Key Attractions in Florence Historic Centre
When you stay in Florence Historic Centre, you will find a host of world famous, fascinating and awe-inspiring attractions to explore. This part of the city is easy to get around, so you shouldn’t have any problems getting around and enjoying these incredible sights. Some of the key attractions that you can look forward to visiting in Florence Historic Centre include:
II Duomo: The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore is a stunning structure that was constructed between 1296, when building began, and 1436, when it was finally completed. This Gothic style building was designed by Arnolfo di Cambio and its impressive dome was designed by Filippo Brunelleschi. For fans of history, culture, arts or architecture, a visit to this beautiful cathedral is a must. You can even climb its 463 steps in order to enjoy incredible views of Florence.
The Baptistery of San Giovanni: This is one of the most important and oldest religious buildings in Florence and one that is steeped in history and culture. It is dedicated to John the Baptist and is hexagonal in shape with an elaborate marble exterior. Inside the building you will find stunning works of art as well as historical and religious artefacts, making this a truly fascinating place to visit both in terms of its architecture and its historical value.
Campanile: One of the most visited places in Europe, Piazza del Duomo lies at the very heart of Florence Historic Centre and is where you will find some of the best known and most popular sights and attractions in the city. Amongst the sights and attractions located here is Giotto’s Campanile or the Bell Tower. Rising to 278 feet, this is a great place from which to enjoy views of the city. The tower is beautifully decorated in marble and has become one of the most recognised landmarks in Florence. There are five levels to the tower with the interior boasting intricate decoration and artwork.
Ponte Vecchio: Until the early 1200s, the Ponte Vecchio was the only bridge to cross the Arno River in Florence, although flooding meant that it had to be rebuilt in the mid-1300s. This beautiful arched, medieval bridge has three huge arches and has always been home to shops. Today it has become a hotspot for jewellery shops, with retailers of gold and silver offering an array of beautiful items. When you walk along the bridge you not only get to browse the shops and take in its structure but you can also enjoy great views of the river.
Galleria degli Uffizi: One of the most historic and well known museums on the planet, the Uffizi Gallery is an extremely popular attraction in this city. This is a gallery that is home to many incredible artistic masterpieces created by some of the most famous artists in history. You can look forward to taking in work by the likes of Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian, and Botticelli. The building of this museum began in the mid-1500s by Giorgio Vasari and it was originally constructed to house the offices of the magistrates in Florence.
Gallerie dell’ Accademia: This gallery is a must for art lovers, as it is home to the original world famous sculpture ‘David’ by Michelangelo. You will also find a variety of other sculptures housed here as well as an excellent Renaissance artwork collection. This includes painting by artists such as Botticelli, Uccello and Andrea del Sarto.
The Basilica of the Holy Cross: Believed to have been founded by Saint Francis, the Basilica Di Santa Croce is the burial place of the likes of Michelangelo, Galileo, and Rossini amongst others. Many of the sixteen chapels that form part of the basilica were elaborately decorated by Giotto. You can also see the ruins of a convent, which are located on the southern side of this structure. When you visit this basilica you will also be able to explore the attractions within, which includes the Museum of the Opera of Santa Croce and the Pazzi Chapel, which was created by Filippo Brunelleschi.
The Pitti Palace: The huge, largely Renaissance Palazzo Pitti dates back to the 1450s and was once the residence of wealthy Florentine banker, Luca Pitti. It then became the main residence for royalty after being purchased in the 1540s by the Medici family. This is a grand building that boasts a rich and fascinating history, having even been used as a power base by Napoleon in the 18th century. It has now become the largest museum complex in the city, with a number of galleries and museums located within. This includes the Palatine Gallery, the Royal Apartments, the Gallery of Modern Art, the Silver Museum, and the Porcelain Museum amongst others.