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Florence Holidays Overview

The capital of Tuscany in Italy, Florence is an architectural, artistic and cultural gem unlike any other city. The Italian Renaissance was born in Florence, and for over 250 years it was the most culturally, economically and politically important city in Europe.

Scattered throughout this beautiful city are many churches, adorned with the finest art work in the world. Some of these include San Lorenzo, San Miniato al Monte, Santa Trinita, Santa Croce and Santa Maria Novella. Dominating the skyline of the city is Brunelleschi's dome, which dates back to the13th century.

Palazzo Vecchio is one of the most important palaces in Florence. Today, it is the town hall, along with an art museum. The palace overlooks Piazza della Signoria, where a representation of Michelangelo's David is located. There are a number of beautiful plazas in Florence, including Piazza Della Republic, located in the centre of the city, where many bourgeois palaces and cultural cafes are located. In addition, Florence has many excellent shopping locations, like Via Maggio, Via del Parione and Via Tornabuoni Florence is the home to over 80 museums and art galleries, featuring a an impressive collection of sculptures, paintings and other master[pieces that cannot be found anywhere else, including Michelangelo’s original David located in Academia.

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Florence holidays - Top Places To Go

1. The Uffizi (Gallerie degli Uffizi)
Loggiato degli Uffizi 6
What is it? The Uffizi is one of the world's greatest art galleries with a collection of Renaissance paintings that include the works of Giotto, Masaccio, Paolo Ucello, Sandro Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Titian and Caravaggio. The collection is housed on the top floor of a building designed as the offices (uffizi) of the Medici, commissioned by Duke Cosimo I. From 1581, Cosimo's heirs used the upper storey to display the Medici art treasures. Ancient Greek and Roman sculptures line the inner corridors of the gallery and a series of rooms jut off from here, showcasing the chronological development of Florentine art from Gothic to High Renaissance and beyond. The scale and magnitude of the collection may need to be enjoyed over two visits. Rooms 1-15 (Florentine Renaissance) could be explored more thoroughly on the first trip and on the next visit one could concentrate on rooms 16 to 45 (from High Renaissance to later Italian and European painting). Hours of Operation: Tuesday to Sunday 8.15am to 6.50pm. Closed on Mondays, 1 January, 1 May and 25 December Phone:(055) 238 8651



2. The Accademia Gallery
Via Ricasoli, 58-60
What is it? Michelangelo's David stands self-assured above the crowds that flock to admire him. In the hallway leading up to the famous sculpture are further examples of Michelangelo's genius in the figures of the four Prisoners. The statues were deliberately left unfinished revealing the marble in its unfashioned state. Hours of Operation: Tuesday to Sunday 8.15am to 6.50pm Phone:(055) 238 8609



3. Piazza del Duomo (Cathedral Square)
Piazza Duomo
What is it? Santa Maria del Fiore, the Duomo or Cathedral of Florence, is set in the heart of the city and perches above the metropolis like an emperor before his subjects. Its most distinctive feature is the enormous dome designed by Filippo Brunelleschi and built between 1420 and 1436. Visitors can climb between the two shells of the cupola for an unrivalled panorama of the city. The original Gothic exterior was destroyed in 1587 so that it could be replaced by the styling of the High Renaissance. This vision however died prematurely with its patron, the Grand Duke Francesco de Medici and the funding to build the neo-Gothic façade that we see today was not found until the 19th century. The Campanile (bell tower) was built according to Giotto's designs in 1334 and is an elegant prop to Brunelleschi's stout Cathedral. The tower is decorated with two garlands of bas-reliefs, strung around its pink, white and green marble façade. Above, sculptures of the Prophets and Sybils, carved by Donatello, look down upon the city below. The Campanile can also be climbed for the magnificent views over the square and the adjacent cathedral. The neighbouring Baptistry, with its famous doors designed by Lorenzo Ghiberti, is one of Florence's oldest buildings, and was originally a pagan temple. The gilded brass doors, dubbed the 'Gates of Paradise' were commissioned in 1401 to mark Florence's deliverance from the plague. The original panels are in the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo (the Duomo Works Museum) that exists largely to safeguard the sculptures removed from the doors and niches around the Piazza del Duomo. The museum also contains the machines used in the construction of the cathedral's dome and has displays devoted to the problematic construction of the cathedral's façade. A room containing Ghiberti's baptistry doors provides an opportunity to closely examine the stiacciato relief technique used. Other noteworthy artefacts found in the museum include Michelangelo's Pieta, the carved figures of Donatello's Prophets as well as his Magdalene sculpture. In the anteroom are Andrea Pisano's panels from the first few levels of the bell tower. Hours of Operation: Cathedral: Daily 10am to 5pm (Thursdays until 3.30pm, Saturdays until 4.45pm); Sunday 1.30pm to 4.45pm. Museum: Daily 9am to 7.30pm, Sunday 9am to 1.40pm Phone:(055) 215 380



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Information on Florence Holidays, Florence Hotels, Holiday Packages in Florence (city breaks, short stays, all inclusive and luxury deals). Also provides links and resources to Air Travel, Flights and Florence Car Hire Options

Holidays Travel Guide content part sourced rom, copyright © Globe Media Ltd. By its very nature much of the information contained in the travel guide is subject to change at short notice. Travellers are urged to verify information on which they're relying with the relevent authorities. We cannot accept any responsibility for any loss or inconvenience to a person as result of information contained above.