Description of Florence

Florence is an Italian municipality of 361 331 inhabitants, the capital of Tuscany and of the homonymous metropolitan city; it is the first municipality in the region by population and the center of the metropolitan area of Florence-Prato-Pistoia.

In the Middle Ages it was a very important artistic, cultural, commercial, political, economic and financial centre; in the modern age it held the role of capital of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany from 1569 to 1859 which, with the government of the Medici and Lorraine families, became one of the richest and most modern states in Italy. The various political vicissitudes, the financial and mercantile power and the influences in every field of culture have made the city a fundamental crossroads in Italian and European history. In 1865 Florence was proclaimed capital of the Kingdom of Italy (second, after Turin), maintaining this status until 1871, the year that marks the end of the Risorgimento and the passage of the baton to Rome.

An important university center and UNESCO World Heritage Site (the historic centre, since 1982), it is considered the place of origin of the Renaissance – the awareness of a new modern era after the Middle Ages, a period of cultural and scientific change and "rebirth" – and of the Italian language, thanks to the Florentine vernacular used in literature. In 1986 it was named European city of culture.

It is universally recognized as one of the world capitals of art and architecture, as well as a highly visited international tourist destination, thanks to its numerous monuments and museums. Of inestimable value are the artistic, literary and scientific bequests of some of its illustrious citizens, true geniuses of the past, such as Dante, Petrarca and Boccaccio in the literary field; Giotto, Brunelleschi, Donatello, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo in the figurative arts; Lorenzo de' Medici and Machiavelli in political science; Amerigo Vespucci and Galileo Galilei in geographical, astronomical and physical sciences.


Geographic hints

Florence is located in a scenic position, in the center of a large amphitheater-shaped basin at the south-eastern end of the Florence-Prato-Pistoia plain, surrounded on three sides by the enchanting clayey hills of Cercina, just above the Rifredi district and the hospital of Careggi (to the north), from the hills of Fiesole (to the north-east), of Settignano (to the east), and of Arcetri, Poggio Imperiale and Bellosguardo (to the south). The plain where the city stands is crossed by the Arno and by smaller rivers such as the Mugnone, the Terzolle and the Greve river.


When to go

From a climatic point of view, Florence has a temperate climate with hot summers and often with muggy episodes and moderately cold and humid winters. In winter, the temperature can drop below zero, especially during nights with clear or partly cloudy skies. In summer, especially in recent years, days when temperatures reach 37-38 °C are frequent and sometimes temperatures even approach 40 °C, reaching and slightly exceeding them in some years, especially in July and August. Precipitation is mainly concentrated in autumn and spring. The best times to visit the city with a pleasant climate are those between the end of March and the beginning of June and between September and October. Staying in winter poses no problem as winters are not overly harsh, especially during the day as highs almost always exceed 10 degrees and occasionally 15. The abundance of indoors places to visit makes it a very suitable destination even this season. Avoid the months of July and August due to the very intense heat.


How to orient yourself

Florence has a particularly compact historical centre. You can visit all the monuments on foot.

The ancient center (the exact point) is marked by the Colonna dell'Abbondanza which has been located in Piazza della Repubblica since 1431. The center was easily identifiable as the city plan was square with two perpendicular main roads (cardo and decumanus) which connect the four gates to the four sides of the city. The roads that bordered the ancient Florentia are the current ones:
To the north: via Cerretani and piazza Duomo (with Porta Aquilonia).
To the east: via del Proconsolo (with Porta San Piero).
To the south: via di Porta Rossa and via della Condotta (with Porta di Santa Maria).
To the west: Via Tornabuoni (with Porta San Pancrazio).

The Colonna dell'Abbondanza also delimits the four historic districts of Florence identified by the four main churches and represented by the four colors of the historic football teams:
The Azzurri of Santa Croce
The Greens of San Giovanni
The Reds of Santa Maria Novella
The Whites of Santo Spirito.

The city districts are as follows: Q1 (historic centre), Q2 (Campo di Marte)", Q3 (Gavinana and Galluzzo), Q4 (Isolotto and Legnaia), Q5 (Rifredi).



Santa Maria Novella and surroundings

1 Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, Piazza S. Maria Novella 18, ☎ +39 055 21 92 57, fax: +39 055 90 67 593, info@smn.it. full: €5, reduced: €3.5 (January 2014). Mon-Thu 9:00-17:30, Fri 11:00-17:30, Sat 9:00-17:00, Sun 13:00-17:00. The first great Gothic basilica in Florence which was the point of reference for the mendicant order of the Dominicans. Its construction began in 1279 and finished in the mid-14th century thanks to the indulgences of wealthy Florentines who wanted to ensure their burial in consecrated ground and whose coats of arms remain today. The facade was restructured in 1456 by Leon Battista Alberti. The architect emphasized the portal with a round arch and the portals and side tombs with pointed arches. Alberti also added two lateral volutes to hide the sloping roof. Inside you can admire the "Trinità" by Masaccio and at the end of the main nave the Crucifix by Giotto (datable to around 1290) has been relocated since 2001, after twelve years of restoration, in the position where it probably should have been until 1421.
2 Piazza Santa Maria Novella (In front of the central and homonymous railway station). Begun in 1287 and completed around 1325, it was used to welcome the increasingly numerous faithful who flocked to the sermons of the Dominican friars. Thanks to its size, it later became the setting for festivals and shows such as the Palio dei Cocchi (a race with carriages similar to Roman chariots), established by Cosimo I in 1563, for which the two Seravezza marble obelisks were erected, supported from bronze turtles (1608) by Giambologna, with gilded lilies above them from the 19th century. The hospital of San Paolo built in 1221 was a hospice for pilgrims and then, about a century later, also a hospital. In the 15th century, the hospital underwent the addition of a portico, attributed to Michelozzo and inspired by Brunelleschi's Spedale degli Innocenti in the San Giovanni district. At the top of each column there is a series of glazed terracotta medallions with Franciscan saints and the Works of Mercy: it was made by Andrea della Robbia who is also the author of the lunette with the Meeting between San Francesco and San Domenico (c. 1495 .) located on the church portal as evidence of the friendship between the two mendicant orders that occupied the square. In 2006, the Alinari National Museum of Photography was also opened.
3 Fortezza da Basso (Fortress of San Giovanni Battista), Viale Filippo Strozzi, 1 (Adjacent to Santa Maria Novella station, side of piazzale Montelungo). Modern fortification work in the walls of Florence. Surrounded by the ring road avenues and part of the Firenze Fiera exhibition complex, today it is the venue for numerous national and international conferences, concerts and initiatives. Born with the name of Castello Alessandria, it was built between 1534 and 1537 by order of Alessandro de' Medici. Inside the fortress there is one of the headquarters of the hard stones factory with numerous scientific and restoration laboratories. The Palazzo dei Congressi was built in the gardens of the facing Villa Contini Bonacossi.


Piazza Duomo and surroundings

4 Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Piazza del Duomo. free admission to the cathedral, dome and crypt €18 (single ticket with Giotto's bell tower, baptistery and museum of the work of the cathedral) N.B. before queuing to climb the dome (separate queue from the entrance to the cathedral) it is mandatory to obtain a ticket. cathedral: Mon-Fri 10:00-17:00, Sat 10:00-16:45, Sun 13 :30-16:45; dome: Mon-Fri 8:30-18:20 Sat 8:30-17:00 Sun closed; crypt of S. Reparata: Mon-Fri 10:00-17:00 Sat 10:00-16:45 Sun closed. It took almost 6 centuries to build the fifth largest Christian church in the world (it can hold 30,000 people), inside which the largest surface ever decorated with frescoes is visible: 3600 m² painted in the second half of the 1500s by Giorgio Vasari and Federico Sugars. Its name is partly dedicated to the Virgin (Mary) and partly to the lily symbol of Firene (Flower). The dome and the lantern were built by Brunelleschi. The dome consists of 8 trapezoidal sails bounded by 8 ribs which are gathered into the lantern and its construction was considered an engineering miracle in itself. The drum is divided into two parts: an upper one with oculi that allow the light to enter abundantly and a lower one with a static function. From the top of the dome (91 m) you have a spectacular view of the historic center of Florence, after having toiled up 463 steps! The construction, begun on the ancient foundations of the church of Santa Reparata (7th century) in 1296 by Arnolfo di Cambio, was continued by Giotto from 1334 until his death in 1337. Francesco Talenti and Giovanni di Lapo Ghini continued it in 1357 In 1412 the new cathedral was dedicated to Santa Maria del Fiore and consecrated on 25 March 1436 at the end of the work on Brunelleschi's dome by Pope Eugene IV. The then unfinished facade of the cathedral was built at the end of the 1800s to a design by Emilio De Fabris.
5 Giotto's bell tower, Piazza del Duomo. Single ticket of €18 with the Baptistery, the crypt of S. Desiderata, the dome and the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo. Mon-Sun 8:30-18:50. The construction of the bell tower of Santa Maria del Fiore began in 1298 by Arnolfo di Cambio, with a handover in 1334 to Giotto di Bondone. Designed for 12 bells, today it houses only 7 as the remaining 5, the oldest, have been abandoned. Its precious colored marbles have been extracted from the quarries of various Tuscan cities. On Giotto's death (1337) he was succeeded by Andrea Pisano, but it was only finished in 1359 by Francesco Talenti. The base of the bell tower is dotted with bas-reliefs (tiles) on religious, artistic and scientific themes, mainly created by the workshop of Andrea Pisano. The original tiles are kept in the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, while those weathered are only copies. Still outside, but on the upper side, one can admire sculptures partly made by the Pisanos (father and son) and partly by Donatello. The panoramic peak of the bell tower can be reached via 414 steps.
6 Baptistery of San Giovanni, Piazza San Giovanni (opposite the Cathedral). Single ticket of €18 with the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, the crypt of S. Desiderata, the dome and Giotto's bell tower. Mon-Sat 11:15-18:30 (closed on the first Saturday of the month); Sun and holidays 8:30-13:30. The origins of the building are rather controversial; in any case, on 6 November 1059 it was consecrated and in 1128 it officially became the city baptistery, thus being the oldest religious monument in Florence, whose baptismal functions lasted until the 19th century. The baptistery has an octagonal plan and the external ornament is in white Carrara and green Prato marble. Its mosaics date back to the second half of the 1200s, while the three bronze doors were built between 1330 and 1452. The last one, created by Lorenzo Ghiberti, was called by Michelangelo the "Gate of Paradise" and still occupies the prestigious eastern side (the one in front of the Cathedral). The three bronze doors, built according to a unitary figurative program over more than a century, show the history of humanity and of the Redemption, as in a gigantic illustrated Bible. The narrative order, disrupted by the change of position of the individual doors, goes from the Stories of the Old Testament in the east door, to those of the Baptist in the south door, up to those of the New Testament (Stories of Christ) in the north door. More or less at the height of the viewer, in the center, Ghiberti inserted his self-portrait into a head.
7 Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Piazza del Duomo, 9 (On the north-east side of Piazza del Duomo), ☎ +39 055 2302885, fax: +39 055 2302898, opera@operaduomo.firenze.it. Single ticket of €18 with the Baptistery, the crypt of S. Desiderata, the dome and Giotto's bell tower. Mon-Sat 9:00-18:50; Sun 9:00-13:00. It collects works of art from the sacred complex of the Duomo of Florence, the Baptistery and Giotto's bell tower, with a very important nucleus of Gothic and Renaissance statuary. Inside the museum it is possible to admire the original Porta del Paradiso by Ghiberti and the Pietà Bandini by Michelangelo and one of the largest collections in the world of works by Donatello, second only to the National Museum of the Bargello.


Piazza della Signoria and surroundings

8 Piazza della Signoria (formerly Piazza dei Priori or Piazza del Granduca) (located south of the Duomo and a few tens of meters from the Ponte Vecchio and the Arno). The central square of Florence, seat of civil power with Palazzo Vecchio (once known as Palazzo della Signoria, hence the name of the square) and for centuries the heart of the social and political life of the city. Although the area pertaining to the square already had a prominent role in Roman times, it began to take on its current appearance at the end of the 1200s. The square was also the site of public executions, the most famous of which is that of 23 May 1498, when Girolamo Savonarola was hanged and burned for heresy (a plaque in the square, in front of the Fountain of Neptune, commemorates this event) in the same place where, with his disciples, he had operated the so-called Rogo delle Vanità, giving the flames many books, poems, card tables, clothes, etc. The square also boasts a considerable amount of sculpture largely inside the Loggia dei Lanzi, but also outside such as the equestrian bronze of Cosimo I dei Medici by Giambologna, the Fountain of Neptune by Ammannati; both from the end of the 16th century.
9 Loggia della Signoria (Loggia dei Lanzi). The Loggia della Signoria is a historical monument located in Piazza della Signoria to the right of Palazzo Vecchio and next to the Uffizi. This beautiful arched gallery taken as an example throughout Europe, is also called Loggia dei Lanzi because the lansquenets (German mercenary soldiers) camped here in 1527 on their way to Rome and the Loggia dell'Orcagna, due to an incorrect attribution to Andrea di Cione , nicknamed Orcagna, while the realization of the work has been documented as being by his brother Benci and by Simone Talenti. The building dates back to the period between 1376 and 1382; the loggia was used to host the numerous popular public assemblies indoors and the official ceremonies of the Florentine Republic in the presence of the people, such as those for the settlement of lordships. In 1494, the statue of Judith and Holofernes was the first to be moved by the Florentines themselves, following the expulsion of the Medici, to symbolize the victory of the people (in fact Judith is in the act of beheading General Holofernes). Starting from the 16th century, with the return of the Medici, the creation of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany and the definitive suppression of the republican institutions, this space was destined to house some sculptural masterpieces, becoming one of the first exhibition spaces in the world. The major masterpieces are the Perseus (symbol of threat to the enemies of the Medici) and the Rape of the Sabine Women by Giambologna.
10 Palazzo Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria, ☎ +39 055 2768325. Admission: full price €10 museum or tower (both €14), reduced (between 18-25, over 65 and university students) €8 museum or tower (both €12 ), free for minors, school groups, etc. Multimedia guide: single €5, double €8. MUSEUM: April-September: Fri-Wed 9:00-24:00, Thu 9:00-14:00, October-March: Fri-Wed 9:00-19:00, Thu 9:00-14:00. TORRE: April-September: Fri-Wed 9:00-21:00, Thu 9:00-14:00, October-March: Fri-Wed 10:00-17:00, Thu 10:00-14:00. Closed on December 25th. The tower is not accessible in case of rain. Today the seat of the city's municipality, known as the "Palazzo della Signoria" at the time of the Florentine Republic; and in 1540 Palazzo Ducale when Cosimo I de' Medici made it his residence. It assumed its current name when the court of Duke Cosimo moved to the "new" Palazzo Pitti. Arnolfo di Cambio began building it in 1299 and was completed by two other masters in 1314. The tower of Palazzo Vecchio, known as the Torre di Arnolfo, is one of the emblems of the city. In the past, its bell had the function of gathering for square assemblies or for fatal events such as fires, floods or enemy attacks. Inside the building there is a museum and the tower can also be visited to enjoy a view of the city. Curiosity. On the right corner of the façade a profile is summarily sculpted: its origins are not known, but popular tradition indicates Michelangelo as the author, who would have liked to immortalize a man sentenced to death, sculpting an instantaneous portrait even working with his back turned, or one of his debtor who particularly gripped him. The only certain thing is that it was not a thing for everyone to be able to sculpt with impunity on the most important building in the city and that the author had to be someone to whom the guardhouse could turn a blind eye.
11 Uffizi Gallery, Piazzale degli Uffizi, ☎ +39 055 294883. full price: €6.50; concessions €3.25; under 18 and over 65 free. Booking cost: 4€. Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 8:15 to 18:50. Closed on Mondays. One of the most important Italian museums, and one of the largest and best known in the world. The building houses a large collection of works of art deriving above all from the Medici collection. Among the many artists represented here are Botticelli (Spring and Venus), Leonardo Da Vinci and Piero della Francesca (Diptych of the Dukes). The uffizi were built by Cosimo I de' Medici to bring together the main Florentine magistrates, called offices, hence the name. The works were entrusted to Giorgio Vasari who was already in charge of the construction site of the adjacent Palazzo Vecchio. In the mid-nineteenth century 28 marble statues were inserted in the niches of the pillars outside the Gallery, with illustrious contemporary Tuscans. In 1565 Vasari built in just six months the so-called 12 Vasari Corridor, which connects Palazzo Vecchio to Palazzo Pitti via the Uffizi and Ponte Vecchio. Currently the Vasari Corridor is part of the Uffizi Gallery, and inside it houses the largest and most important collection in the world of self-portraits and a part of portraits from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The visit to the Vasari Corridor can only be made by reservation and requires a dedicated ticket. In 2009 the "Uffizi to touch" path was inaugurated which allows blind people who at the ticket office, together with the documentation giving the right to free admission, will be given latex gloves (the same ones used by restorers) which will allow them to touch 27 works. Clearly next to each work there is an explanatory sign in Braille.
13 Bargello National Museum, Via del Proconsolo, 4, ☎ +39 055 294883. Full price: €4; reduced (aged between 18 and 25 and for teachers): €2; free for anyone under 18 or over 65 (see website for other categories). In conjunction with events or exhibitions or the price may vary. Tickets can be purchased online at the b-ticket.com website with a booking fee of €3. Mon–Sun 8:15-13:50 Closed: 1st, 3rd, 5th Sunday, 2nd and 4th Monday of each month; January 1st, May 1st, December 25th. According to Vasari, it was built around 1250 on commission from the Fazione del Popolo as a fortress and arsenal against the noble families of Florence. From 1574 it housed the Capitano del Popolo, also known as the bargello and from which the building takes its name. In the almost three centuries in which it was used as a prison, the frescoes were whitewashed and the room divided into two floors, one intended to house those sentenced to death awaiting execution, the other in the pantry. In 1786 the Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo forbade the death penalty making Tuscany the first European region to abolish it. In 1865 it was definitively converted to a national museum containing works by the Medici family, Gothic and Renaissance sculptures, and works by Donatello, Luca della Robbia, Lorenzo Ghiberti, Filippo Brunelleschi, Michelangelo and Giambologna.
14 Palazzo Gondi, Piazza San Firenze 1-2 (also on via de' Gondi 2-4) (One block from piazza della Signoria), ☏ +39 055 2670177, info@palazzogondi.it. Entry not allowed for tourists. Palazzo Gondi, like other buildings in the area, stands on what was once a Roman theater. u built by Giuliano da Sangallo in 1490 for Giuliano da Sangallo the Elder, taking as an example other important masterpieces of stately building in the city, such as Palazzo Medici and Palazzo Strozzi. Among the old buildings demolished to make room for the palace, there was also the house where Leonardo da Vinci lived, rented directly by the Gondis from his father. A commemorative inscription is placed in the entrance hall which overlooks via de' Gondi. The most innovative element is the design of the windows, with the profile of the stones arranged in a radial pattern, which resembles the facets of a precious stone. Work on the building stopped in 1501 with the death of Luciano Gondi and was only completed in 1870. Marquis Eugenio Gondi commissioned Giuseppe Poggi, archer of Piazzale Michelangelo, to finish it.
15 Badia Fiorentina, Via Dante Alighieri, ☎ +39 055 264403. The Badia Fiorentina is an important place of Catholic worship in Florence, located in the heart of the ancient city in front of the Bargello and dedicated to the Virgin Mary. This Benedictine abbey was founded in 978. Every 21 December a mass is still celebrated for the noble Hugh of Tuscany, a benefactor who has allowed the abbey to prosper, whose coat of arms is visible both on the portal in via Ghibellina and above the main altar. Among the activities of the monks there was also viticulture, as suggested by the name of the nearby via della Vigna Vecchia. In 1285 the church underwent a radical makeover in Gothic style by Arnolfo di Cambio, who changed its orientation with the apse facing via del Proconsolo. According to Dante's work Vita Nova, Dante Alighieri saw Beatrice Portinari here for the first time, during a mass. In the first half of the 1600s the orientation of the altar was changed again, now placed to the south in the direction of the Arno, creating a Greek cross temple. The interiors present an overlapping of styles and structures, with fourteenth-century frescoes, fifteenth-century paintings, late sixteenth-century canvases, etc. Despite the transformations it has undergone over the centuries, the Badia has kept the evocative Orange Cloister intact within the complex, built between 1432 and 1438 by Bernardo Rossellino, which on the upper floor has a cycle of frescoes on the life of San Benedetto painted in the first mid 1400s.
16 Church of Orsanmichele (ex Orto di San Michele), Via dell'arte della Lana (Near via de' Calzaiuoli halfway between the Duomo and Palazzo Vecchio). Free admission. Church: Mon-Sun 10am-5pm; sculpture museum: Mon 10am-5pm. Built on the foundations of a former female monastery with vast vegetable gardens, in which a primitive oratory was replaced around the middle of the eighth century by the small church dedicated to San Michele Arcangelo, called San Michele in Orto, from which the name " Orsanmichele" which was demolished around 1240 to make way for a loggia intended as a grain market (whose grain chutes are still visible inside the pillars), later transformed into the church of the Arti, the ancient Florentine guilds. In 1304 a fire seriously damaged the building and during the subsequent reconstruction and restoration works the tabernacle was built by Andrea Orcagna between 1349 and 1359 to house the Virgin and Child with the Angels (painting by Bernardo Daddi from 1347), which it replaced a miraculous image, the Madonna of Orsanmichele (by Ugolino di Nerio) once placed on the pillars of the first loggia. In 1339 the Arte della Seta asked the Municipality for permission to make a series of tabernacles with the statues of the patron saints of the Arts, which was accepted only in 1404. The result was an extraordinary sculptural cycle by the greatest Florentine artists, above all from the fifteenth century (Nanni di Banco, Donatello, Brunelleschi, Verrocchio, Ghiberti and others), who composed an extraordinary compendium of the transition from late Gothic to fully Renaissance forms. Above each tabernacle, at the top, there are a series of large medallions where the art owner of the tabernacle below inserted their coat of arms. These coats of arms are all Renaissance and can be traced back to the della Robbias, except that of the Arte dei Beccai: it was made in 1858 by the Ginori porcelain factory, at the expense of the butchers of Florence, in honor of their fellow ancestors. The Orsanmichele Museum, on the upper floors of the church and made up of the original statues that lined its perimeter, was opened in 1996 and can be used every Monday, thanks to the presence of volunteers from the "Amici dei Musei Fiorentini" association, as well as being also used for some time for concerts.
17 Palazzo Pazzi (Palace of the Conspiracy), Via del Proconsolo 10 (Corner with Borgo Albizzi). This palace, commissioned by Jacopo de' Pazzi in the mid-1400s and a source of rivalry between the extremely wealthy Medici and Pazzi families, is one of the best examples in the city of civil architecture of the full Renaissance. The appellation of Palazzo della Congiura is due to the fact that the person responsible for the so-called Pazzi Conspiracy resided there, a conspiracy that led to the killing of Giuliano de' Medici during mass in Santa Maria del Fiore and the wounding of his brother Lorenzo the Magnificent. Those responsible for the episode were soon hanged by the enraged Florentine mob and initially the whole Pazzi family was exiled and their property confiscated. Since then the ownership of the building has passed under many hands including the Strozzi family up to the current INPS, which has worked for important restorations. The facade is dominated by the contrast between the rustic ashlar of the ground floor and the white plaster of the two upper floors, embellished by elegant mullioned windows. In the atrium there is a coat of arms with two symmetrical dolphins turned outward and attributed to Donatello. On the first floor there is a monumental compass of eclectic nineteenth-century style. The second floor has an interesting room called The Pompeian, due to the grotesques that decorate the ceiling. From here you can access the roof terrace, which offers a suggestive panorama of Florence.
18 Palazzo Nonfinito/ Museum of natural history anthropology and ethnology section, via del Proconsolo, 12, ☎ +39 055 2756444 (Mon-Fri), +39 055 2757720 (Sat-Sun and holidays), edu@msn.unifi.it. Full price €6, reduced (aged 6-14 or over 65 and school groups) €3, children under 6 free, guides and other categories. 1 October-31 May Mon-Tue, Thu-Fri 9:00-17:00, Sat-Sun and public holidays 10:00-17:00; 1 June-30 September Mon-Tue, Thu-Fri 10am-6pm, Sat-Sun and public holidays 10am-6pm. Located in Palazzo Nonfinito, a building begun in 1593, but as the name suggests, remained unfinished. Alessandro Strozzi bought the property by having the existing building demolished, commissioning the court artist, Bernardo Buontalenti, with the construction of the new one in 1593, where his hand can still be recognized today in the crumpled frontispieces and in the sinister figures in the tympanums of the kneeling windows . In 1600 Buontalenti abandoned the work due to personal disagreements, giving way to other architects who have followed one another over the years. In 1922 the first Italian museum dedicated to anthropology and ethnographic research was re-founded, managed by the University of Florence. It has a huge heritage spread over 25 rooms that covers most of the populations of the planet. The finds began to flow since the time of the Medici grand dukes, attracted by any scientific curiosity, up to the numerous expeditions of the following centuries, among which the third expedition of Sir James Cook stands out.


Santa Croce district

19 Basilica of Santa Croce, Piazza Santa Croce, ☎ +39 055 2466105, booking@santacroceopera.it. Full: €6, reduced (children aged 11 to 17 and groups of 15): €4; free for children under 11, residents of Florence and its province, disabled people and other categories. Audio guide: €1. Mon-Sat 9:30-17:30, Sun and holidays 14:00-17:30. One of the oldest Franciscan basilicas and the largest in the world, as well as one of the greatest Gothic achievements in Italy founded in 1294 and completed in 1442. The facade, originally unfinished, was built between 1853 and 1863 in neo-Gothic style by by the Jewish architect Niccolò Matas and this explains the star of David inserted in the tympanum of the facade. Inside there is the Pazzi chapel designed by Brunelleschi: on the walls you can see blue and white terracotta roundels by Luca della Robbia depicting the apostles and by Brunelleschi depicting the 4 evangelists; but also frescoes by Giotto and Gaddi from the 14th century. The church is known as the "pantheon of artists" (or of Italian glories) because there are the tombs of famous people such as: Michelangelo, Machiavelli, Galilei, Rossini, Foscolo and many others. Although there is a large statue in white Carrara marble depicting Dante, his remains are kept in Ravenna. Outside the church there is a mighty monument to Dante which originally (since 1865) was placed in the center of the square, but was later (in 1968) moved to its current location to allow football matches in costume.
In the Basilica there are many tombs and commemorative plaques of famous people of Italy, among them:
Leon Battista Alberti (architect, 15th century)
Lorenzo Bartolini (sculptor, 18th-19th century)
Dante Alighieri (poet, XIII-XIV century, is buried in Ravenna, the Basilica is his cenotaph erected in 1829, in Ravenna the authorities oppose the transfer of the poet's ashes to Florence.
Galileo Galilei (astronomer, mathematician, 16th century). Galileo was a native of Pisa, but lived most of his life in Florence. The sarcophagus is crowned with the figure of a scientist and allegorical figures of Geometry and Astronomy. Tombstone of Galileo is the work of Giulio Foggini.
Niccolo Machiavelli (thinker, 15th - 16th century). The plaque is the work of Innocenzo Spinazzi. At the top of the sarcophagus is an allegorical figure of Diplomacy.
Michelangelo Buonarroti (sculptor, poet, painter, 15th - 16th century) - the tomb of Giorgio Vasari. A bust of Michelangelo is placed on top of the sarcophagus, three allegorical figures are located in the lower part.
Giovanni Nicollini (Italian poet and playwright)-his grave is decorated with the statue "Freedom of Poetry", which served as the prototype of the Statue of Liberty in New York.
Gioacchino Rossini (composer, 19th century)
Guglielmo Marconi (winner of the Nobel prize in 1909 for creating a wireless telegraph, 19th - 20th century)
Mikhail Oginsky (Polish composer, author of the famous Polonaise)
Enrico Fermi (eminent physicist, Nobel Prize for 1938 (there is a commemorative plaque in the basilica).

20 Casa Buonarroti, Via Ghibellina 70 (corner with via Buonarroti), ☎ +39 055 241752, fax: +39 055 241698, fond@casabuonarroti.it. Full price €6.5, reduced price €4.5, combined Casa Buonarroti and monumental complex of Santa Croce €8.5. Wed-Mon 10am-4pm (March 1-Oct 31 until 5pm). Closed on: January 1st, Easter Sunday, August 15th, December 25th. House-museum in Florence developed on three floors, dedicated to Michelangelo and his descendants who lived here embellishing the house, although it is not his birthplace as he was born in Caprese in the province of Arezzo. The museum holds the richest collection in the world of sketches by Michelangelo and his school. The most important piece is the torso of a river, life-size and intended to act as a model for a statue never made for the New Sacristy, but the Two wrestlers or the female nude are also suggestive. From 1612 Michelangelo the Younger (nephew of the more famous Michelangelo) began building the building as we see it today, of which a rare, precise and detailed archival documentation remains. The Younger used a project that included two drawings by Michelangelo himself and in the interior decoration he had his famous great-uncle widely celebrated with a precise decorative program. On the door of via Ghibellina there is a bust of 1875 depicting Michelangelo.
Synagogue and Jewish Museum, Via Luigi Carlo Farini, 6, ☎ +39 0552346654, sinagoga.firenze@coopculture.it. One of the largest synagogues in Europe and one of the most beautiful and also appreciated by Jewish tourism. Its dome can be seen in all panoramas of the city. On the upper floors is an interesting museum, with an important heritage.
21 Ponte Vecchio. One of the symbols of the city of Florence and one of the most famous bridges in the world. It crosses the Arno River at its narrowest point, where a ford existed in ancient times. The peculiarity of the bridge is that it has shops along the entire passage as was customary in the Middle Ages. Initially these shops were butchers because this made it possible to improve the hygiene of the city, but in 1593 they were replaced by goldsmiths to eliminate the bad smells that reached the Vasari corridor by order of the Grand Duke Ferdinando I. The corridor which was built in 1565, officially in memory of the marriage between Francesco I and Giovanna of Austria, but also to allow the Medici to move from their home (Palazzo Pitti) to their place of work (Palazzo Vecchio) without going down the city streets, thus mitigating the risk of attacks. It is the only bridge in Florence which was not blown up by the Germans during the 1944 retreat; on the bridge is an honorary plaque to the German general Gerhard Wolf who is credited with saving the bridge. In one of the two central terraces of the bridge is the bust of Benvenuto Cellini dating back to 1901.
22 Medici Chapels, Piazza di Madonna degli Aldobrandini, 6, ☎ +39 055 238 8602. Full price €6, reduced (under 25s and teachers) €3, free for minors, schools, guides, etc. and anyone on the first Sunday of each month. Mon-Sun 8:15-13:50, closed second and fourth Sunday of the month; first, third, fifth Monday of the month; New Year, May 1st, Christmas. The Medici chapels are today a museum and burial place and parish church of the Medici family, obtained from some areas of the basilica of San Lorenzo in Florence, which can be accessed from the back of the church. The two main parts that can be visited are extensions of the apse of the basilica: the New Sacristy, built by Michelangelo from 1519 along the lines of that of Brunelleschi, and the large chapel of the Princes, from the following century, completely covered with marble and semi- where the grand dukes of Tuscany and their families are buried. In 1524 the New Sacristy was completed, so that Michelangelo could devote himself to the creation of the statues that adorn it. The octagonal chapel of the Princes designed by Cosimo I is located in the square behind the church, whose construction in Florentine Baroque style began in 1604 as a tribute to some Medici grand dukes. The interiors are lavish (semi-precious stones and colored marbles) with bronze statues of the dead above each sarcophagus. The early 19th century frescoes are by Pietro Benvenuti.
23 Chiostrino dei Voti (Chiosto dei Voti). Courtyard with portico in front of the basilica of the Santissima Annunziata, begun in 1447 to a design by Michelozzo. The "small cloister" is not a cloister in the strict sense (it is not at the center of the monastery rooms), but rather an atrium which recalls its forms. There is an important cycle of frescoes in the lunettes, painted by important masters at the turn of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries: in particular, all the greatest "new masters" who would later give rise to Mannerism worked there in the tens of the century: Andrea del Sarto , Pontormo, Rosso Fiorentino. The main frescoes are: Marriage of the Virgin, Birth of the Virgin and Assumption of Mary. The valuable frescoes that decorate the walls are well known, which were detached, restored and finally relocated after the flood in Florence in 1966.
24 Basilica of San Lorenzo, Piazza San Lorenzo. Full price €4.50, free for residents of Florence, children under 11, guides, etc. Audio guide +€1.5/€2.0 for full price/free tickets. Mon-Sat 10:00-17:30, Sun 13:30-17:30. It is one of the churches that vie for the title of oldest in the city (4th century, although almost nothing remains of the primitive church) and has the rank of minor basilica. For three hundred years, San Lorenzo was the cathedral of Florence, before ceding its status to the church of Santa Reparata. In the 15th century the Medici commissioned Filippo Brunelleschi to renovate and expand it, even if these works proceeded very slowly over the years. In its crypt by Bernardo Buontalenti lie around fifty remains of the Medici and some members of the Lorraine dynasty. In the early 1500s Michelangelo was commissioned to complete the facade (which remained unfinished) and the New Sacristy. the chapel of the Princes and the small bell tower date back to the mid-1700s. The main works kept inside are the Marriage of the Virgin, a masterpiece of Tuscan mannerism by Rosso Fiorentino and the Martelli Annunciation by Filippo Lippi, the Martyrdom of San Lorenzo by Agnolo Bronzino, the pulpit of the Resurrection by Donatello and many others.The characteristic market of San Lorenzo is held around the church.
25 Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Via Cavour, 3, ☎ +39 055 2760340 (ticket office), biglietteria@palazzo-medici.it. Full price €7, reduced (military soldiers, children between 6 and 12, groups of over 15 people, etc.) €4, free for the handicapped. Thu-Tue 9:00–19:00. The mid-1400s palace is a work by Michelozzo, commissioned by Cosimo de' Medici known as the Elder, progenitor of the Medici dynasty in Florence. Michelozzo built a cubic palace with an imposing but sober and austere external appearance, around a central square courtyard with Corinthian columns, thus becoming one of the models of Renaissance civil architecture in Florence and beyond. An example of derivation is Palazzo Strozzi. Along the east and south sides runs a street bench, a high stone plinth, which served for aesthetic but also practical reasons: citizens could sit on it. In 1494 the palace was sacked by the citizens who exiled the Medici, but the latter returned to the city in 1512 claiming their properties, including the palace. In 1517 Michelangelo was commissioned to wall up the windows of a corner loggia and due to their shape, they took the name of kneeling windows. This type of window spread as a characteristic element in both Mannerist and Baroque styles.
26 Casino Mediceo di San Marco (Located between number 57 of via Cavour and via San Gallo). Not open to the public. This casino ("villa" of the city, surrounded by large gardens and characterized by the piano nobile on the ground floor instead of the first floor), rebuilt by Bernardo Buontalenti between 1570 and 1574, on the orders of Francesco I de' Medici, located a few steps from the ancient Palazzo Medici, in what was at the time the outskirts of the city. Buontalenti created imaginative decorations typical of the restless period of Mannerism: grotesque masks and zoomorphic elements appear unexpectedly from the architectural elements, each with a precise symbolic meaning. Many of his riches are found elsewhere today such as the statues of Giambologna located in various museums, or the rich library merged into the Central National Library of Florence. His gardens, by the will of Lorenzo de 'Medici, hosted a sculptural school where he made new talents flourish, including Michelangelo. In the Lorraine era the building was used as a customs post, while today it is a Court of Assizes and Appeals, therefore it cannot be visited for tourist purposes.
27 Basilica della Santissima Annunziata, Piazza SS Annunziata (On the north side of the square, near the Spedale degli Innocenti), ☎ +39 055 239 8034. Mon-Sun 7:30am-12:30pm and 4pm-6:30pm; on public holidays also 8.45pm-9.45pm. The main Marian sanctuary of Florence, mother house of the order of the servants of Mary, whose first stone was laid on 25 March 1250, the feast of the Annunciation. The church was finished and consecrated in the early 1500s, while the external portico, inspired by Brunelleschi's one of the Spedale degli Innocenti, dates back to 1601. Above the central arch of the external portico there are traces of frescoes painted between 1513 and 1514 by Pontormo, while the central portal is surmounted by a mosaic Annunciation by Davide Ghirlandaio. The church has a beautiful Baroque decoration clearly visible in the Volterrano ceiling and in the profusion of marble, stucco and gilding. Inside there are numerous chapels, one of which contains the remains of Giambologna.
28 Piazza della Santissima Annunziata (North of Piazza del Duomo). Dominated on the north side by the basilica of the Santissima Annunziata, one of the most important sacred buildings in Florence, from which it takes its name. The square is porticoed on three sides, and with twin palaces on the fourth, which frame the view of Brunelleschi's dome across the straight Via dei Servi. In the center of the square is the equestrian monument to Ferdinando I de' Medici, by Giambologna and Pietro Tacca from 1608, a statue that was cast with bronze from the cannons of Turkish galleys, won by the Knights of the Military Order of Santo Stefano. While further back, in a symmetrical position, are the two fountains of sea monsters from 1629, a masterpiece by Tacca and of Mannerist sculpture in general, which initially should have adorned the monument to Ferdinando I of Livorno, but aroused the admiration of Grand Duke Ferdinando II de' Medici who therefore ordered its placement in the center of the Florentine square. On the east side is the Spedale degli Innocenti, the oldest orphanage in Europe, inaugurated in 1444, where women with unwanted children could leave them in complete anonymity using the stone or wheel found under the portico of the building. Its portico was created by Brunelleschi, while the enamelled and glazed medallions by Andrea della Robbia, depicting babies in swaddling clothes.
29 Dante's House, Via Santa Margherita 1, ☎ +39 055 219 416, info@museocasadidante.it. Full price €4, reduced price €2. 1 October-31 March: Tue-Sun 10am-5pm; 1 April-30 September Mon-Sun 10am-6pm. Dante himself wrote that he was born in the shadow of the Badia Fiorentina under the parish of San Martino, even if it is not certain that the building is exactly the one where the museum has been housed since 1911. The nearby church of Santa Margherita de' Cerchi is the place where the poet allegedly met Beatrice Portinari for the first time. Picturesque, even if not original, is the small well in the square. The museum is essentially didactic, with numerous explanatory panels on the Divine Comedy, Dante, his times and his characters. There are also reconstructions of furnishings, clothing and other aspects of daily life in medieval Florence, as well as some original finds, especially from excavations, on weapons, coins and ceramics of the time. On a slab in the floor of the small square in front of the house, not far from the picturesque well curb, there is a curious rough-hewn profile of Dante, whose origins are unknown.
30 Museo Galileo (formerly the Institute and Museum of the History of Science), Piazza dei Giudici 1 (Near the Uffizi Gallery). Adults €9, concessions (over 65s or groups of 15 people) €5.5, schools (6-15 years) €4.5, children (under 6) free. Wed-Mon 9:30-18:00, Tue 9:30-13:00. Closed January 1st and December 25th. Founded in 1927 by the University of Florence in Palazzo Castellani, a late 11th century building. The Museo Galileo holds one of the largest collections of scientific instruments and instrumental apparatus from the 15th to the 19th century, the most important in the world, material testimony of the importance attributed to science and its protagonists by the members of the Medici dynasty and the Lorraine grand dukes. In its scientific dissemination activity, the museum organizes exhibitions and offers guided tours and educational tours for children and teenagers, also thanks to its multimedia laboratory. Inside there is also a library that provides specialized material, including works by Galileo himself. Also from Galileo are some of the instruments he designed and built as well as some of his relics, while his body was definitively moved to Santa Croce; in the past, due to the excommunication, it was forbidden to bury him in any church.



Oltrarno, also called Diladdarno in Florentine (and opposed to the less widespread Diquaddarno), is the area of Florence located on the left bank of the Arno river.
31 Basilica of Santo Spirito, Piazza Santo Spirito 30 (South of the historical centre), ☎ +39 055 210030, fax: +39 055 210030, abaldoni@agostiniani.it. weekdays 9:30-12:30; 16:00-17:30; public holidays: 11:30-12:30; 16:00-17:30 closed on Wednesdays. Designed in 1434 by Brunelleschi, but built (with many variations) by others who took over in 1436 in conjunction with his death; Bernini called it "the most beautiful church in the world". It was built on the remains of the thirteenth-century Augustinian convent destroyed by fire in 1371. A simple façade, small apses that rhythmically mark the perimeter and the columns that highlight the presbytery: scenic fulcrum of the building. The church has 38 side altars, decorated with a very rich set of treasures and works of art. Michelangelo was hosted in the convent of Santo Spirito in 1492 at the age of 17, where, with the complicity of the prior, he had the opportunity to dissect the corpses from the hospital of the convent to study their anatomy: it was thanks to this experience that Michelangelo became unsurpassed in representing the human body in every smallest detail. As a thank you for the hospitality, the young artist carved the wooden crucifix, which today is placed in its original location in the sacristy of Santo Spirito after having been exhibited for about a century in the museum of Casa Buonarroti.
32 Church of San Felice in Piazza, Piazza San Felice. 11th century church with a typically Gothic interior and a Renaissance facade attributed to Michelozzo, enlarged in the 14th century by the Benedictines. Inside there are frescoes and other works (including the crucifix on the high altar) from the 14th century. In the refectory there is a large Last Supper by Matteo Rosselli (1614).
33 Casa Guidi (Piazza San Felice and via Maggio). Museum set up in the 15th century house that belonged to the Ridolfis, where the English poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning lived with her husband Robert Browning and their son Pen between 1847 and 1861, consisting of about ten rooms in which some of their best works were composed poems. In the 16th century, following the Pucci Conspiracy, in which the Ridolfis also took part, the palace was confiscated by Cosimo I who donated it to the Order of the Knights of Santo Stefano which he established. Today's museum, unlike the other Florentine museum houses, is the result of a reconstruction carried out starting in 1971 by the Browning Institute of New York, which restored it on the basis of photographs and descriptions of the time and opened it to the public .
34 Palazzo Pitti, Piazza de' Pitti, 1. Palazzo Pitti was the palace of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, formerly inhabited by the Medicis, the Lorraines and the Savoys. It is located in the semicircular square of the same name, in the Oltrarno area. It was built in the mid-1400s by Luca Pitti to satisfy his delusions of grandeur to the detriment of the Medici. Almost 100 years later it was the Medici who bought the palace from the now disgraced Pitti family. Inside are now housed numerous museums of various kinds: an art gallery (the Palatine Gallery, with masterpieces by Raphael, Titian, etc.) arranged according to the criterion of the eighteenth-century picture gallery, the monumental apartments, the Winter Quarter and the District of the Prince of Naples (ordinarily not open to tourists), the Modern Art Gallery (with works by the Macchiaioli) and other specialized museums: the Silver Museum, dedicated to applied art, the Costume Gallery, the largest Italian museum dedicated to fashion, the Porcelain Museum and the Carriage Museum. Its monumental gardens, those of Boboli, are one of the best examples in the world of Italian gardens.
35 Museo della Specola, Via Romana 17, ☎ +39 055 2756444. Full price €6, reduced (ages between 6/14 or over 65, school groups) €3, free for children under 6, guides, University of Florence and other categories. Tue-Sun 9:30-16:30 (but 1 June-30 September from 10:30-17:30), closed 1 January, Easter, 1 May, 15 August, 25 December. One of the sections of the Natural History Museum of the University of Florence and is the oldest scientific museum in Europe. The museum was established in 1775. Today it houses two distinct collections: the zoological one with examples of animals preserved mainly through straw, and the anatomical one, with wax models dating mostly from the eighteenth century. The name of the Specola refers to the observatory that the Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo had built on the roof, where, in addition to the original astronomical observatory, the historic but disused meteorological station of Florence, Museo La Specola, was also located. The Tribuna di Galileo, open only on special occasions, is a rare example of the neoclassical style in the city. It was inaugurated in 1841 and features a large statue of Galileo and some paintings dedicated to scientific knowledge. Some of the great scientist's scientific instruments were once displayed here together with the collections of the Accademia del Cimento, which are now in the Museo Galileo.
36 Basilica of Santa Maria del Carmine, Piazza del Carmine 14, ☎ +39 055 2382195. Full price €6/7, reduced price €4.5/5.0 (18-25 and university students), free under 18 (June 2017). Mon, Wed-Sat 10am-5pm; Sun and religious holidays 1pm-5pm. It is famous for hosting the cycle of frescoes in the Brancacci Chapel, a fundamental work of Renaissance art, decorated by Masaccio and Masolino, and later completed by Filippino Lippi. It was built in 1268 as part of a Carmelite convent that still exists today; only a few Romanesque-Gothic remains on the sides remain visible from that period. Following the devastating fire of 1771, which fortunately spared the Brancacci Chapel, it was completely renovated (apart from the facade) between 1775 and 1782. Its chapels contain some small masterpieces such as the monumental altar in colored marble, bronze and semi-precious stones in the Cappella Maggiore, the Baroque Cappella Corsini, the Crucifixion by Vasari and an altarpiece by the school of Andrea del Sarto in other chapels.
37 Church of Santa Felicita, Piazza Santa Felicita, 3 (A few steps from Ponte Vecchio on the left of Via de' Guicciardini), ☏ +39 055 213018, info@santafelicita.it. One of the oldest churches in the city from the Roman era, built near an early Christian cemetery, of which it still retains some tombstones and inscriptions, and on the remains of a 4th century basilica. In the subsoil there are a series of tunnels, from which it is also possible to see a stretch of the remains of the Roman Via Cassia, a few meters below today's ground level. In the mid-1300s, after the great plague, a new Gothic-style church was built, but only the fourteenth-century chapter house with fragmentary frescoes by Niccolò di Pietro Gerini is preserved intact. The church's current appearance dates back to the 1700s, when it was completely restructured, inspired by late sixteenth-century models. Inside the church there are important masterpieces of the Renaissance period, including the beautiful altarpiece of the Deposition by Pontorno, with the Annunciation by the same author next to it. Above the church passes the Vasari Corridor from which the grand dukes could attend religious functions without having to go down to the hall.
38 Giardino di Boboli (Behind Palazzo Pitti), ☎ +39 055 294883. Full price €7, reduced (European citizens aged 18/25 and teachers) €3.5, free for minors, children under 12, school groups , guides and other categories. Booking +3€. Mon-Sun 8:15-16:30 (March and October until 17:30; April-May and September until 18:30; June-August until 19:30), closed first and last Monday of the month, New Year's Eve , May 1st, Christmas. Historical park of the city and UNESCO heritage, born as the grand ducal garden of Palazzo Pitti, it is also connected to the Forte di Belvedere, a military outpost for the safety of the sovereign and his family. It is one of the most important examples of Italian garden in the world and is a real open-air museum, due to the architectural-landscape setting and the collection of sculptures, ranging from Roman antiquities to the 20th century. The gardens behind Palazzo Pitti, first residence of the Medici, then of Lorraine and Savoy, were built between the 15th and 19th centuries and occupy an area of about 45,000 m². Remarkable is the importance that the statues and buildings assume in the garden, such as the eighteenth-century Kaffeehaus (rare example of rococo style in Tuscany), which allows you to enjoy the view over the city, or the Limonaia, still in the original Lorraine green colour. The garden has four entrances that can be used by the public: from the Ammannati courtyard of Palazzo Pitti, from the Forte di Belvedere, from via Romana (the Annalena entrance) and from the piazzale di Porta Romana, as well as an "extra" exit onto the piazza Pitti.
39 Museum of fashion and costume, Piazza Pitti 1, ☎ +39 055 294883. Full price €7, reduced (European citizens between 18 and 25 and Italian teachers) €3.5, free for minors, school groups, etc. Visit booking +€3. The ticket also allows entry to the Silver Museum, the Porcelain Museum, the Boboli Gardens and the Bardini Gardens. Mon-Sun 8:15-16:30 (March and October until 17:30, April, May and September until 6.30pm, June, July and August until 6.50pm). The Costume Gallery is one of the museums housed in Palazzo Pitti in Florence, in particular in the Meridiana building, a pavilion to the south of the building which can also be accessed from the Boboli Gardens. The building was built by the Lorraines in 1776 and completed in the first half of the 1800s. The gallery, on the other hand, was founded in 1983 and today houses more than 6,000 artefacts, including antique clothes (the oldest date back to the 16th century), accessories, theatrical costumes and films of great documentary importance, making it one of the most important fashion museums in the world. Among the exceptional rarities in the museum are the funeral clothes of Grand Duke Cosimo I de' Medici and his wife Eleonora di Toledo.
40 Stefano Bardini Museum, Via dei Renai, 37 (it is located near Ponte alle Grazie), ☎ +39 055 2342427. The museum houses more than 3600 works, including paintings, sculptures, armor, musical instruments, ceramics, coins, medals and antique furniture mostly from the donation made to the city of Florence by the antiques dealer Stefano Bardini.


Piazza Santa Trinita and surroundings

41 Santa Trinita Bridge. It connects Piazza Santa Trinita to Piazza de' Frescobaldi, with two important palaces at each bridgehead: Palazzo Spini Feroni to the north and Palazzo della Missione to the south. It was initially built in wood in 1252, but following the first collapse it was rebuilt four times in stone. The third in 1571 by Bartolomeo Ammannati, based on a design by Michelangelo, thus creating the oldest elliptical arch bridge in the world. In 1608, on the occasion of the wedding of Cosimo II with Maria Maddalena of Austria, four allegorical statues were added which decorate the corners and which depict the four seasons. On 16 May 1958 it was rebuilt for the fourth time (following its destruction during the war in 1944) by reusing the stones and statues found in the river bed, extracting the missing stones from the Boboli quarry. The head of the spring statue, initially missing, was later recovered.
42 Piazza Santa Trinita. Triangular square dominated by the church of Santa Trinita, from which it takes its name. Once isolated outside the second circle of walls, after the foundation of the church and convent of the Vallombrosans (11th century) it was later included in the circle of 1172-75. With the construction of the homonymous bridge in 1252 it became an important crossroads for the expanding city. In the center of the square stands the Column of Justice, a mighty oriental granite column from the Baths of Caracalla, the last remaining intact among the ruins of that bath complex, donated by Pope Pius IV in 1563 to Cosimo I. In 1581 it was added at the top the statue of Justice (one of the four cardinal virtues) by Francesco Ferrucci, hence the current name. The square, similar to the illustrations in an architectural history manual, contains three important buildings with the typical characteristics of the patrician residential style of three contiguous centuries: the fourteenth-century and medieval Palazzo Spini Feroni (now the headquarters of Ferragamo), the sixteenth-century and Buondelmonti, finally the sixteenth-century Mannerist Palazzo Bartolini Salimbeni.
43 Palazzo Strozzi, Piazza Strozzi (Between via Strozzi and via Tornabuoni), ☎ +39 055 2645155 (ticket office), +39 055 391711 (administrative office), info@palazzostrozzi.org. Free admission to the courtyard, but the exhibitions are often paid. Mon-Sun 9am-8pm (Thurs until 11pm). A true masterpiece of Florentine Renaissance civil architecture, it was begun in 1490 at the behest of Filippo Strozzi, a wealthy merchant belonging to one of the wealthiest families in Florence, traditionally hostile to the Medici faction and for this reason exiled in 1434. The voluntarily built of a larger size than Palazzo Medici, from which it copied the cubic shape developed on three floors around a central courtyard, it was finished in 1538 except for an incomplete cornice on one side, as it still is today. In 1864 the so-called bench of via da Giuseppe Poggi was added along via Tornabuoni, partly to protect the building from the passage of carriages and partly as a courtesy to the citizens. Outside are torch holders, torches, flag bearers and horse rings in wrought iron, the best example of this artistic form and masterpiece by Niccolò Grosso known as il Caparra, the most famous blacksmith in Florence active in the 15th century. On each of the three sides facing the street there are three arched portals, of solemn classicism, which allow free access to the courtyard of the palace.
44 Palazzo Davanzati, Via di Porta Rossa 13, ☎ +39 055 2388610, museo.davanzati@polomuseale.firenze.it. Full €2, reduced (European citizens aged 18/25 and teachers) €1, free for minors, school groups and other categories. Mon-Sun 8:15-13:50, closed: 2nd and 4th Sun of the month and on the 1st, 3rd, 5th Mon of the month, New Year's Eve, May 1st, Christmas. The palace represents an excellent example of Florentine residential architecture of the 14th century, built towards the middle of the century by the Davizzi family, wealthy art merchants from Calimala. In 1578 Bernardo Davanzati, an equally wealthy merchant, took possession of it by having the family coat of arms affixed to the facade and also making other changes including the loggia terrace on the third floor, in place of the original battlements typical of medieval tower-houses. In 1910 it opened to the public for the first time as the Museo dell'Antica Casa Fiorentina, but the owner, the antique dealer Elia Volpi, sold all the original furniture at auction. In 1951 the Italian State became the new owner who definitively used it as a museum, with furniture, paintings and objects coming in part from other Florentine museums and in part from purchases and donations received.

45 Palazzo Spini Feroni
46 Palazzo Buondelmonti
47 Palazzo Bartolini Salimbeni
48 Palazzo Minerbetti

49 Basilica of Santa Trinita
50 Columns of Florence


Basilica of San Miniato al Monte, Via delle Porte Sante (In the Viali dei Colli area, not far from Piazzale Michelangelo), ☎ +39 055 234 2731, fax: +39 055 234 5354, sanminiato@tin.it. Mon-Fri 9:30-19:00. Church dedicated to the first martyr of the city and built on the site of his hermitage, whose construction began in the early 1000s. The facade of San Miniato is one of the masterpieces of Florentine Romanesque architecture, inspired by a solid and geometric classicism taken from the inlays marble of Roman monumental buildings. The current bell tower dates from the first half of the 1500s, because the previous one collapsed in 1499. The inlaid floor dates back to 1207 and, together with that of the Baptistery, is among the best in the city. The crypt, the oldest part of the church (11th century), is surmounted by the high altar which is supposed to contain the bones of San Miniato. On the vault of the crypt there are frescoes by Taddeo Gaddi which date back to 1341.


Events and parties

Florentine New Year. March 25th. Exactly nine months before Christmas (in order to mark the incarnation of Jesus), the Tuscan New Year is celebrated in Florence which until 1750 marked the beginning of the calendar year. A colorful procession will start from the Palagio up to the basilica of the Santissima Annunziata.
Explosion of the Cart. At Easter. This festival takes place on Easter day, in front of Santa Maria del Fiore. After traveling the city, pulled by four oxen with decorated and golden hooves and horns, a wagon loaded with fireworks and petards is set on fire. This is done using a dove that slides along a wire strung between the chariot of the main altar. After traveling all the way down the aisle, the dove gets to hit the tank and trigger the explosion. According to tradition, the bigger the explosion and the more fires, the better the year.
Florentine historic football (Piazza Santa Croce). 24, 25 and 26 June. The order of the matches is drawn at the Scoppio del carro and the games take place in Piazza Santa Croce, covered in sand and surrounded by terraces. Best to book or be invited to make sure you attend. The places are very crowded. The first part, on the day of San Giovanni, is preceded by a parade of over 500 people who connect Piazza Santa Maria Novella and Santa Croce to the sound of trumpets and drums. This festival commemorates a famous part of this game, which dates back to Roman antiquity, and which took place in full siege on February 17, 1530. The four teams competing for victory are those belonging to the four historic districts of Florence: the Bianchi di Santo Spirito, the Blues of Santa Croce, the Reds of Santa Maria Novella and the Greens of San Giovanni.
Pitti man, woman, child (Pitti immagine) (Mainly inside the Fortezza da Basso, with events set up in various parts of the city). Three major events that take place twice a year and bring together fashion professionals for men, women and children. The months of January and in particular of July are essential and it is almost impossible to find accommodation if you have not booked in advance.
Fires of San Giovanni (Patron of Florence), Piazzale Michelangelo. June 24th.


What to do

1 Michelangelo Institute of Florence, Via Ghibellina, 88, ☎ +39 055 240975, michelangelo@dada.it. Mon-Fri 09:00-17:00, Sat 16:00-19:00. Founded in 1975, the Michelangelo school organizes Italian language courses for foreigners, Italian cooking and art history courses, painting, sculpture and photography programs.
2 Leonardo da Vinci School Florence, Via Bufalini, 3, ☎ +39 055 261181, florence@scuolaleoanrdo.com. Mon-Fri 08:00-17:30. Italian school for foreigners for those who want to study and learn the Italian language and culture in Florence or online. It offers courses for all levels and all year round.
Climb the Duomo or Giotto's Bell Tower. Via the spiral staircases inside the cathedral or the nearby bell tower to see some of the best views in Florence. Not only can you see the Tuscan countryside in the distance and the imposing palaces and churches of Florence in the foreground, it also shows you how big the Duomo is.
3 Stroll in the Boboli gardens. These large gardens behind Palazzo Pitti offer excellent views over the city of Florence and numerous sculptures in a relaxing environment. Stop by the hillside café, grab a drink and an outdoor seat, and enjoy the view.
4 View from Piazzale Michelangelo. It's a large square on a hill, but quite far from the traditional tourist sites. It is also easy to reach on foot using the stairs called "Rampe di San Niccolò". They are located on the side of the Arno river just in front of the national library. Do it during the summer and during the night to admire the lights of Florence.

Sport facilities
5 Artemio Franchi Stadium, Viale Manfredo Fanti, 48. Venue for Fiorentina football matches. It was designed by the engineer Pier Luigi Nervi in 1930.
6 Ippodromo delle Cascine (Hippodrome of Visarno), Parco delle Cascine.


Getting here

By plane
The 1 Amerigo Vespucci airport (IATA: FLR), located in the suburb of Peretola, is about 5 km from the city center and is connected by shuttle bus, from February 2019 also by the new T2 tram line, from Piazza dell'Unità, in front at the Santa Maria Novella station.
A low-cost alternative is Pisa Galileo Galilei Airport (IATA: PSA), 80 km away, from where you can reach Florence in an hour by train.

By car
The city is served by two highways:
A1 Milan-Naples, connects Milan and Naples also passing through Bologna and Naples. Managed by Autostrade per l'Italia.
A11 Firenze Mare, connects Florence and Pisa passing through Prato, Montecatini Terme and Lucca. Managed by Autostrade per l'Italia.

On the train
The main railway station is Santa Maria Novella. There are many other stations such as Rifredi, Campo di Marte.

Florence is located on the Tyrrhenian high-speed line which connects Northern and Southern Italy. Many cities are connected daily by Trenitalia and Italo. Among these cities Venice, Bologna, Verona, Brescia, Milan, Turin, Rome, Naples and Salerno. Trenitalia high-speed trains also connect the city with Genoa in just over 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Florence is then connected with regional lines to many localities in the region and beyond, including Bologna, Prato, Pisa, Livorno, Arezzo and Perugia.

By bus
Flixbus directly connects Florence with Rome (3h30, high frequency during the day), Milan (4h, frequency more or less every hour), Venice (5h, about ten buses in the morning and in the evening), Naples (7h , every 2-3 hours), Geneva (12h, at night unless there is a change in Milan), Marseille (9h), Paris (17h), Munich (9h, 4 buses a day), Zurich (9h h), Frankfurt (14h), Vienna (12h) and Budapest (14h).

Buses leaving or arriving in Florence end in Piazzale Montelungo next to the Santa Maria Novella station. Transit buses pass from Villa Constanza Park & Ride, just off the A-1 motorway on the western edge of the city, to reach the stop take Tram 1. (See "Getting Around: By Tram" for more details).

For Siena, take the Tiemme SpA bus leaving from a small underground depot across the road, west of the Santa Maria Novella railway station.


Get around

By public transport
ATAF, the Florentine area transport company, takes care of travel in the urban area of Florence and throughout its province. GEST, on the other hand, deals with the management of the tram service.

As far as the city is concerned, two types of services are available: the bus and the tram. The ticket for the two services is the same, costs €1.5 (€2.5 if purchased on board and €1.8 if purchased via SMS) and lasts 90 minutes from the first validation (February 2018). Tickets can be purchased in numerous tobacconists and newsagents. There are also ticket offices managed directly by ATAF, which it is advisable to contact in the event of complicated requests or the issue of season tickets:

Ataf Point (Santa Maria Novella station - ticket office counters 8-9), salaclienti@ataf.fi.it. Mon-Sat 6.45am–8pm.
Ticket Point, Via Alamanni 20r. Mon-Sat 7am–7.30pm.
Automatic ticket machines are also present near the University, Piazza San Marco, the Santa Maria Novella, Campo di Marte and Rifredi railway stations, the Meyer Hospital and in all tram stops.

As mentioned above, it is possible to buy a ticket in a more convenient but more expensive way, by sending an SMS with the writing ATAF to the number 4880105. After a few seconds you will receive an SMS containing the time and date of issue, the validity (90 minutes ) and a unique code. By sending more SMS you will get more tickets that can be used by more people.

By Tram
Florence has two tram lines:
T1 "Leonardo" - Careggi Hospital <=> Villa Costanza: has 26 intermediate stops and takes about 40 minutes to cover the entire route
T2 "Vespucci" - Unit <=> Peretola Airport: has 12 intermediate stops and takes about 22 minutes to cover the entire route

The service runs from 5am to midnight, extending to 2am on Friday and Saturday evenings. The frequency varies from a minimum of 4'20 in peak hours to 15'30 at night. On Saturdays and Sundays the frequency is lower.



1 Albrici, Via dei Serragli 20R, ☎ +39 055 211095, info@albrici.com. Mon 15.00-19.00 Tue-Sat 9.00-13.00 15.00-19.00. Antique and Italian handicraft shop located in the traditional Oltrarno area. The ten-year activity of the shop, founded in 1961, is recognized by the Municipality of Florence with the registration in the register of "Florentine Historical Shops".
2 Recollection by Albrici, Via dei Serragli 22R, recollection@albrici.com. Space dedicated to vintage clothes and accessories inside the historic Florentine Albrici shop.
3 Fratelli Alinari showroom, Largo Fratelli Alinari, 15 (Next to the watch shop with the "Citizen" sign there is a passage that ends in an internal courtyard. The shop is on the right.), ☎ +39 055 2395 232. Mon-Fri 09:00-13:00; 14:00-18:00. The oldest company in the world in communication through photographic images, whose vast archive is recognized throughout the world, has a print shop and photographic books here for enthusiasts. A good way to spend some time choosing among beautiful photographs to buy a souvenir and an authentic souvenir of the city.
4 Perfume-Pharmaceutical Workshop of Santa Maria Novella, Via della Scala, 16, ☎ +39 055 216276. Mon-Sun 09:00-20:00. The incredible shop of one of the world's finest perfume fevers. Here you can visit the stylish interiors and the museum opened in the old production laboratory (today in the Rifredi district). You can try and smell all the essences in production and buy them directly. For lovers of beauty and luxury, this is a place not to be missed.

5 Central Market (Mercato di San Lorenzo), Piazza del Mercato Centrale. The market offers a wide range of food products. On the mezzanine floor it is possible to sit down to consume food cooked by restaurants.
6 Sant'Ambrogio market, Piazza Lorenzo Ghiberti. Mon-Sat 7.00-14.00. The market offers groceries and food outlets. Outside there are several stalls for the purchase of clothing and footwear.
7 Mercato Nuovo (Loggia del Porcellino), Piazza del Mercato Nuovo (It is located at the crossroads between Via Porta Rossa and Via Calimala). Every day 9.00 - 18.30. Market where you can buy leather goods and souvenirs. In correspondence with the loggia where the market stalls are located is the Porcellino fountain, one of the most popular monuments in Florence.
8 Cascine Market, Viale Lincoln - Piazzale Kennedy, Cascine Park. 7.00 - 14.00 on Tuesdays. The largest market in the city with many stalls where you can find groceries, clothing, shoes, bags, housewares, small items for the home and garden, small antiques.



Some typical Florentine dishes are:
Florentine steak - Generally ordered, in restaurants, by weight.
Trippa alla Fiorentina - Cow's stomach that is eaten mainly in winter and sold through stalls and kiosks in various places in the city.
Crostini and mixed cold cuts - Slices of baguette (whip) with chicken liver, meat sauce, mushrooms, ham, salami, finocchiona etc...
Panzanella - Bread and vegetables soaked in olive oil.
Ribollita - "Poor" dish of peasant origin that derives from the typical soup of stale bread and vegetables, including black cabbage and beans.
Lampredotto - The abomasum, one of the four stomachs of the cow, boiled and served with spices on a plate or in a sandwich.

Modest prices
1 Osteria All'Antico Vinaio, Via dei Neri, 65R, ☎ +39 055 238 2723. Mon-Sun 10:30-23:00. Excellent sandwiches and focaccias perfect for frugal lunches. Seating is tight and limited. Its fame is such that the queues at the entrance to the two venues can even exceed 100 metres; in these situations it is advisable to go to one of the other adjacent taverns which have comparable quality.
2 Vecchia Firenze, Borgo Albizi 18 (near Piazza Duomo), ☎ +39 055 2340361, fax: +39 055 242301, vecchia.firenze@libero.it. Tue-Sun 12:00-15:00 and 19:00-22:00.
3 Amici di Ponte Vecchio, Via de' Bardi, 39 (Pontevecchio), ☎ +39 055 205 3172, stefano.masini@live.it. 11.30-16.30. Pizza, crushed bread, covaccini (artisan crushed bread, produced on site), wine by the glass, take away and much more.
4 Fresh Pasta Boutique, Via Domenico Cirillo 2/c (outside the centre, near Piazza delle Cure), ☎ +39 055 578087. First courses from €5, quarter of wine from €1. 12:00-14:30. Quick meal, delicious home made pasta with various gravy options, even desserts.
5 La Fiaschetteria delle Cure, Viale Alessandro Volta 114 (outside the centre, near Piazza delle Cure), ☏ +39 055 589470, info@lafiaschetteriadellecure.it. Aperitif from €7, glass of wine from €3. Bulk wine at popular prices, abundant aperitifs, traditional Tuscan dishes.

Average prices
6 Fiaschetteria Nuvoli, Piazza dell'Olio, 15, ☎ +39 055 239 6616. Mon-Sat 08:00-21:00; Sun 09:30-17:30. Very small and busy place, very close to Piazza del Duomo. It offers typical Florentine cuisine in a decidedly characteristic setting.
7 I Due Fratellini, Via de Cimatori 38/r., ☎ +39552396096. €3.00 per sandwich. 9-19. Ancient winery, offering a large selection of wines and sandwiches, just behind Piazza della Signoria.
8 Il Latini, Via dei Palchetti, 6r, ☎ +39 055 210916. Meal from €40. Tue-Fri 19:30-22:30, Sat-Sun 12:30-14:30 and 19:30-22:30. Renowned for steak, with lively staff and sharing tables.
9 Trattoria Sostanza, Via del Porcellana, 25/R, ☎ +39 055 212691. Mon-Fri 12:30-14:00; 19:30-21:45. Also known as "The Troy". Authentic place and frequented a lot, especially by tourists. Reservations are recommended.
10 Trattoria Palle D'Oro dal 1860, Via Sant'Antonino, 43, ☎ +39 055 288383. Mon-Sat 12:00-14:30 and 18:45-21:30.

High prices
11 Enoteca Pinchiorri, Via Ghibellina, 87 (100 from Santa Croce), ☎ +39 055 242777. Appetizers from €80, main courses from €100. Tue-Sat 7.30pm-10pm. One of the best and most renowned restaurants in Italy. On the other hand, it has prices that are not accessible to everyone.
12 Il Cibreo, Via Dei Macci, 118/R (corner of Via Andrea del Verrocchio), ☎ +39 055 234 11 00, fax: +39 055 244 966. 50/100€. Mon-Sun 12:50-14:30 and 18:50-23:15. Excellent choice of Tuscan dishes with highly selected ingredients.

Ice cream shops
13 Edoardo Gelato Bio, Piazza Duomo 45, 50127 Florence, Italy (Next to the cathedral), ☎ +(39)3335969291, info@edoardobio.it. 3€ cone 2 flavours. Mon-Sun 11am-11pm. Gelateria a few steps from the cathedral with organic certification from the QCertificazioni Institute. Ice cream cones freshly made in front of customers and served still warm. Interiors reminiscent of the 1940s accompanied by the vintage clothing of the staff evoke an atmosphere that will be remembered. Good prices and friendly service.
14 Gelateria de Medici, Via dello Statuto 3/5 r., ☎ +39055475156, info@gelateriademedici.com. 1.50 small cone. Popular Florentine artisan ice cream shop, known for its Crema de' Medici flavour. Open late in the evening, closed on Mondays.


Night clubs

Bamboo Lounge Club, via Verdi 57/R (In the historical centre), ☎ +39 339 4298764, info@bambooloungeclub.com. Free admission for women until 1.00. Local for an adult audience, with lounge, house, hip hop music and table service by reservation. Vip room, excellent drinks and refined brands of whiskey and rum. Selection at the entrance.



Florence is an exquisite European city that has many places to stay at reasonable prices, just a few steps away from the attractions that have made this city famous, in Italy, in Europe and in the world. Obviously there are other types of facilities available, such as B&Bs, apartments or single rooms depending on the needs of you tourists. Visiting Florence is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Modest prices
1 Hotel Casci, Via Cavour, 13 - 50129 Florence, ☎ +39 055 211 686, fax: +39 055 239 6461, info@hotelcasci.com. double 80-150 €. Hotel Casci is a family-run hotel in Via Cavour, a few steps from the Duomo, the Uffizi Gallery and the Ponte Vecchio. Ideal for families, it offers various types of rooms including singles, quadruples and communicating rooms, all with breakfast, also available with gluten-free products.
2 Hotel Europa, Via Cavour 14, 50129 Florence, ☎ +39 055 2396715, fax: +39 055 268984, firenze@webhoteleuropa.com. The Hotel Europa is located in Via Cavour, a few steps from the Duomo and has comfortable rooms with a view of the dome. It can be reached on foot in a few minutes from the central railway station of Santa Maria Novella and is also very convenient for those who reach Florence by car as it has a garage. Services: buffet breakfast, laundry, reservations for museums, theaters and restaurants.
3 Hotel Masaccio, Via Masaccio. Although it is not of high pretensions, it is located about 15 minutes walk from the Piazza del Duomo in the center, low prices and well-furnished rooms.
4 Hotel Palazzuolo, Via Palazzuolo, 71 - 50129 Florence, ☎ +39 055 214611, fax: +39 055 212101, info@hotelpalazzuolo.com. double 60-140 €. The Hotel Palazzuolo is located in the historic center of the city, very close to the central station of Santa Maria Novella and the major city museums. All our rooms are very spacious, comfortable and bright.
5 Hotel Fedora, Via Spartaco Lavagnini, 45 - 50129 Florence, ☎ +39 055 480013, fax: +39 055 486256, info@hotel-fedora.it. double 60-140 €. Hotel Fedora, a 2-star hotel in Florence, is located 500 meters from the Central Station of Santa Maria Novella and only 50 meters from the Fortezza da Basso Congress Center and Piazza Indipendenza.
6 Hotel Colomba (Hotel in Florence), Via Cavour 21 (From the station go to the Duomo and then turn into Via Martelli, which continues into Via Cavour), ☎ +39 055 289139, fax: +39 055 7349823, info@hotelcolomba. com. €80 double. The Hotel Colomba is a three-star hotel with excellent reviews in the center of Florence, a few meters from the Duomo and within walking distance of the Santa Maria Novella station. It has triple and quadruple rooms for groups and families. The hotel has an agreement with a central garage for those who prefer to reach Florence by car and its staff is available to advise and organize visits to the city.
7 Hostel Florence Experience, via Maggio, 9 (near Ponte Vecchio and Palazzo Pitti), ☎ +39 55 293215, florenceexperiencehostel@gmail.com. Dorm: €18/bed, private double room €22/person. Hostel in a noble and historic Florentine building built in the 14th century and completed in the 17th century. The rooms are clean and rates include wifi internet access.
8 Hotel la Gioconda, Via Panzani, 2, ☎ +39 055 211023, fax: +39 055213136, info@hotellagioconda.it. Central 3-star hotel
9 Bed and Breakfast Florence Stadium (B&B Florence Stadium), via Campo d'Arrigo, 15/A, ☏ +39 055 212617, info@florencestadium.it. 45. New Bed and Breakfast in the Campo di Marte area in Florence, spacious rooms and breakfast included, near the stadium and the Mandela Forum
10 Bed & Breakfast Le Stanze di Santa Croce, Via delle Pinzochere, 6 (A few steps from Santa Croce), ☎ +39 347 25 93 010. Relaxing B&B equipped with every comfort and all the services to spend your holiday.
Bianca B&B, Via Giovanni Fabbroni, 49, ☎ +39 3494500527, info@biancafirenze.it. 40/100 €. Check-in: 2.00pm, check-out: 11.00am. The Bianca Bed & Breakfast is located in a quiet residential area, full of shops and means of transport: in just 10' by tram or 20' on foot you can reach the center of Florence. Even shorter is the distance from the Santa Maria Novella station, the Fortezza da Basso exhibition center, the Careggi and Meyer hospital area.

Average prices
Hotel Kraft Florence (4-star hotel), Via Solferino 2, ☎ +39 055 284273, fax: +39 055 2398267, info@krafthotel.it.
11 Grand Hotel Adriatico (4-star hotel), Via Maso Finiguerra 9, ☎ +39 055 27931, fax: +39 055 289661, info@hoteladriatico.it. from 80.00 to 310.00 euros. Check-in: 14.00, check-out: 12.00. The Grand Hotel Adriatico is a modern 4-star hotel in the historic center of Florence, just 200 meters from the Santa Maria Novella station; a 10-minute walk from the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, Palazzo della Signoria, the Uffizi Gallery and all the major tourist attractions in Florence. The congress and exhibition center of the city, the Palazzo dei Congressi, the Palazzo degli Affari and the Fortezza da Basso are easily reachable on foot.
12 Hotel Rivoli (4-star hotel), Via della Scala 33, ☎ +39 055 27861, fax: +39 055 294041, info@hotelrivoli.it. from 90.00 to 350.00 euros. Check-in: 14.00, check-out: 12.00. The Hotel Rivoli, in the historic center of Florence, offers classy hospitality in a charming context, with spacious rooms and suites furnished with refined elegance, a 4-star superior hotel, born from the renovation of a 14th-century Franciscan convent century located a few steps from Santa Maria Novella and the most important monuments and museums of the city.
13 Hotel NH Anglo American (4-star hotel), Via Garibaldi, 9. 50123 Florence, ☎ +39 055 282114, nhangloamerican@nh-hotels.com. The NH Anglo American hotel in Florence is located in a quiet and central location, between the Lungarno area and Borgo Ognissanti. The classically styled hotel has retained all of its unique original features, and evokes the city's glamorous era.
14 Hotel NH Porta Rossa (4-star hotel), Via Porta Rossa, 19. 50123 Florence, ☎ +39 055 2710911, nhportarossa@nh-hotels.com. The NH Porta Rossa hotel in Florence represents a piece of the city's history, with its modern reinterpretation of classic aesthetics. Built in the 12th century, the NH Porta Rossa is one of the oldest hotels in Italy.
15 Albergo Firenze (central hotel in Florence), Piazza Donati, 4, ☎ +39 055 268301, +39 055 214203, info@albergofirenze.net.
16 Palazzo Castri (3 Star Hotel), Piazza Indipendenza, 7 (San Lorenzo district), info@palazzocastri.com.
17 Hotel Montreal, via della Scala, 43, ☎ +39 055 2382331, fax: +39 055 287491, info@montreal.com. Double room from €50 to €180. The Hotel Montreal is located in the historic center of the city, very close to the central station of Santa Maria Novella and the major city museums. All 20 rooms are very spacious, comfortable and bright and equipped with private bathroom and the most modern comforts.
18 Hotel Park Palace, Piazzale Galileo,5, ☎ +39 055 222431, fax: +39 055 220517, hotel@parkpalace.com. The 4-star superior Hotel Park Palace is located in a quiet and peaceful residential area, surrounded by a romantic garden with swimming pool. The location is enviable; a few steps from the historic center of Florence and its most famous monuments such as the Duomo, Palazzo Pitti and the Uffizi Gallery.
19 Hotel Morandi alla Crocetta, Via Laura 50 (5 minutes on foot from the Duomo), ☎ +39-055-2344747, fax: +39-055-2480954, welcome@hotelmorandi.it. 100-160€ double room. Check-in: 14:00-21:00, check-out: 07:30-12:00. Historic hotel in the center housed in the suggestive architecture of the former Dominican monastery of the early 16th century of the Crocetta. With TV, air conditioning, free wifi and private garage.
20 LHP Hotel River & SPA, Lungarno della Zecca Vecchia, n. 18 - 50122 Firenze (From the A1 exit at Firenze Sud and follow signs for the city centre. From the station take bus 14 and get off at the Giovine Italia stop.), ☎ +39 055 2343529, fax: +39 055 2343531, river@lhphotels .com. Free buffet breakfast, wifi, panoramic terrace, bar, garden and patio, cooking school, wine tasting, itineraries and guided tours, jogging trainers, rooms for the disabled, pet friendly reception, business services and corporate conventions.
21 Hotel Unicorno, via dei Fossi, 27, ☎ +39 055 287313, info@hotelunicorno.it. €80. Check-in: 2.00pm, check-out: 11.30am. 3-star hotel located in the historic center in an elegant street of antique shops which leads into Piazza Santa Maria Novella.
22 Hotel Golf, Viale F.lli Rosselli, 56, ☎ +39 055 281818, fax: +39 055 268432, info@hotelgolf.it. Hotel Golf is a 3-star hotel located 200 meters from Santa Maria Novella station.
23 Hotel Villa Carlotta, Via Michele di Lando, 3, ☎ +39 055 2336151, info@hotelvillacarlotta.it. Hotel Villa Carlotta is a romantic 1900s patrician villa located in a peaceful green oasis near Piazzale Michelangelo, Ponte Vecchio and Centro Calza.
24 Residenza Castiglioni (B&B Residenza Castiglioni), Via del Giglio 8 (In the San Lorenzo district), ☎ +39 055 2396013, fax: +39 055 2647251, info@residenzacastiglioni.com. Check-in: 1.00pm, check-out: 11.00am. Luxury Bed & Breakfasts. Refurbished rooms and elegant suites are housed in an ancient Florentine building. Pet-friendly and free breakfast, with products for celiacs.
25 Opera Boutique B&B, Via Lorenzo il Magnifico 62 (5 minutes on foot from the Fortezza da Basso and 10 from the Accademia museum), ☎ +39 388 0585005, info@operabeb.it. Check-in: 2.00pm, check-out: 11.00am. Opera is the reference point for couples who love a charming and relaxing holiday with all the exclusive comforts offered by a Boutique B&B.
26 Ad Astra Florence, Via del Campuccio 53 (In the Oltrarno district 10 minutes from Ponte Vecchio), ☎ +39 055 0750 602, info@adastraflorence.com. Check-in: 2.00pm, check-out: 10.00am. A historic residence with 14 rooms enriched by frescoed ceilings and individually furnished with elegant vintage elements, classics and contemporary touches. The most prestigious bedrooms and the living room are surrounded by a terrace overlooking the Torrigiani Garden.

High prices
27 Palazzo Magnani Feroni, Borgo San Frediano, 5 - 50124 Florence, ☎ +39 055 2399 544, fax: +39 055 2608 908, info@florencepalace.it. Luxury suite in a suggestive 16th century noble palace that belonged to the Marquis Feroni in the historic district of San Frediano. The suites are furnished with fine furniture and some have original frescoes from the 1500s. High quality services.
28 Porcellino Art Gallery Boutique B&B, Piazza del Mercato Nuovo, 4, ☎ +39 055 288464, fax: +39 055 288464, info@porcellinogallery.com. Il Porcellino Gallery Art Boutique B&B occupies the first floor of Palazzo Cavalcanti, a prestigious 16th century building in the heart of Florence, overlooking the ancient Piazza Mercato Nuovo, also known as the Piazza del Porcellino due to the presence of the famous statue of the wild boar bronze. Il Porcellino Gallery is just a few minutes from the Uffizi Gallery, Ponte Vecchio and Piazza della Signoria, where breakfast is served during the summer months, at the elegant Caffè Rivoire.
29 Hotel degli Orafi, Lungarno Archibusieri, 4 (On the right bank of the Arno, bordering the Uffizi), ☎ +39 055 26622, fax: +39 055 2662111, info@hoteldegliorafi.it. Magnificent 4-star hotel with a magnificent view over the entire historic center of Florence. You can stay in the famous room with a view, the scene of the James Ivory film of the same name. Ponte Vecchio is a short walk away.
30 Hotel Brittany (Charming hotel in Florence on the Arno riversides), Lungarno Corsini, 6 (On the Arno riversides a few steps from Ponte Vecchio), ☏ +39 055 289 618, info@hotelbretagna.net. Charming hotel.
31 Hotel Orto de' Medici (4-star hotel), Via San Gallo 30 (In the historic center and a few minutes' walk from Santa Maria Novella station), ☎ +39 055 483427, fax: +39 055 461276, hotel@ortodeimedici .it. from 90.00 to 210.00 euros. Check-in: 2.00pm, check-out: 11.00am. 4-star hotel with a wide choice of rooms: romantic with four-poster bed, triple and quadruple for groups and families. Inside, the historic garden where Michelangelo met Lorenzo de' Medici offers a corner of silence and tranquillity.
32 Hotel Spadai, Via dei Martelli, 10 (100 meters from the Duomo), ☎ +39 055 6270800, info@hotelspadai.it. 4-star luxury hotel located in a Renaissance building. The rooms, completely renovated and furnished in a modern and refined style, can accommodate families and couples. Some offer views of Brunelleschi's Dome. For a romantic trip there is the Private Spa to book for two and a panoramic observatory over Florence with free access. Breakfast and Wi-Fi included in the price.
33 San Firenze Suites & Spa, Piazza di San Firenze, 3/A (In the historical centre), ☏ +39 055 2850090, info@sanfirenzesuites.com. 4-star hotel in an elegant and chic style. Breakfast and Wi-Fi included in the price. A Private Spa for two people with hydromassage pool is available.
34 Ponte Vecchio Suites & Spa, Via De' Belfredelli, N° 9 (In a historic building a few meters from Ponte Vecchio), ☏ +39 055 217379, info@pontevecchiosuites.com. 4-star hotel with modern and elegant rooms and suites. The hotel offers a Private Spa for two with a Jacuzzi. Continental or American breakfast in the room and free Wi-Fi.
35 Palazzo Vecchietti, Via degli Strozzi, 4 (A few steps from Piazza della Repubblica), ☎ +39 055 2302802, fax: +39 055 215142, info@palazzovecchietti.com. Check-in: 2.00pm, check-out: 12.00pm. A period residence. Few suites, elegant and modern. The hotel also offers two apartments. Products for coeliacs and breakfast included in the room rate.
Hotel Calimala, Via Calimala 2 (Cenrale), ☎ +39 055 0936360, info@hotelcalimala.com. Modern-deco style boutique hotel with 16th century furnishings and materials. Large and well-kept panoramic rooftop, with bar and restaurant.



Although the health facilities in Florence are numerous, only the main hospitals in the urban area are listed below:
Careggi University Hospital (AOU Careggi), Largo Brambilla, 3 (Located in the Careggi area, in the northern part of the city, reachable by ATAF public transport: T1, 33, 40, 43 and 56), ☎ +39 055 794 111 (switchboard). The largest polyclinic hospital in Florence, one of the main ones in Italy.
Meyer Pediatric Hospital (AOU Meyer), Viale Gaetano Pieraccini 24 (Located near the Careggi AOU, it is served by the following urban lines: 33A, 33AB, 43), ☏ +39 055 56621. One of the oldest institutions dedicated to childhood . Its institutional purposes are the hospitalization, care and well-being of children, scientific research.
Hospital of Santa Maria Nuova, Piazza S. Maria Nuova, 1, ☎ +39 055 69381. The oldest hospital still active in Florence as well as the only one in the historic centre.
New Hospital of San Giovanni di Dio (Ospedale di Torregalli), Via di Torregalli 3, ☎ +39 055 69321. General hospital with over 300 beds which inherited the hospital activity of the old hospital of San Giovanni di Dio, in the center citizen.


How to keep in touch

Below is a list of post offices in the urban area:
Florence VR, Via Pellicceria, 3, ☎ +39 055 2736481, fax: +39 055 2736570.
Florence 1, Via Giuseppe Galliano, 27, ☎ +39 055 3219231, fax: +39 055 3200769.
Florence 11, Via Pietro Carnesecchi, 27, ☎ +39 055 5533331, fax: +39 055 582392.
Florence 16, Via Antonio Canova, 144, ☎ +39 055 7878731, fax: +39 055 7332514.
Florence 29, Via Andrea Cesalpino, 3/A, ☎ +39 055 4373751, fax: +39 055 4221001.
Florence 39, Via Luigi Alamanni, 14/16, ☎ +39 055 2674931, fax: +39 055 2399086.
Florence 37, Piazza Gino Bartali, 18, ☎ +39 055 6583931, fax: +39 055 6587144.
Florence 5, Via Torcicoda, 47/B, ☎ +39 055 7194831, fax: +39 055 713898.
Florence 6, Piazza Giacomo Puccini, 27/A, ☎ +39 055 334231, fax: +39.
Florence 7, Via Pietrapiana, 53, ☎ +39 055 2674231, fax: +39 055 2645571.
Florence Campo Marte, Via del Mezzetta, Snc, ☎ +39 055 609206, fax: +39 055 6122222.
Florence Novoli, Via Francesco Gremignani, Snc, ☎ +39 055 3425318, fax: +39 055 315624.

Inside some historic buildings whose walls are particularly thick, or inside some basement rooms (e.g. "holes"), cell phone reception could be poor or even completely absent.

The Municipality has joined the national FreeItaliaWifi network.

"FirenzeWiFi" is the network that offers free internet access up to 500MB per day. Simply open any non-secure page (i.e. HTTP and non-HTTPS) and click on the "Browse Free" button. In case of connection problems, you can ask for support at the email address info-wifi@comune.fi.it or at the city contact center by calling 055055 from Mon-Sat 8:00-20:00.


History of Florence

Ancient age
The Florentine plain and the surrounding hills have been inhabited since prehistoric times, as evidenced by the archaeological finds in the area.

The first stable settlement was a village on stilts, built around the 9th century BC. by the Etruscans in the Villanovan period, near a ford on the Arno river, in the center of a fertile plain. Around 150 BC, the Etruscans of nearby Visul (today's Fiesole), located high up on the hill, founded a "satellite city" near the Arno, to exploit the presence of the waterway, and built a first wooden bridge.

Already in Etruscan times, the city was called with the name Florentia, in Latin, a language that was establishing itself in the valley passed through by numerous wayfarers.

Florentia is an auspicious name: "may you be prosperous", "city of prosperity". Similarly Potentia, Piacentia, Valentia, Pollentia in other regions of the Empire. Even the ancient name of Granada, for example, was Florentia Illiberitana. The purely auspicious origin of the word Florentia has recently been confirmed by the Accademia della Crusca.

With the social war, the Etruscan Visul (allied with the Romans for a long time) obtained Roman citizenship, assuming the Latin name of Fæsule; probably in 59 BC, thanks to the Giulia Law, a colony for army veterans was created in Florentia, surrounded by walls, with the typical rectangular plan, and equipped with a central square (forum) where the main streets crossed (cardo and decumanus ). With this the city obtained administrative autonomy from Fiesole.

Seat of a bishop's diocese as early as the 4th century, the city was defined as a Municipium splendidssimum and, since the time of the emperor Hadrian, it was connected to Rome by the Via Cassia. Under Diocletian it was raised to Corrector Italiae (capital of Etruria and Umbria), and then passed through periods of Byzantine, Ostrogothic, Longobard and Frankish domination, during which the population sometimes dropped to a few thousand people.


Medieval age

From the 10th century the city developed and from 1115 it became an independent municipality. In the 13th century it was divided by the internal struggle between the Ghibellines, supporters of the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, and the Guelphs, in favor of the Roman papacy. After ups and downs, the Guelphs won (the so-called "battle of Colle", 17 June 1269), but soon internally divided into "Whites and Blacks": Dante Alighieri himself was deployed in the faction of the Whites and suffered forced exile with them .

Internal political conflict did not prevent the city from developing into one of the most powerful and prosperous in Europe, assisted by its own gold currency, the florin (introduced in 1252), by the decline of its rival Pisa (defeated by Genoa in 1284 and bought by Florence in 1406) and by its mercantile power resulting from an anti-aristocratic constitution, the so-called "Regulations of Justice" by Giano Della Bella (1293). The territorial expansion also involved Romagna and reached the gates of Forlì at the beginning of the 15th century).

Against an estimated population of 80,000 people before the Black Death of 1348 (immediately after Venice and immediately before Milan and Bologna)), about 25,000 people worked in the wool industry. In 1378 Florence was the scene of a "strike" and revolt by the Ciompis against the oligarchic rule of the city. After the repression and above all after the birth of a taxation system which for the first time had a progressive impact on income (through the Florentine cadastre of 1427), the city fell under the oligarchic dominion of a few families: first the Albizzi (1382-1434 ), then the Medici.


Renaissance age

Despite the thinning of republican freedom, it was under the dominion, indeed, the Lordship of this last family that Florence knew its was probably more auspicious. Through patronage the family acquired popular favor, which was crucial in some critical moments such as the Pazzi Conspiracy (1478), but also a lasting fame over the centuries, which allowed the city to concentrate and develop an enviable number of talents, gathered the best artists, men of letters, humanists and philosophers of the time: among others, the humanists Pico della Mirandola, Agnolo Poliziano, Marsilio Ficino and Cristoforo Landino; the painters Beato Angelico, Filippo Lippi, Sandro Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio and Perugino; the sculptors Andrea del Verrocchio and the young Michelangelo Buonarroti.

Florence is known as the cradle of the Renaissance, a term coined by the Tuscan treatise writer Giorgio Vasari: a period of great innovative ferment which, recovering the models of the ancient age promoted by humanistic studies, led to an overcoming of some schemes developed in the Middle Ages, placing the man as an individual at the center of the philosophical universe, and promoting an artistic production in the name of compositional and spatial clarity, of measured elegance and sobriety, which had an enormous influence on the development of European art. Among the main goals of this renewal we can list the "discovery" of the perspective method operated by Filippo Brunelleschi around 1416; the birth of Donatelli's "sciacciato" and Masaccio's no-frills painting in the Brancacci Chapel; the birth of light painting and the first hints of aerial perspective; the transmission of knowledge in the workshops through the basic study of drawing; the simultaneous presence of three absolute geniuses at the beginning of the 16th century: Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo Buonarroti and Raphael. Thanks to the ingenious policy of Lorenzo de' Medici, the artists became ambassadors of the supposed cultural supremacy of the city, radiating the new style to the major Italian and then European courts.


Modern age

The first period of Medici rule ended with the return of a republican government, influenced by the teachings of the radical Dominican prior Girolamo Savonarola (who was executed in 1498), in whose words we often find topics that will be the subject of religious controversies in the following centuries. The events of those years led to a modification of the secular order based on consular and potestarial governments. Another important character was Niccolò Machiavelli, whose indications for the government of Florence by a strong figure are often read as a legitimation of the intricacies and even the abuses of politicians. On May 16, 1527, the Florentines ousted the Medici again – brought back to power by the Spanish in 1512 – and re-established a republic.

This period of political and religious uncertainty brought with it serious social problems and a breakdown of the balance that had also been at the basis of artistic production: a new style was already developing in Florence at the beginning of the 16th century, which was later called Mannerism.

Restored for the second time in 1530, with the support of both the emperor and the pope, the Medici became hereditary dukes of Florence in 1532. In 1555, with an army formed with the Spanish and German allies, the Medici defeated Siena in the battle of Scannagallo, to then obtain, by decree of the peace of Cateau-Cambrésis, all the territory of the Republic of Siena with the exception of the Maremma coast, which went to form the State of the Garrisons, under Spanish control through the viceroy of Naples. Cosimo had the government of two States: the "Old" State of Florence and the New State of Siena, both autonomous Duchies separated in political and institutional structures, but united in the sole person of the sovereign. This ambiguous situation was resolved on August 27, 1569, when Cosimo obtained the title of grand duke of Tuscany from Pope Pius V, which indicated the power over both the duchy of Siena and that of Florence.

The seventeenth century brought the city to its maximum splendor in the field of science. Between 1654 and 1670, it was one of the first cities in the world to emerge in the field of meteorology thanks to the meteorological station of Florence Monastero degli Angeli, located in the convent structure of the same name. Precisely in that same period of time, the Accademia del Cimento was established in Florence, which gave further impetus to experimentation in the scientific field.

Florence over the centuries came to reign over all of Tuscany, with the exception of the Republic of Lucca, which remained independent and sovereign until the eighteenth century (with the arrival in Italy of Napoleon Bonaparte, who spent seven years of his life there) , and of the Duchy of Massa and Principality of Carrara, independent until 1829, when it was absorbed by the Duchy of Modena. The Grand Duchy first became the Kingdom of Etruria and was then incorporated directly into French territory. The Napoleonic looting of Tuscany dates back to this period. The extinction of the Medici dynasty and the ascension in 1737 of Francesco Stefano, Duke of Lorraine and husband of Maria Theresa of Austria, led to the inclusion of Tuscany in the territories of the Hapsburg sphere of influence. On November 30, 1786, the Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo promulgated the new criminal code, thanks to which, for the first time in the history of modern states, the death penalty and torture were abolished.


Contemporary age

The Grand Duchy of Tuscany was annexed to the Kingdom of Sardinia in 1859 by plebiscite, shortly before the birth of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861.

Florence replaced Turin as the capital of Italy in 1865, at the request of Napoleon III under the September Convention, until this role was transferred to Rome in 1871, after the papal city was annexed to the Kingdom. Insufficient space and urban form still linked to the Middle Ages, Florence was affected by a series of "renovations", which gave the city a more modern appearance, but which unfortunately saw the irreparable loss of very important historic buildings and entire neighborhoods such as the Mercato Old.

On May 18, 1895, the strongest earthquake ever recorded in the city occurred, with serious damage also to monumental buildings.

During the 19th century, Florence's population doubled, then tripled during the 20th century as tourism, commerce, financial services, and industry grew.

During the Second World War the city was occupied for one year by the Germans (1943-1944). In late July and early August 1944, New Zealand Army (2nd New Zealand Division) troops liberating Tuscany struck the Pian dei Cerri hills overlooking the city. After many days of vigorous fighting by the Germans, the New Zealanders forced the enemy to withdraw, having suffered extensive damage, such as the demolition of bridges and houses, by mines from the fleeing Germans. Florence is among the cities decorated for military valor for the war of liberation because it was awarded the gold medal for military valor for the sacrifices of its population and for its activity in the partisan struggle during the Second World War.

On November 4, 1966 there was the disastrous flood. A large part of the center was invaded by the water of the Arno river, with the fury of the waters that caused some victims and enormous devastation, invading the churches, palaces and museums, also destroying irreparably archives, works of art and many precious volumes. This immense drama was experienced by the world with a unique participation, soon starting an incredible solidarity contest that saw the birth of the famous mud angels, young people from all over the world who worked in the difficult work of recovering the treasures damaged art. Following the flood, innovative restoration techniques were developed in Florence, which have since made it a center of excellence in this sector of global importance.



The symbol on the coat of arms and on the gonfalon is the lily of Florence, symbol of the city since the 11th century. Today the lily is red on a white background even if in ancient times the colors were inverted precisely in reference to the color of the Iris florentina. The current colors date back to 1251 when the Ghibellines, in exile from Florence, continued to flaunt the symbol of Florence as their own. It was then that the Guelphs, who controlled Florence, distinguished themselves from their opponents by inverting the colors which have remained to this day. In 1809, the traditional Florentine symbol was attacked by Napoleon Bonaparte who, with a decree, tried to impose a new symbol for Florence: a flowering lily plant on a green lawn and a silver background surmounted by a red band and three bees golden (symbol dedicated to the great cities of the Napoleonic empire). The Florentine dissent did not lead to the decree being followed up.

In the tradition of the commedia dell'arte, the mask that symbolizes Florence is Stenterello.