What to See if you Visit Florence
If you have decided to go to Florence, the first thing to do as soon as you arrive is to close your eyes and go back and imagine the years between 1400 and 1500. Eliminate the noise of modern life and think of horses and carriages, Brunelleschi, Michelangelo and Savonarola precisely in front of you.
Thanks to people of this calibre, the bridges, museums, churches and buildings that you can visit today came about – as well as the paintings and sculptures that would forever change the artistic history of Italy.
The most beautiful bridge in Italy, not just Florence. Ponte Vecchio is one of the most photographed bridges in the world – but it hasn’t always been a place decorated with goldsmith shops that attract the eyes of tourists.
Until 1565 butchers’ shops and traders were found there, but these were moved when the Vasari Corridor of the Uffizi was built above the bridge. Thus the goldsmith artisans, considered much more suited to the new status of Ponte Vecchio, were opened. Since then, gold and Ponte Vecchio have an affinity. The Vasari Corridor was built by Vasari for Cosimo I de ‘Medici to unite the Palazzo Vecchio with the Palazzo Pitti.
A little curiosity about Ponte Vecchio: even Hitler gave orders to spare it during bombings in the Second World War.
One of the best examples of fourteenth-century architecture in existence, with its “Torre di Arnolfo” so large it is difficult to photograph it in its entirety. The tower is 94 meters high with the Florentine lily standing out gloriously on the top.
At the entrance, a copy of Michelangelo’s David welcomes you triumphantly and nearby is the palace on Piazza della Signoria, a place considered cursed for a long time as it was the site of a battle between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines.
Santa Maria Novella Church
Built in 1278, the Church of Santa Maria Novello is today one of the best examples of Tuscan Romanesque architecture.
The interior is made up of three naves and Giotto’s Crucifix hanging from the central vault is a magnificent centrepiece.
In the transept in the Strozzi Chapel, there’s a cycle of frescoes by Filippino Lippi, while in the Tornabuoni Chapel there is a fresco by Ghirlandaio. Brunelleschi’s Crucifix is housed in the Gondi Chapel, but the most important work within the Church is Masaccio’s Trinity.
The Uffizi Museum contains centuries of Tuscan art history. You will be enchanted by famous paintings by Botticelli: ‘La Venere’ and’ La Primavera’.
To visit this museum you need an entire day to really study the beauty of the work – and a pair of very comfortable shoes.