter while dominating all the rest. Instead, the mosaics represent, on the central door, “Christ enthroned between Mary and St. John the Baptist with the Florentine saints“, on the right “Florentine artisans, merchants, and humanists who pay homage to the Faith” and on the left “Charity among the founders of pious Florentine works“.
The interior, in contrast, is much less decorated, it seems almost empty when you enter but every single part has its own way: you will see mosaic floors that are truly spectacular, they look like carpets spread out on the floor. This sobriety corresponds to the spiritual ideal of medieval Florence and the early Renaissance, while the subsequent enrichment of the Cathedral belongs to a second moment in the history of the Cathedral, under the patronage of the Grand Dukes in the 1500s.
After entering, in the back of the facade, you will find this clock ⏲ from 1443 by Paolo Uccello with frescoes of the four prophets. The clock shows the 24 hours of the Italic hour, the way in which the 24 hours of the day ending at sunset were taken into account, and used until the nineteenth century. It is one of the few watches in the world of that time that still exists … and that works!!!
Inside the dome, you can see the beautiful frescoes by Giorgio Vasari: the extraordinary Giudizio Universale.
The construction of Santa Maria del Fiore was a vast project that lasted about 170 years 😱.
While regarding the Dome, was made up of two ogival-shaped caps connected to each other and has a characteristic egg shape, made without the use of scaffolding.
The lantern with a cone-shaped cover and the golden copper ball with the cross, containing sacred relics, stand out on the dome.
The best way to admire the dome is to climb its 463 steps: the path leads through the inside of the dome and allows you to see the beautiful frescoes by Giorgio Vasari.
The ticket costs 15 € and includes:
- Museum of the Opera of Santa Maria del Fiore
- Brunelleschi’s dome
- Giotto’s Bell Tower
- Baptistery of San Giovanni
- Remains of Santa Reparata
BATTISTERO DI SAN GIOVANNI
The Baptistery of San Giovanni is opposite the Cathedral and is the oldest monument in the square. It is dedicated to San Giovanni Battista, the patron saint of Florence 👼. Its octagonal plan symbolizes “the eighth day“, out of our seven-day time, namely Baptism. This majestic sacred building welcomed the crowd of Florentines who received baptism, but only on two set dates a year.
The external appearance of the Baptistery is characterized by the coating on slabs of white Carrara and green marble from Prato and on this were inserted the three magnificent bronze doors by Andrea Pisano and Lorenzo Ghiberti and the groups in bronze and marble that illustrate the biblical stories of the baptized.
The interior of the Baptistery is characterized by mosaics that cover the entire dome and the vault of the tribune. At the center, there was originally the baptismal font, embellished with marble inlays depicting the signs of the Zodiac.
From the source, looking up towards the dome, the images of Christian Baptism, the Giudizio Universale, and Christ dominating the thirteenth-century mosaics follow one another: under his feet, the resurrection of the dead takes place, on his right, there are the souls of the just welcomed in, while on his left is hell.
The dome of the Baptistery has eight segments and is covered with a mosaic on a golden background.
The south door, built by Andrea Pisano is the oldest of the doors of the Baptistery, depicting the life of San Giovanni Battista, owner of the Baptistery and patron saint of Florence. A curiosity: the columns are carved in bas-relief, two rectangles representing two measures of length in use in the Middle Ages, the Lombard and the Florentine foot.
The north door, built by Lorenzo Ghiberti, is also divided into 28 panels like that of the Pisano. The first 20 superiors tell stories from the New Testament and scenes from the life of Christ, while the last two rows show the four evangelists and four Doctors of the Church. A curiosity: for the construction of the south and north doors, Ghiberti created a real workshop of bronzers, in which artists such as Donatello and Paolo Uccello were trained.
Ghiberti also created the east door, better known as the “Gate of Paradise“, as defined by Michelangelo.
CAMPANILE DI GIOTTO
Giotto’s Bell Tower – 84.70 meters high – is a splendid testimony of the Florentine Gothic architecture of the fourteenth century; it is covered with white, red, and green marbles like those of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore.
The bell tower was begun by Giotto in 1334 and after his death, the works were carried out by Andrea Pisano and completed in 1359 by Francesco Talenti, creator of the high-level windows.
The sculptural decoration of the bell tower is very rich and constitutes one of the most complex figurative cycles of the Middle Ages, with 56 reliefs and 16 life-size statues in the niches. The creation of man, the works and the arts, the planets, the virtues, and the sacraments are carved in the tiles and lozenges. The statues in the niches represent patriarchs, prophets, kings of Israel, and pagan sibyls, among which the beautiful group of the Sacrifice of Isaac by Donatello, a splendid example of the naturalism of the fifteenth century, stands out. The originals of all the sculptures can be admired at the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo.
Anyone wishing to enjoy a wonderful view of the historic center of Florence can climb above the bell tower: after 414 steps (to be covered on foot, because there is no lift) you reach a large terrace which is a real panoramic roof over the city.
MUSEO DELL’OPERA DEL DUOMO
The Opera del Duomo (OPA) is a secular institution founded in 1296 by the Republic of Florence to monitor the construction of the new cathedral and bell tower.
The main activity of the Opera was that of conserving and protecting the monuments. In 1891 the Museum was created to house all the works of art that over the centuries have been removed from the Cathedral and the Baptistery. The museum, 6,000 square meters of surface divided into 28 rooms and divided over three floors, was designed to offer shelter from pollution to all the external statues of the cathedral.
The Opera del Duomo can represent a real hidden treasure for those who love Gothic style and sculpture. It has been defined as “a museum within a museum, a concentrate of faith, art and history that has no equal in the world because the roots of Western culture lie in it” 🎭.
LOGGIA DEI LANZI
In Piazza Della Signoria, “encircled” by the Uffizi building, there is a masterpiece of medieval architecture: the Loggia Della Signoria, built around 1380 to host the ceremonies and public assemblies of the republic.
It is also called Loggia Dei Lanzi, because it is said that the Lanzichenecchi of Charles V (German mercenaries) camped under its arches, on their way to Rome. According to another version, the Lanzichenecchi formed the guard of Duke Alessandro de’ Medici and stationed right in the loggia to occupy a place that had been a symbol of the republic, which has now disappeared.
Built-in the 14th century, the loggia is a Gothic-style building, but the three large round arches open the way to the great Renaissance architecture: it seems that Brunelleschi took inspiration from here for the Spedale degli Innocenti. During the sixteenth century, as we have said, the Loggia lost its original function and became the open-air museum it still is today.
There are statues from the Roman era and some masterpieces of the sixteenth century, such as the Perseus, by Benvenuto Cellini, the Rape of the Sabines, and the Hercules with the centaur Nesso, by Giambologna, but also of the nineteenth, such as the Rape of Polissena, by Pio Fedi.
Today the Loggia remains one of the most beautiful and characteristic elements of Piazza Della Signoria. The terrace built above is part of the Uffizi route, at the refreshment point: needless to say what kind of panorama you can admire from here…!!
FONTANA DI NETTUNO
Right in the center of Piazza Della Signoria in Florence, erected near the Palazzo Vecchio, we find the beautiful Neptune Fountain ⛲ created by Bartolomeo Ammannati and Giambologna built between 1563-1565 on the occasion of the inauguration of a new aqueduct and also known as Biancone, for the whiteness of the marble used.
The colossal figure of the God of the sea on a chariot pulled by four horses is surrounded by three young tritons and by four figures representing Doride with her daughter Thetis and two marine deities. These figures are only a reinforcement of the central figure, Neptune in fact, which is erected in a pre-dominant way on the other statues.
Note the particular similarity between the face of Neptune and that of Cosimo I de’ Medici, which alluded to the dominion over the seas of Florence.
Is it possible to travel through time? 😯
Palazzo Vecchio certainly offers the opportunity to easily retrace three historical periods through an exciting visit to discover Roman ruins, a medieval fortress, and masterfully painted Renaissance rooms.
Palazzo Vecchio is the political symbol of the city of Florence, whose original project is attributed to Arnolfo di Cambio. Arnolfo designed a solid fortress in 1299 which was to rise on the ruins of the Ghibelline towers of the Uberti, defeated forever by the Guelph faction after civil strife.
The original body of Palazzo Vecchio was designed to house the Council of the Republic of Florence.
Today the Museum houses wonderful private rooms and apartments resulting from Renaissance architectural transformations. The Salone dei Cinquecento is the most majestic of these rooms, the most important for its historical and artistic value linked to the works of Michelangelo, Baccio Bandinelli, Vasari, and Stadano. It was built in 1494 to accommodate the Council of the Republic.
The hall now has a length of 54 meters, a width of 23 meters, and an incredible height of 18 meters. Coffered ceilings, large-format paintings, and impressive sculptures will really leave you speechless.
Pier Soderini selected the best two talents of the early sixteenth century, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo Buonarroti, for the wall decorations. The commission included subjects of battles in which the Republic of Florence triumphed: the “Battle of Anghiari” was entrusted to Leonardo, while the “Battle of Cascina” on the opposite side was entrusted to Michelangelo.
A major renovation and transformation project was in fact implemented in 1540, the year in which Cosimo I° de’ Medici and his wife Eleonora di Toledo chose Palazzo Vecchio as a private residence for the family and the court. The palace was then transformed into an intricate labyrinth of finely decorated staterooms and apartments, airy terraces, and courtyards painted and adorned with statues. The Monumental Quarters host the Halls of the Elements, the Duchess’ Rooms, and the private chapel frescoed by Agnolo Bronzino.
From this wing of the Palace (Sala Verde) the famous Vasari Corridor was built in 1565, with the initial attack on the Uffizi Gallery. Among the sixteenth-century rooms, the Secret Paths certainly deserve a visit, passages reserved for the Medici family to access the surprising “Studiolo” of Francesco I° entirely covered with wardrobes with painted panels (and secret doors), the Treasure of Cosimo I°, the walkways above the ceiling of the Salone dei Cinquecento, a masterpiece of Renaissance carpentry and engineering.
On the second floor, the most interesting rooms to visit are the Sala dei Gigli and the Sala delle Mappe, the ancient wardrobe where important documents and maps were kept together with the “Mappa Mundi” sphere, the largest known until the end of the sixteenth century.
Between the first and second floors, there is also a mezzanine, created in 1453 by Michelozzo to lower the ceilings of some spaces on the first floor. Maria Salviati, Cosimo I°’s mother lived on this level: these rooms now house the Loeser Collection, donated by the American art critic Charles Loeser in 1928.
The top of Palazzo Vecchio is characterized by multi-level battlements, which also crown the imposing Arnolfo Tower which stands up to 95 meters high. Its shape is one of the unmistakable symbols of Florence, whose height could not by law be equaled by any other tower. If you are fit and you are not afraid of the 406 steps to climb on foot, the tower will grant you access to the ancient patrol walkway and a breathtaking view of the entire city.
Price of admission tickets: these are the prices of all types of admission tickets scheduled for 2020:
- Palazzo Vecchio Museum: € 12.50 / € 10.00
- Salone dei Duecento (exhibition in progress): € 3.00
- Archaeological route € 4.00
- Arnolfo Tower and Ronda Walkway: € 12.50 / € 10.00
- Museum + Archaeological Route: € 16.00 / € 13.50
- Museum + Tower and Walkway: € 17.50 / € 15.00
- Museum + Tower and Walkway + Archaeological Route: € 19.50 / € 17.50
- Annual subscription to the Florentine Civic Museums: € 40.00
GALLERIA DEGLI UFFIZI
The Uffizi Gallery allows itself to be conquered only after some arduous tests: pathos at the entrance, queues, and chaos to find the right access door, 141 stairs to the second floor, and then … here you can enjoy the delights of the frescoed ceilings and a labyrinth of rooms full of works!
The art of the fourteenth century and the Renaissance is enclosed here, on the walls of one of the most famous museums in the world for its valuable collections of paintings and ancient statues 🌍.
Built by the will of Grand Duke Francesco I and designed by the great architect Giorgio Vasari, the Gallery crowns the top floor of the majestic Uffizi building.
A visit to the large rooms of the Gallery is a source of continuous wonder: classical sculptures, tapestries, furnishings, and above all masterpieces of painting (from the art of the fourteenth century to the Renaissance, reaching up to the eighteenth century).
It is thus possible to admire, among others: the Adoration of the Magi by Gentile da Fabriano, the Battle of San Romano by Paolo Uccello, the Madonna Rucellai by Duccio di Buoninsegna, the Majesty of S. Trìnita by Cimabue, the Giottesca Madonna d’All Saints’ Day, the Portinari of the Dukes of Urbino by Piero della Francesca, the Portinari Triptych by Hugo van der Goes, the Spring and the Venus by Botticelli, the Adoration of the Magi by Leonardo, the Tondo Doni by Michelangelo, the Madonna del Cardellino by Raphael, the Venus of Urbino by Titian, the Bacchus by Caravaggio.
Masterpieces that pay homage to Italian art and beyond is the Vasari corridor built by Giorgio Vasari, as we said, with the function of connecting the Medici offices in the current Gallery and Palazzo Pitti, then the residence of the same family, across Ponte Vecchio, and decorated its walls with works by Guido Reni, the Carracci’s, Artemisia Gentileschi. A visit to the Gallery is a must for those who want to know Florence and the richness of the Italian heritage.
- Full ticket: € 6.50
- Reduced ticket: € 3.25
PALAZZO PITTI & GIARDINO DI BOBOLI
Palazzo Pitti is now one of the largest museums in Italy and a favorite stop for visitors to the city. The palace was built by the rich Florentine banker Luca Pitti, and its construction dates back to 1458. The fame of this building began when the powerful Medici family began to use it as a residence for guests and, later, to place parts of their more and more huge collections of precious objects, paintings, and works of art.
Palazzo Pitti is now home to many museums, each of which occupies the different floors and corridors of the building. Visitors will have the opportunity to visit the Palatine Gallery, the Modern Art Gallery, the Costume Gallery, the Museo degli Argenti (where most of the treasures of the Medici family are still preserved today), and the Porcelain Museum. Finally, the famous Boboli Gardens 🌲 are connected to the palace.
The structure of Palazzo Pitti reflects the model of a Renaissance palace. Following the purchase of the building by the wife of Cosimo I de’ Medici, Vasari was asked to enlarge the structure to better satisfy the taste of the family. Among the works of Vasari, the construction of a corridor (today Vasari Corridor) should also be noted.
Even the Boboli Gardens can be fully considered an open-air museum.
It is one of the most important examples of Italian gardens in the world and boasts an exceptional number of precious classical sculptures, buildings such as the Kaffeehaus, the Limonaia, and the Casino del Cavaliere (where the Porcelain Museum is now located), fountains, and caves.
It is directly connected to the Bardini Garden and the Forte Belvedere, a fortress of the Medici family.
CHIESA DI ORSANMICHELE
Orsanmichele is a rather long name for a church, with three different words merging into one term. In the place where the oratory in S. Michele in Orto stood up to the 12th century, Arnolfo di Cambio erected a Loggia in 1290 which was used for the grain trade 🌾. This burned down in 1304 and in 1337 Francesco Talenti started a new project to rebuild an even larger Loggia-market; the construction ended in the year 1404 and the old building was raised by 2 floors.
At the end of the fifteenth century, the market was moved and the Talenti building was transformed into a church ⛪ which thus retained that unusual shape for religious buildings with a rectangular plan.
The building has a unique two-story structure: the upper one was used as a grain warehouse, and the lower one became a church dedicated to the Virgin. Outside, on the pillars of the ground floor, between the three-light windows, niches were prepared, destined, by the will of the Signoria, to house the statues of the patron saints of the various guilds of the arts, protagonists of the economic prosperity of the city.
LOGGIA DEL MERCATO NUOVO
The Loggia del Porcellino was built in the mid-sixteenth century by G. B. Del Tasso and was used as a marketplace. Even today under the Loggia there is the Mercato Nuovo (or Mercato della Paglia), a market with the main tourist orientation where it is possible to find handicrafts such as bags, belts, and leather accessories, silk objects such as clothes and bandanas, hats, and much more.
The Loggia del Porcellino takes this name because the Porcellino 🐗, a bronze boar with a fountain, is located on one of the sides of the structure; it was built by Pietro Tacca towards the beginning of the 17th century.
Tradition says that touching the pig’s nose brings good luck 🍀; for this reason, hundreds of tourists stop around this bronze statue every day and put a coin in the pig’s mouth after rubbing its nose. When the coin falls into the water grate it is interpreted as a sign of good luck!!
The Strozzi family, one of the richest in Florence, was in continuous political and financial conflict with the Medici family. After his exile, Filippo Strozzi worked hard to accumulate funds to regain his prestige and power and return to Florence. In 1466, he returned with a mission … to crush his rivals… and take revenge.
His first step was to build a mansion that represented his new power and wealth, even more visible, even more prestigious … simply bigger than any other mansion in the city, especially those of the Medici family.
The building remained the property of the Strozzi family until 1937 when it was purchased by the National Insurance Institute, restored, and subsequently sold to the State in 1999. It is currently home to four important institutes:
- the Cabinet G. P. Vieusseux was born from the literary and scientific association of Giovan Pietro Vieusseux.
- the National Institute of Renaissance Studies.
- The Institute of Human and Social Sciences is one of the three academic classes of the High School.
- The Palazzo Strozzi Foundation was established in Florence in July 2006 by the Municipality, the Province, the Chamber of Commerce, and an Association of private partners (APPS) with the aim of creating a public-private foundation that manages the common spaces of Palazzo Strozzi. Among the great exhibitions, to remember Cézann, are the exhibition of Impressionism in 1910 (2007), Divine Beauty (2015), Ai Wei Wei (2017).
BASILICA SANTA CROCE
Santa Croce is the burial place of the great and powerful of Florence: Michelangelo, Rossini, Macchiavelli, and Galileo Galilei from Pisa, and also a commemorative monument to Dante, but his sarcophagus is empty (he was buried in Ravenna, after his exile from Florence).
Santa Croce literally hosts an immense artistic heritage: the frescoes by Gaddi in the Cappella Maggiore tell the story of the “holy cross“, while the beautiful frescoes by Giotto in the chapels of the Bardi and Peruzzi illustrate scenes from the life of San Francesco and San Giovanni the Evangelist. An unusual relief, the Annunciation, in gilded pietra serena by Donatello, enriches the right aisle of the basilica.
The church of Santa Croce was severely hit by the 1966 flood, a plaque shows the level reached by the waters of the Arno on that tragic occasion.
There are 16 family chapels that make up the Basilica of Santa Croce, considered the largest Franciscan church in the world and, according to legend, founded directly by St. Francis himself. Usually, wealthy families had memorial chapels built in their honor, which were then decorated inside.
The exterior of the church is covered with a polychrome marble facade and funded by the English benefactor Sir Francis Sloane. It overlooks Piazza Santa Croce, where one of the most folkloric events in the city is held every year, the Calcio Storico Fiorentino ⚽.
Santa Croce has three cloisters, “internal courtyards of convents or churches”, each built in a different time period. This space was isolated from city life: it was an ideal place to pray and meditate in absolute silence.
BASILICA SANTA MARIA NOVELLA
Santa Maria Novella is the first of the great Florentine basilicas and the first large Gothic building in the city. Its construction was begun by the Dominicans and initially, it was a convent located near an ancient church; the works ended in 1357 and it was consecrated only in 1420.
Inside the building, your gaze will be struck by the contrast between the colorful Gothic arches that mark the three naves and the white and frescoed walls. You will also find important works of art such as Giotto’s Crucifix and Filippo Brunelleschi’s wooden Crucifix, Masaccio’s fresco with the Trinity, and the two chapels frescoed respectively by Domenico Ghirlandaio and Filippino Lippi.
The Ponte Vecchio was up to 1218 the only bridge that crossed the Arno in Florence. The bridge, as seen today, was built in 1345 after a violent flood destroyed the previous one.
During the Second World War, the German troops destroyed all the bridges in Florence, except this one. However, they blocked access to the bridge by destroying the two medieval buildings on its sides.
On November 4, 1966, the Ponte Vecchio miraculously endured the huge wave of water from the Arno in flood, which broke its banks causing the flood of Florence.
Above Ponte Vecchio, you can see a part of the beautiful Vasari Corridor.
Before reaching the splendor and fame for which it is known today, Ponte Vecchio was the bridge of butchers and vegetable makers 🍆. When the Vasari Corridor was built above the bridge, the shops were considered inappropriate and it was decided to evict the butchers to grant them to the artisans and goldsmiths, who still today continue the traditional and renowned jewelry work 💎 all over the world.
Those who visit Florence cannot miss an evening walk on Ponte Vecchio. In fact, at night, when the wooden doors of the shops close, the atmosphere on the bridge becomes even more suggestive and romantic and cannot really be lost 🌆!
Piazzale Michelangelo is one of the best viewpoints in Florence, the most famous observation point to appreciate the panorama of the city in all its splendor as well as being an attraction that no tourist can miss on his visit to Florence.
In the center of this square, you will be able to appreciate one of the three copies of Michelangelo’s David found in Florence; this copy was made in bronze.
At the foot of Piazzale Michelangelo is the Bardini Museum, an interesting museum with large Della Robbia ceramics, Greek and Roman artifacts, and some works by Donatello.
Not far from the Bardini Museum we also find Casa Buonarroti. Although Michelangelo was not born in Florence, in Caprese, in the province of Arezzo, his relatives built this house years later, as a place to celebrate the memory of the genius of Michelangelo and which was later used as a museum. This museum dedicated to Michelangelo is located in the Buonarroti family palace, on the corner of Via Ghibellina and Via Buonarroti.
From Piazzale Michelangelo, the first thing we will see is the immense and magnificent Brunelleschi’s dome which forms the roof of the Duomo of Florence.
A very special way to visit this unmissable place is undoubtedly the visit on foot, starting from Ponte Vecchio, with a private guide who will lead you step by step to Piazzale Michelangelo.
SAN MINIATO AL MONTE
The Basilica of San Miniato al Monte is one of the oldest churches in the city.
It is said to have been founded on the relics of San Miniato, one of the city’s first martyrs, who converted to Christianity and was beheaded in 250 AD in what was once the Roman amphitheater.
According to legend, after the execution, he took his head in his hand and carried it to the mountain where he was buried.
The Church was consecrated in 1018 and is in Romanesque style: longitudinal plan, three naves, and three levels, including the lower level of the crypt and the raised level of the presbytery.
The construction of the current church began in 1018 under bishop Alibrando and continued under the emperor Henry II. The monks of the Benedictine order, who founded it, later joined the Cluniac congregation and were finally replaced by those of the Olivetana congregation, who still live there today. The monks make famous liqueurs, honey, and herbal teas, which they sell in a shop adjacent to the church. In addition to this, the exterior of the Basilica also offers a breathtaking view of the entire city of Florence. One more reason to visit San Miniato.
Don’t be put off by winter ❄: low temperatures and not always-sunny weather shouldn’t interfere with your holiday plans in Florence, especially when there are so many activities to do and places to visit in the city and its surroundings.
In another post, we will tell you about the secrets and legends of Florence and its typical dishes 🍝😝.