Florence monuments - Florence historical buildings - Florence Ponte Vecchio - Florence Piazza della Signoria - Florence Boboli Gardens - travel links
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Florence Guide Italy

Places and charm


Places and charm

A walk to discover Florence:

  • Ponte Vecchio
    As its name suggests, this splendid Bridge is the oldest in Florence: the first construction already existed before the 11th century, but was destroyed by a flood of the Arno. The bridge was rebuilt in solid stone in 1345. Its banks are still full of goldsmiths’, silversmiths’ and jewelers’ laboratories whose art has been passed down from generation to generation.
  • Piazza della Signoria
    The magnificent Piazza della Signoria is a real open-air exhibition: Palazzo Vecchio, with its sixteenth-century hall full of frescoes by Vasari, the Fountain of Neptune by Ammannati, and the copy of Michelangelo’s David all welcome the visitor when he enters the square. On the right-hand of the square there is the Loggia della Signoria that contains some fine statues such as the bronze Perseo by Cellini and il Ratto delle Sabine by Gianbologna.
  • Giardino di Boboli
    The Boboli Gardens spread out alongside Palazzo Pitti. They were both created on the wishes of the Medici family in 1500. If we take a walk through these wonderful Renaissance gardens, we can see some charming monuments such as the amphitheater, the Grotta del Buontalenti, and the small island with the statues of the dancing country-folk.
  • The San Lorenzo Market
    The Central San Lorenzo Market is housed inside a huge iron and glass building that was built in 1874. Even though it is now a tourist attraction, the Market has preserved a part of its charm. On the ground floor there are several delicatessens, selling Florentine and Tuscan delicacies, where it is possible to stop for a bite to eat. On the first floor there are flower stalls and fruit and vegetable stalls where all the local seasonal produce is displayed.
  • Spedale degli Innocenti
    This building was opened in 1445, and was the first orphanage in Europe. A part of the building is still used for this purpose today. The portico, built by Brunelleschi, is decorated with glazed terracotta spheres that represent new-born children. It is still possible to see the “wheel” in the portico, a turning stone cylinder where mothers placed their unwanted children, who were then turned round to the inside of the building.
  • Palazzo Pitti
    This palace was built for the banker Luca Pitti halfway through the fifteenth century. After he went bankrupt, the building became the Medici family residence. The family improved the building, starting with the large courtyard designed by Ammaniti. The Medici collected their Baroque and Renaissance art collections here, which can now be viewed in the Palatina Gallery. The Palace contains other important museums too: the gallery of Modern Art, the Silver Museum and the Costume Gallery.

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