Creating vacation at a time!

Florence is a living museum and was the birthplace of the Renaissance. Walking the narrow streets is like going back in time to medieval times.  The world’s greatest artists were nurtured by the Medici family and the city of Florence is home to the world’s greatest art.   The city is divided by the Arno River and most of the treasures can be found on the right bank but the left bank is also worth exploring.  

Overlook Panorama850
Duomo Florence (2)400 Bapistery in Piazza San Giovanni400

The Doumo, the Cathedral of Florence, was named in honor of Santa Maria del Fiore.  It sits in the Piazza del Duomo and was started in 1296.   The dome was completed by Filippo Brunelleschi.   The Cathedral was faced with polychrome marble panels in shades of green, pink and white.  I have read that Florence was founded by Julius Cesear.    

The Bapistery in Piazza San Giovanni is close to the Duomo and the Piazza del Duomo.   Work began in 1059 and was finished in 1128.  

Campanile (bell tower) of the Duomo400
Ghiotti's doors400

The Campanile (Bell Tower) was designed by Giotto and was built in 1334 and finished in 1359.  

Oratory Seminary Church in Piazza di Firenze400

The east doors of the Baptistery were done by Ghiberti are called the “Gates of Paradise”.  The original doors are being restored and are now in the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo. 

Oratory Seminary Church in Piazza di Firenze

David(fake)& Baccio Bandinelli's Hercules and Cacus400

Palazzo Vecchio (Old Palace) is the town hall of Florence and was once the home of the Medicis. Overlooking the Piazza della Signoria (the ruling body of the Republic of Florence), there is a fake “David” to the left and  “Hercules and Cacus” by Bandinelli and Neptune’s Fountain.  Palazzo Vecchio is now a museum.

Cosimo I Medici statute 1594401

In Piazza del Signoria is this statue of Cosimo I de Medici by Giambologna.  To learn more about the Medici family, Netflix has a wonderful mini-series called “Medici”. 

Basilica Sant Croce400
Loggia dei Lanzi in Piazza di Signoria400

Next to the Palazza Vecchio is Loggia dei Lanza an open-air sculpture museum with some famous sculptures like “Rape of the Sabine Women” by Giambolo below.  

Rape of the Sabine Women in Loggia Dei Lanzi 1583 by Giambologna400

The most famous person in Florence is “David” by Michelangelo which is in the Galleria della Accademia on Via Ricasoli.  Michelangelo carved “David” out of one piece of marble between 1501 and 1504.  He was only 26 years old when he began “David”.  

Galleria della Accademia - Via Ricasoli250

Basilica di Santa Croce in Piazza di Santa Croce (1294) is the burial place of Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli and Rossino. 

Michelangelo's unfinished work400
Michelangelo's unfinished work (3)400
Uffizi Gallery turned into Museum in 1737 by Anna Maria Ludovica de Medici400

Another famous museum in Florence is the Uffizi Gallery.  It was begun in 1560 by Vasari for Cosimo I de’ Medici and was used as state offices.  In 1737 Anna Maria Ludovica de’ Medici (last Medici)  turned it into a museum and opened it to the public.  The museum has 45 rooms, galleries and corridors. 

David (2)400

“David” is 17 feet tall.  To the left are sculptures that lead up to where “David” is exhibited.  They are his unfinished sculptures which are powerful figures trying to escape from the marble.

Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge)1345 rebuil400

Florence has many bridges crossing the Arno River but the most famous is the Ponte Vecchio, the Old Bridge. On top of the Ponte Vecchio is the Vasari Corridor designed by Vasari in 1565 which connects the Palazzo Vecchio to the new residence for the Medicis, the Palazzo Pitti that is on the left side of the Arno River.  The corridor passes through the Uffizi Gallery.  The bridge was never bombed in World War II although all the other bridges in Florence were bombed.

Street artists400

There are street artists in Florence recreating some of the great works by the artists of Florence.

Piazza dellaRepubblica400

Beautiful building in the Piazza della Repubblica.


Every street has a gelato store.  When in Italy you need to have a gelato every day in a different flavor!


Chocolates at Eataly.

Trattoria Antico Fatore via Lambertesca400

There are many different places to eat in Florence and the food and wine are  fantastic.

One way to get around Florence400

This is one way to get around the historic center.

Photos by Christine Meny

Leonardo Da Vinci outside Uffizi Gallery300

There are 28 niches under the porticos of the Uffizi Gallery designed by Vasari that hold sculptures of famous people, one of which is Leonardo Da Vinci.

Eataly (2)400

The meats, cheeses, breads and the wine are wonderful.  This photo was taken inside of Eataly on Via de’ Martelli.  

Leather Factory FirenzeVia Bentacord400i

Florence is known for its leather.  This was taken at the Leather Factory on  via Bentaccordi.  You can have a coat made in one day to fit you like a glove!   Florence is also known for silks.  


You will see Pinocchio everywhere in Italy.   Carlo Collodi wrote the “Adventures of Pinocchio” in 1883 and his story about Pinocchio and Gepetto, the woodcarver, was set  in a Tuscan village.  He was born and died in Florence.

Overlook Duomo400

One last look at Florence and the Duomo.  Bellisimo!

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