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Florence

- Tuscany -

"To see the sun sink down, drowned on his pink and purple and golden floods, and overwhelm Florence with tides of color that make all the sharp lines dim and faint and turn the solid city to a city of dreams, is a sight to stir the coldest nature."

- Mark Twain - Writer

- Florence -

Famous throughout the world for its extraordinary beauty, Florence is the capital of the Tuscany Region and one of the most important Italian cities. Already renowned during the Middle Ages as one of the most important European centres for trade and finance, Florence is also considered the cradle of the Renaissance and for this reason it was called the Athens of the Middle Ages.

 

Millions are the tourists who visit Florence every year for its incomparable history and beauty, the artistic and architectural heritage. In Florence tourists can admire many of the legendary masterpieces of the masters of Italian painting such as Donatello, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Botticelli, Masaccio and Brunelleschi.

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- What to see in Florence -

Brunelleschi’s Dome dominates Florence and even today there is no taller building in the whole city. The bell tower was designed by Giotto even if he didn’t see it finished. The Baptistery is one of the oldest buildings in Florence and has been there since the fourth century; with its magnificent doors it is a true Bible for images. The Duomo with its white and green marble facade captures the eye. There is no other complex in the world so extraordinary. We are in the heart of Florence, opposite Santa Maria del Fiore, which everyone calls the Duomo. A cathedral of 153 meters long, built in almost 170 years to make the churches of rival Pisa and Siena envious. Every visit to Florence starts from here: with the heads upwards and the astonished look, to wonder how the men created such a wonder.

 

A Caravaggio enters, a Raphael comes out. A Tiziano masterpiece leaves for an exhibition abroad but in the meantime the (famous) angels of Rosso Fiorentino return. These are the Uffizi, a kind of art supermarket, a treasure trove of masterpieces from every century and a destination dreamed of by art lovers from all over the world.

The journey begins with the hall of the fourteenth century, and the three altarpieces by Cimabue, Duccio di Buoninsegna and Giotto, which all depict the “Madonna Enthroned with the Child”. Then it is a crescendo of beauty: Botticelli, Leonardo, Signorelli, Perugino, Durer, Caravaggio await you.

In 1784 the Accademia Gallery was built at the behest of Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo to introduce the great examples of Florentine art to the students of the nearby Academy of Fine Arts.

 

Also known as the Michelangelo Museum, due to the abundance of the works of the Florentine genius, the Academy Gallery currently also houses sculptures by other artists and paintings from the 14th to the 16th century. The most important work of the Gallery is undoubtedly the Michelangelo’s David, which was previously exposed to the wind and cold of Piazza della Signoria, now replaced by a copy. The statue portrays the biblical hero as he is about to confront the giant Goliath and symbolizes the victory of intelligence and courage against sheer brute force. David is a symbol of formal perfection and eternal beauty that emerges despite the coldness of the marble.

An illustrious building, the ancient residence of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany and the kings of Italy, Palazzo Pitti is currently an important complex that includes galleries and museums, in which important collections of paintings and sculptures, art objects and porcelain are beautifully preserved. The Palatine Gallery, the Gallery of Modern Art, is part of the complex.

 

United at Palazzo Pitti are the Boboli Gardens where the Florentines love spending their free time to find some peace and escape the summer heat surrounded by the glory and grandeur of the Medici family. Boboli, in fact, preserves works and buildings that document the taste and magnificence of this family that was the only owner of this wonderful green space until the mid-eighteenth century, when the Asburgo-Lorena, also their great lovers of the ‘art.

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