Florence, capital of the region of Tuscany, has a population of around half a million inhabitants, spreads on the banks of the Arno, between the Adriatic and the Tyrrhenian seas, almost in the middle of the Italian peninsula. It is a city which bustles with industry and craft, commerce and culture, art and science. Being on the main national railway lines, it is easily accessible from most important places both in Italy and abroad.
The term “Jewel of Renaissance” has been coined for Florence. Florence was the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. Politically, economically, and culturally it was the most important city in Europe for around 250 years; from some time before 1300 until the early 1500s. Contemporary Florence invites visitors to explore its ancient treasures of art and architecture as it is considered a cultural, artistic and architectural gem.
The city holds something unique for everyone who visits; from incredible wines, delicious gastronomic experiences, well preserved architecture, and original cultural and historical sites. Shopping in Florence is often a big deal. With items ranging from hand crafted to designer, leather goods and stunning jewelry, the best places to shop on at Piazza della Republica and Piazza Santa Croce. The climate is temperate but rather variable, with breezy winters and hot summers.
Galleria degli Uffizi
Piazzale degli Uffizi, One of the world’s most famous fine art museums with collections of Renaissance paintings and sculptures from classical antiquity. Included is The Birth of Venus by Sandro Boticelli. Designed by architect Vasari, the Museum was originally used as the offices of the Medici administration. An astounding collection of prints and drawings can be found on the first floor while sculptures and paintings can be found on the second.
On the quieter south bank of the Arno, the former Medici family palace contains galleries of their art and treasures. The Boboli gardens behind the palazzo offer wonderful walks and excellent views of the city and the countryside south of the city.
Traverse the Duomo or Campanile
Climb the winding staircases inside the duomo or the nearby bell tower to see some of the best views of Florence. Not only can you see the Tuscan countryside in the distance and the impressive palaces and churches of Florence in the fore, but it becomes obvious just how large the Duomo is.
Street Performers by the Uffizi
In front of the Palazzo Vecchio, in the evenings, street performers often put on a show here. Performances can range from violin duets to people dressed as sculptures. The Uffizi is a nice place to stop while you eat your after-dinner gelato.