Florence Things to Do Tips by roamer61
Florence Things to Do: 2,099 reviews and 3,655 photos
Equestrian Statue of Cosimo I Medici
This is perhaps the most popular square in all of Florence. Is is dominated by Palazzo de Vecchio and it shares it with the Loggia and the Uffizzi Gallery. There are many statues here, giving the whole area the feeling of an open-air museum. In one part of the square is a great equestrian statue of Cosimo I Medici. The loggia has a number of statues including numerous classical, rennaisance and later works. Most notable of these Perseus with the head of Medusa by Cellini. There are more statues in front of the Palazzo de Vecchio, including a copy of David and the Fountain of Neptune. The square is of course also fringed by cafes and numerous souviner shops.
Part of the Church of San Lorenzo, this is where all the members of the famed Medici Dynasty are buried. Completed in 1524, 2 parts, the New Sacrisity and Chapel of the Princes are where some of the best known members rest. Michelangelo himself worked on several of the tombs, including fabulous sculptures. Lorenzo the Magnificent and his brother Guiliano and buried together. Also here is the Tomb of Lorenzo, Duke of Urbino and that of Guiliano, Duke of Nemours, who was the son of Lorenzo il Magnicico.
Though part of San Lorenzo, a seperate ticket is required for the Medici Chapels.
Sorry, no pictures. Photography is not permitted inside. Also at the time, renovation work was being undertaken in the Chapel of the Princes.
The Ospedale degli Innocenti, or Hospital of the Innocents, was a childrens orphanage designed by Brunelleschi in 1419, before he won the commision to work on the dome of the Duomo. The decorative Tondo above each column in front of the building were designed by Andrea della Robbia and feature an infant in swaddling.
The hospital cared for abandoned children who were wet-nursed and weaned. Boys were taight reading and writing and various skills depending on their abilities. Girls were taught how to cook and sew and do other female duties.
The hospital is open to the public and a small admission fee is charged.
These 3 structures constitute the heart of Florence. The Duomo, also known as the Cathedral of Florence, was begun in 1296 and not completed until Brunelleschi finished his magnificent dome. Giottos Bell Tower, also known as the Campanile, was constructed during much of the 14th Century. Giotto waas actually but one of several artists who had their hand in its construction. Finally, the Baptistry of Florence, which was built during the 11th and 12 century, comloetes the trio. All 3 are members of UNESCO.
Tomb of Michelangelo
The Basilica of Sanata croce is like the Floretine version of St. Pauls in London, England. Many of the regions most famous figures are buried here. Amongst them are the composer, Rossini; the great poet, Dante Alighieri, just to name a few. Perhaps the most famous resident is Michelangelo Buonarroti, the greatest artist and architect of the Rennaisance. Then there is Galileo, whose discoveries changed the way we look at the heavens. All of these men, and more, are entombed in this famous church.
This attractive church was built in the 13th Century and has elements inside and out created by a who's who of the Florentine Rennaisance. Artists who have art here include Donatello, Andrea and Luca della Robbia, Giotto, Giorgio Vasari to name a few. The church also serves as the final resting place to many famous floretines (See next tip).
Built in 1458 by the Pitti Family and purchased by the medici in 1549, it remained a palce to the Royalty of Florence and Italy through the unification until it was presented to the nation in 1919 by King Victor Emmanuel III.
The palace actually houses several museums. The Palatine Gallery is the core of the collections and contains works by Italian and some foreign artists. The Costume Gallery focuses on costume from the 16th Century through the present. The Royal Apartments feature art and are as they were largely from the 17th to 19th Centuries. There are a couple of less significant museums as well.
Adjacent to the Pitti Palace are the Boboli Gardens. One can find statuary, rose gardens and pleasant paths to stroll, all in a quiet corner of the city, away from the crowds. Seperate tickets are required for the Palatine, the Royal Apartments and Costume Gallery as well as the Boboli Gardens. Advance reservations may be needed during peak season as it can get busy.
This fascinating museum focuses on the sciences beginning with the Rennaisance and following through to the period following the unification. Special areas focus on Astronomy, Physics and Mathematics, Medicine and Biology. Exhibits of particular interest include one highlighting the career and instruments of Galileo Galilei. Artefacts include his telescope.
Due to restoration work, the upper floor is closed until the Fall of 2009.
Address: Piazza dei Giudici, 1
Chimera of Arezzo.
Florence has some of the best collections of antiquities outside of Rome. And these are to be found in the Archeaology Museum. There are sections of Egyptian, Greek, Etruscan and Roman Art. Highlights include the famous Chimera of Arezzo, which dates to around 400 BC and a pair of Archaic Kouri from Greece.
Address: 1 piazza Santissima Annunziata
View of the Museum from across the Arno
The Uffizzi is one of the great art museums of the world. It houses many masterworks by mainly italian artists, but also has works by other european masters. Amongst those represented are Leonardo DaVinci, Botticelli, Carravaggio, Raphael, Ruebens and Van Dyck.
Originally built as a palace for the Medici, it became a museum in the late 15th Century, open by request. It opened to the public in 1765. Because it is one of the top tourist destinations in Florence, advance tickets are virtually mandatory as lines can be quite long, especially during high season. Photography is not permitted. Though one can take photos of the many statues outside representing the giants in the arts and sciences of the Italian Rennaisance.
Address: City Center
Directions: next to Palazzo Vecchio
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