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Description of Florence


Florence is one of the most beautiful cities in Italy that is considered to be home of a Renaissance. It was originally established by the Ancient Romans, but it rose to prominence in the 15th century. With the resources provided by wealthy patrons like Medici family and artists like Michelangelo or architects like Brunelleschi the city became the masterpiece of Renaissance art and planning.



Travel Destinations in Florence

Duomo (Florence)


Piazza del Duomo
Tel. 055- 230 28 85
Bus: 1, 6, 14, 17, 23
Cathedral Open: 10am- 5pm Mon- Sat, 10am- 4:30pm Thu, 10am- 4:45pm Sat, 1:30- 4:45pm Sun

Crypt Open: 10am- 5pm Mon- Fri, 10am- 4:45pm Sat

Baptistery Open: 12:15- 7pm Mon- Sat, 8:30am- 2pm Sun

Dome Open: 8:30am- 7pm Mon- Fri, 8:30am- 5:40pm

Campanile Open: 8:30am- 7:30pm daily

Closed: Jan 1, Easter, Aug 15, Sept 8, Dec 25

Duomo or Cathedral of Florence is the most prominent feature of the city. Its construction began in the late 13th century on a site of demolished 4th century church of Santa Reparata. Parts of the original church is still visible today in the Crypt of Duomo. Another ancient portion of the original church is the Baptistry. Parts of this building also date back to the 4th century.

The Dome of the church was designed by prominent architect Brunelleschi. He found a ingenious way to construct the main red dome. The inner shell that is covered by paintings and frescoes like Last Judgment by Vasari on the inside serves as the scaffold for the outer beautiful roof.

Museo dell'Opera del Duomo (Florence)

Piazza del Duomo 9

Tel. 055 230 2885

Open: 9am- 7:30pm Mon- Sat, 9am- 1:40pm Sun

Closed: Jan 1, Easter, Dec 25




Galleria dell’ Accademia (Florence)

Via Ricasoli 60
Tel 055- 29 48 83
Open: Tue- Sun
Closed: Mon & public holidays

The Academy of Fine Arts was originally established in 1563. It was the first school in Europe that was specifically designed to teach future artists their skills. The art collection date back to 1784.

Santissima Annunziata (Florence)

Piazza della Santissima Annunziata

Tel. 055 266181

Open: 7:30am- 12:30pm, 4- 6:30pm daily

Spedale degli Innocenti (Florence)

Piazza della Santissima Annunziata 12

Tel. 055 203 7308

Open: 10am- 7pm daily

Closed: Jan 1, Easter, Dec 25

Bargello (Florence)


Via del Proconsolo 4
Tel. 055- 29 48 83
Bus: A, 14
Open: 8:30am- 1:50 pm daily
Closed: 1st, 3rd & 5th Sun and 2nd & 4th Mon of each month, Jan 1, May 1, Dec 25

Uffizzi (Florence)

Loggiata degli Uffizi 6

Bus: B, 23

Tel. 055 238 8651, 055 294 883 (reservations)

Open: 8:15am- 6:50pm Tue- Sun

Closed: Jan 1, May 1, Dec 25


Convento di San Marco (Florence)

Piazza di San Marco

Tel. 055 287628

Open: 7am- 12pm, 4- 8pm

Museo di San Marco

Tel. 055 238 8608, 055 294883

Open: 8:15am- 1:50pm, 8:15am- 4:50pm Sat- Sun

Closed: Jan 1, May 1, Dec 25, 2nd and 4th Mondays, 1st, 3rd, 5th Sunday of each month

Convento di San Marco or Monastery of Saint Mark was constructed in the 13th century. In 1436 pope Eugene IV gave the monastery to Dominicans of Fiesole. Founder of the Medici dynasty, Cosimo il Vecchio paid large sums of money to increase the monastery in beauty and splendour. Cosimo hired his favourite architect Michelozzo to do the job. Among many new additions to the monastery famed architect constructed Europe's first public library housed in the monastery.

Museo Archeologico (Florence)

Via della Colonna 36

Tel. 055 235 75

Open: 8:30am- 7pm Tue- Fri, 8:30am- 2pm Sat- Sun

Closed: Jan 1, May 1, Dec 25

Orsanmichele (Florence)

Via dell'Arte della Lana

Tel. 055 284944

Open: 10am- 5pm daily

Closed: Jan 1, May 1, Dec 25

Santa Croce (Florence)

Piazza di Santa Croce

Tel. 055 246 6105

Bus: 23, C

Basilica Open: 9:30am- 5:30pm Mon- Sat, 1- 5:30pm Sun

Closed: during mass

Museo, Cloister and Cappella de' Pazzi

Open: 9:30am- 5:30pm Mon- Sat, 1- 5:30pm Sun

Closed: Jan 1, Dec 25


Museo Galileo (Florence)

Piazza de' Giudici

Tel. 055 26 5311

Open: 9:30am- 6pm daily

Closed: Jan 1, 6, May 1, Dec 8, 25, 26


Palazzo Vecchio (Florence)

Piazza della Signoria

Tel. 055 276 8224

Bus: A, B

Open: 9am- 7pm daily, 9am- 2pm Thu

Closed: Jan 1, Easter, May 1, Aug 15, Dec 25


Ponte Vecchio (Florence)




Palazzo Strozzi (Florence)

Piazza degli Strozzi

Tel. 055 264 5155

Palazzo Davanzati (Florence)

Via Porta Rossa 13

Tel. 055 238 8610

Open: 8:15am- 1:50pm daily

Closed: 1st, 3rd, 5th Monday and 2nd, 4th Sunday of the month

Cappelle Medicee (Florence)

Piazza di Madonna degli Aldobrandini

Tel. 055 238 8602, 055294883

Open: 8:15am- 1:50pm daily

Closed: 1st, 3rd, 5th Monday and 2nd, 4th Sunday of each month, Jan 1, May 1, Dec 25

Mercato Centrale (Florence)

Piazza del Mercato Centrale

Open: 7am- 2pm Mon- Sat


Santa Maria Novella (Florence)

Piazza di Santa Maria Novella

Bus: A, 11, 12, 36, 37

Church Tel. 055 219257

Open: 9am- 5:30pm daily, 11am- 5:30pm Fri, 12- 5:30pm Sun

Museo Tel. 055 282187

Open: 9am- 5pm Mon0 Thu, Sat, 9am- 2pm Sun

Closed: Jan 1, Easter, May 1, Aug 15, Dec 8, 25

Santa Maria Novella is a Roman Catholic church constructed by the Dominica order between 1279 and 1357 in Gothic architectural style. Santa Maria Novella church is famous for beautiful frescoes that are found inside the building. This includes The Trinity (c.1428) by Masaccio, The Life of John the Baptist (1485) by Ghirlandaio, The Decameron (1493) by Boccaccio and many others.


Cappella Brancacci (Florence)

Piazza del Carmine

Tel. 055 238 1295, 055 276 8224

Bus: D

Open: 10am- 5pm Mon, Wed- Sat, 1- 5pm Sun

Closed: Tuesdays, public holidays


Santo Spirito (Florence)

Piazza di Santo Spirito

Bus: D

Tel. 055 210030

Open: 10am- 12:30pm, 4- 5:30pm Mon- Sat, 4- 5:30pm Sun

Closed: Wednesday


Palazzo Pitti (Florence) de'Pitti

Bus: D, 11, 36, 37

Tel. 055 294883

Galleria Palatina, Royal Apartments Open: 8:15am- 6:50pm Tue- Sun

Closed: 25

Boboli Gardens Open: 8:15am- 6:30pm daily

8:15am- 5:30pm March, 8:15am- 7:30pm Nov- Feb, 8:15am- 4:30pm Nov- Feb

Closed: 1st and last Mondays of the month


San Miniato al Monte (Florence)

Via del Monte alle Croci

Tel. 055 234 27 31

Bus: 12, 13

Open: 8am- 12:30pm, 3- 5:30pm daily

Closed: public holidays


San Lorenzo (Florence)

P. San Lorenzo

Bus: 7, 10, 11, 25, 31, 32

Basilica Tel. 055 214042

Open: 10am- 5:30pm Mon- Sat, March- Oct

Biblioteca Tel. 055 210760

San Lorenzo is a Roman Catholic church that was erected in 1419 for the Medici family. The outer facade was not completed while the inner facade is the work of Michelangelo. This church also serves as a burial place for the founder of the Medici dynasty, Cosimo il Vecchio. His family will rise to prominence and their wealth will turn Florence into a beautiful monument to human ingenuity.


Ognissanti (Florence)

Borgo Ognissanti 42

Tel. 055 239 8700

Church Open: 7am- 12:30pm, 4- 8pm daily

Chirlandaio's The Last Supper Open: 9am- 12pm Mon, Tue, Sat

Ognissanti or Church of All Saints is a small medieval parish church. One of its members was a traveler and explorer Amerigo Vespucci who proved that the New World was not in fact India, but a whole new continent. It was later named after him.


Museo Nazionale Alinari della Fotografia (Florence)

Piazza Santa Maria Novella 14a

Tel. 055 216310

Open: 10am- 6:30pm Thu- Tue


Palazzo Antinori (Florence)

Via de'Tornabuoni

Closed to the public

Cantinetta Antinori Tel. 055 292234

Open: 12:30- 2:30pm, 7- 10:30pm Mon- Fri


Palazzo Rucellai (Florence)

Closed to the public

Via della Vigna Nuova 16


Piazzale Michelangelo (Florence)

Piazzale Michelangelo

Bus: 12, 13

Piazzale Michelangelo offers a great Florentine view from the height of the bird's view of river Arno and Ponte Vecchio Bridge below.


Santa Felicita (Florence)

Piazza di Santa Felicita

Bus: D

Tel. 055 21 30 18

Open: 9am- 12pm, 3- 6pm daily


History of Florence

Ancient age
The Florentine plain and the surrounding hills have been inhabited since prehistoric times , as evidenced by the archaeological findings in the area. The first permanent settlement was a village on stilts, built around the eleventh century BC by populations of Villanovan civilization , near a ford on the Arno River , in the middle 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, language that was becoming established in the valley passed by many travelers. It seems that the name derives from the "fertile" plain (in Latin florens ) where the inhabited nucleus was located, and not from the symbolic flower of the city, since the lily was adopted as an emblem only a few centuries later. The hypothesis that the name derives from King Fiorino, legendary first Etruscan ruler of the city, has little credit. Another hypothesis is that of Birenz , which in Etruscan means "between the waters", being at the confluence of the Arno with the Torrents Mugnone and Affrico. This word would then be Latinized by the Romans.

Following the wars between Silla and Mario , the Etruscan Visul became Roman, assuming the Latin name of Fæsule and, in 59 BC , thanks to the Giulia Law, Florentia also became a castrum for Roman veterans, surrounded by walls, with the typical plant rectangular, and equipped with a central square (hole) where they crossed the main streets (cardo and decumanus ).

Seat of a diocese since the fourth century , the city was called Municipium splendidissimum and, since the times of Emperor Hadrian , it was connected to Rome by the Via Cassia . Under Diocletian it was erected to Corrector Italiae (capital of Etruria and Umbria ) and then passed through periods of Byzantine , Ostrogoth , Longobard and Frankish domination , during which the population sometimes fell to a few thousand people.

Medieval age
Starting from the tenth century, the city developed and by 1115 became Municipality autonomous. In the thirteenth 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 alternating events, the Guelphs won (the so-called " battle of Colle ", June 17, 1269), but soon divided internally into " Bianchi e Neri " (Dante Alighieri himself was deployed in the Bianchi faction).

The internal political conflict did not prevent the city from developing to become one of the most powerful, prosperous in Europe, assisted by its own currency in gold , the florin (introduced in 1252), by the decadence of its rival Pisa (defeated by Genoa in 1284 and bought from Florence in 1406), and by its mercantile power resulting from an anti-aristocratic constitution, the so-called " Ordinamenti di giustizia " by Giano della Bella (1293). The territorial expansion also concerned Romagnaand it arrived, at the beginning of the fifteenth century, at the gates of Forlì , then under the rule of the Ordelaffi , with the Florentine purchase of Castrocaro (1403). The so-called Tuscan Romagna was born.






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