Thursday, February 7, 2013

What To Do In Florence - Italy

What to do in Florence? Michelangelo, renaissance, art and architecture, leather clothes, gold, Chianti wine can all be found in one place, and that is Florence.

The capital of the Kingdom of Italy between the years 1865-1870, Florence is the jewel of Tuscany and also one of the most visited cities of the Italian peninsula. Millions of art lovers step here each year and enjoy history which occurs at each corner of the street.

You can get to Florence cheaper by choosing a low cost flight from Pisa or Bologna (prices starting at 40 euros round trip) and further regional train for 6 euros and an hour travel time. A flight to Florence starts at 200 euros.

Accommodation in Florence is quite expensive, a double room starting from 60 € per night. Hostels have prices starting at 15 euros per night but none is located in the Centre of the city. If you want to relax more than to visit, you can choose to stay in one of the many hostels located in the hills surrounding Florence, between the plantation of vineyards and wonderful views. In general these hostels are available to customers from the bus connection to Florence.

Below are a few ideas on what to do in Florence.

The most important sights of Florence are located in the Centre, at short distances from each other. In fact, all of the Center is declared a historical monument and is part of the UNESCO World Heritage site.

The Duomo in Florence is one of the "three great monuments of Italy”, next to the leaning tower of Pisa and the Colosseum in Rome. It was built in about 150 years and belongs to the neo-Gothic style. The interior is rich in drawings, paintings on the dome. If you wish, you can climb the 463 stairs up above the Cathedral to see the whole Center of Florence.

Another architectural symbol of Florence is the Ponte Vecchio. Crossing the River Arno from Palazzo Gentile to Palazzo Pitti, Ponte Vecchio is famous for gold jewelry shops built on it. The stores were originally butcher shops but in the 15th century the Medici family banned the sale of meat and gold jewelry took their place. Most are family businesses, passed down from generation to generation.

Although yon the streets of Florence you will see many copies of the famous statue "David" of Michelangelo, you should know that the original one is at Academia di Belle Arti. Here you'll find a small collection dedicated to Michelangelo containing several unfinished sculptures of the great artist.

Uffizi Gallery is one of the oldest art museums in Europe and is located inside the Uffizi Palace. Here you will find a lot of works of art belonging to Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, Giotto, Raphael and Caravaggio. It's best to come early if you want to visit the gallery because in summer you can sit in the queue even five hours.

Pitti Palace, another architectural jewel of Florence, was the family residence of the Medici and now houses numerous museums and exhibitions, among which: the modern art gallery, Royal Apartments, the Museum of silver, porcelain Museum. The palace garden is called Boboli and is very large, with a collection of statues, dating from the 16th-18th centuries.

If you get tired after you walked a whole day in Florence you can buy an ice-cream from Bar Vivoli (near Santa Croce, famous for its great ice cream) and you can climb in Piazzale Michelangelo to admire the sunset over the city.

Even after sundown, Florence is a city full of life, with many clubs with live music, where you can party until late at night, or early morning.

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