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Discover magical Florence

The best-known site and crowning architectural jewel of Florence is the domed cathedral of the city, Santa Maria del Fiore, known as The Duomo. The magnificent dome was built by Filippo Brunelleschi. The nearby Campanile tower (partly designed by Giotto) and the Baptistery buildings are also highlights.

Magical Journeys to Florence

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» Accademia Gallery

Accademia Gallery, Florence

The Accademia Gallery (Galleria dell'Accademia) is dominated by one artwork in particular - Michelangelo's staggeringly beautiful statue of David. Carved from a single block of marble by the 26-year-old genius, it's true you can't really grasp the statue's size and detail until you see him up-close. The statue originally stood in the Piazza della Signoria, but was moved to this more protected environment in 1873. A copy now stands in the piazza …

» Baptistery (Battistero)

Baptistery (Battistero) , Florence

One of the oldest buildings in Florence, it's thought that the octagonal Baptistery stands on the site of an ancient Roman temple. It may even have been built as early as the 5th century. The striking Romanesque cladding of white and green marble was added in the early 12th century. Inside, the Baptistery features gold mosaics, marble columns and tombs. Look up to catch the best views of the gilded mosaics covering the cupola …

» Bargello Museum

Bargello Museum (Museo Nazionale del Bargello), Florence

Housed in the medieval splendor of Florence's Palazzo della Podestà - once a barracks and subsequently the city's courts of justice - the National Museum opened in 1865 and showcases an abundance of glorious Renaissance artworks. As befits the oldest public building in the city, it has a fortified façade and a maze-like interior with fine halls, balconies and loggias overlooking an arcaded courtyard with walls smothered by the coats of arms of medieval aristocracy. Displayed in a series of vast apartments are collections of medieval gold work …

» Basilica of San Lorenzo

Basilica of San Lorenzo, Florence

A visit to the enormous Basilica of San Lorenzo leads to things you may not expect from a church. What ties the church to its unexpected turns, however, is something very Florentine - Michelangelo. In the 15th century Basilica of San Lorenzo are the tombs of the Medici, located in the New Sacristy (also designed by Michelangelo), which are adorned by Michelangelo sculptures. The two main tombs in the chapel are those of Lorenzo and Giuliano Medici …

» Boboli Gardens

Boboli Gardens, Florence

Behind the massive Pitti Palace lies the enormous Boboli Gardens - both were once the private domain of Florence's ruling Medici family, but today they're both open to the public. The Boboli Gardens are not only typical of formal Italian gardens of the 16th century - they're actually some of the earliest examples of the style. Along with the manicured lawns, blooming plants, and fountains that you'd expect from a garden, these also have a fine collection of 16th-18th century sculptures …

» Brunelleschi's Dome

Brunelleschi's Dome, Florence

Standing tall over the city of Florence, Brunelleschi's Dome is an architectural feat, the most prominent part of the Florence Cathedral, and a symbol of Florence itself. Located in the city's historic center, the cathedral complex that holds the dome is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The whole area is known to locals as the 'Duomo' or dome, after the structure. Designed by Filippo Brunelleschi and completed in 1436, it took sixteen years to build. And at 45 meters wide, it is the single largest masonry dome in the world …

» Buontalenti Grotto

Buontalenti Grotto, Florence

Built in the 16th century in Florence's Boboli Gardens, Buontalenti Grotto is the largest grotto in the city. Named after the architect who oversaw its construction in the late 16th century, it was commissioned by Grand Duke of Tuscany and has since featured Dan Brown's bestselling novel. A curious-looking place indeed, on both the outside and inside the grotto's covered in man-made stalagmites and mythical mosaic creatures including sea goats. Buontalenti Grotto is divided into three rooms with the first, and biggest, styled in the most natural way as a cave full of stalactites and stalagmites …

» Central Market (Mercato Centrale)

Central Market (Mercato Centrale)

Designed by the renowned architect Giovanni Mengoni in the late 19th century, Florence's Mercato Centrale is a cavernous, two-storey market hall that'sl full of Tuscan foods. The biggest market in the city, on the outside it's all iron and lots of glass. Enter on the ground floor to see rows and rows of meats and cheeses including mounds of fresh buffalo mozzarella, and food bars where you can stop for a snack or a panini. The northern corner's where to buy fish and shellfish, while the second floor is given over to vegetable stands …

» Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre, Florence

Cinque Terre is made up of five fishing villages along the coast of the Italian Riviera. These "Five Lands" include Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore, all tiny towns built upon rugged cliffs overlooking the sea. Known for its beauty and charm, Cinque Terre draws people year round to walk along its scenic coastal path, "Lovers Lane", to enjoy the views and romantic atmosphere …

» Duomo (Cathedral of Santa Maria dei Fiori)

Duomo (Cathedral of Santa Maria dei Fiori) , Florence

You'll catch glimpses of the red-tiled dome of the Duomo, or Cathedral of Santa Maria dei Fiori, peeping over the rooftops as soon as you arrive in Florence. The 13th-century Sienese architect Arnolfo di Cambio was responsible for building many landmarks in Florence but this is his showstopper. The beautiful ribbed dome was creatively added by Brunelleschi in the 1420s. The building took 170 years to complete, and the facade was remodeled to reflect Cambio's design in the 19th century …

» Fountain of Neptune

Fountain of Neptune, Florence

In pride of place at the center of the busy Piazza della Signoria, the Fountain of Neptune has long been one of Florence's most memorable landmarks, set against a backdrop of the grand Palazzo Vecchio (Town Hall). Inaugurated in 1565, the striking artwork is the masterpiece of sculptor Bartolomeo Ammannati and was commissioned to celebrate the wedding of Francesco I de' Medici and Johanna of Austria. The elaborate bronze and marble statue portrays a 5.6-meter-high image of Neptune, the Roman God of the Sea …

» Giotto's Bell Tower

Giotto's Bell Tower, Florence

Giotto's elegant bell tower (Campanile di Giotto) flanks Florence's Duomo and Baptistery, rounding off Piazza del Duomo's prime attractions. Designed by Giotto in 1334, the Gothic tower is faced in the similar nougat-hued marbles of the Duomo. The design features five distinct tiers decorated with arched windows, sculptures and geometric patterns of different colored marbles. Take a close-up look at the lovely plaques decorating the tower at ground level …

» Great Synagogue of Florence

Great Synagogue of Florence, Florence

With its massive dome patterned in colorful designs, the Great Synagogue is an architectural marvel and significant synagogue of Italy. Historically Florence has always had a small Jewish community, with the first synagogue dating back to the 13th century. The Great Synagogue, however, was constructed from 1874 to 1882 financed by a local Jewish citizen who sought out to create a synagogue with beauty that would rival the other structures of Florence. Today it is still one of the largest in Europe. There is also a small Jewish museum with relics on display …

» Gucci Museo

Gucci Museo, Florence

Italy is still at the forefront of the fashion world, but its history stretches back far enough that there are now multiple museums dedicated to Italian designers. The Gucci Museo, opened in 2011, is in Florence. Gucci's first store opened in Florence in 1921, and today the Gucci Museum is in the 14th century Palazzo della Mercanzia on Piazza della Signoria in the city center. The museum collection covers three floors of the palazzo, and is arranged not by year but by theme …

» Hard Rock Cafe Florence

Hard Rock Cafe Florence

A rock music temple if there ever was one, the Hard Rock brand doesn't require an introduction; not with 170 establishments worldwide! Both a restaurant, a bar and a museum, this peculiar Florence attraction draws in rock music aficionados thanks to an impressive collection of authentic memorabilia and mouth-watering American-themed menu (something seldom found in all of Italy). Loud rock music, a relaxed atmosphere, original cocktails …

» Livorno Cruise Port

Livorno Cruise Port Florence

Livorno is the ugly sister of the beautiful Tuscan city of Florence. Many tour itineraries will actually list Florence as the port of call because Livorno itself is a busy, modern container terminal with little to recommend it aside from its location. Within relatively easy reach of Livorno are Florence, the jewel of Renaissance Italy; Pisa, home of the famous Leaning Tower; Lucca, a smaller medieval walled city; the elite beach resort of Forte dei Marmi …

» Loggia dei Lanzi

Loggia dei Lanzi

In a corner square of Florence, Loggia dei Lanzi is an open-air museum containing some of the world's greatest works of art. Known most for its collection of Renaissance art statues, which many consider to be masterpieces, it contains works such as Cellini's Perseus, Giambologna's Rape of the Sabine Women, and an ancient Roman statue of Menelaus that used to be part of the Ponte Vecchio. Originally intended to be a space for public ceremonies, construction on the area began in 1376. It was designed in a late Gothic style, a predecessor to the emerging Renaissance style …

» Medici Chapels

Medici Chapels, Florence

The Medici chapels (Cappelle Medicee) are two architectural gems flanking the Basilica of San Lorenzo in the heart of central Florence. Brunelleschi designed the basilica for the Medici family in the 1400s, and it became the family church and mausoleum. The New Sacristy is the more famous of the basilica's two chapels. Designed by Michelangelo, it stars his reclining funerary statues, Night and Day, Dawn and Dusk. The simple design features a somber color scheme of gray and white …

» Mercato di Sant'Ambrogio (Sant'Ambrogio Market)

Mercato di Sant'Ambrogio (Sant'Ambrogio Market), Florence

Florence's most famous and popular market is the aptly named Mercato Centrale - but it's by no means the only market in the city. Another ideal spot to pick up picnic supplies, see what's fresh before you browse local menus or simply enjoy the colors of an Italian food market is the Mercato di Sant'Ambrogio (Mercato Alimentare Sant'Ambrogio). Also known as the Sant'Ambrogio Market, the site is home to stalls that sell many of the same sorts of items seen at the Mercato Centrale …

» Museo dell'Opera del Duomo

Museo dell'Opera del Duomo , Florence

Despite the name, Florence's Museo dell'Opera del Duomo has nothing to do with opera music - 'opera' also being the Italian word for creative works, in this case the artwork that was once inside the cathedral. The Museo dell'Opera del Duomo is located conveniently right behind the Duomo, for which most of its collection was originally created. Inside you'll see an unfinished Michelangelo pieta that he had apparently started as a piece to decorate his own tomb …

» Oltrarno

Oltrarno, Florence

Central Florence is split by the Arno River. The main sights - the Duomo, the Uffizi, the Accademia - are on one side of the river, while the neighborhood known as the Oltrarno is on the other. 'Oltrarno' actually means 'beyond the Arno,' or 'the other side of the Arno.' Among the attractions in the Oltrarno are the massive Pitti Palace, to which the ruling Medici family moved after leaving their residence in the Palazzo Vecchio, and the sprawling Boboli Gardens …

» Ospedale degli Innocenti

Ospedale degli Innocenti, Florence

Florence's one-of-a-kind Ospedale degi Innocenti (Hospital of the Innocents) is the oldest orphanage on the continent and offers travelers the perfect blend of Italian history, Roman artistry, classic architecture and lush gardens. It can only be described as one of the city's oddest - and most beautiful - attractions. Built during the early 15th century, Ospedale degli Innocenti has served as a center of care for infants and children for more than 500 years and today also operates as a home for some of the nation's best-known works of art …

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ITALYDiscover ItalyTuscany • Florence

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Magical Journeys to Italy

Florence is the capital of the region of Tuscany in Italy, with a population of some 400,000. It is a fantastically beautiful city, a cultural, artistic and architectural gem. Florence was very much the epicentre of the Italian Renaissance and remains one of the world's top attractions for lovers of art …

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Florence (Toscana) is one of the 20 Regions of Italy. The capital is Florence, and it has about 3.6 million inhabitants. Known for its landscapes and its artistic legacy, Tuscany is considered by some to be the most beautiful region in Italy …

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