Florence, the capital city of Tuscany in Italy is famous for Renaissance art, architecture, and sculpture. Thus Florence is known as Cradle of Renaissance. This stunningly, the romantic city attracts millions of tourists every year. In this article, I am going to take a Quick Florence Tour – Cradle of Renaissance.
Florence contains numerous museums, cathedrals, bridges, monuments, art, sculptures and architectural wonders. Florence is also famous for Tuscany gourmet, artworks from Michelangelo, handmade jewelry, leather products and world famous wine from Tuscan vineyards.
Facts about Florence – Forbes ranked Florence as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Also, Florence is an important fashion city and for this, it also falls under top 15 fashion capitals of the world.
Let’s see what I have visited during my Quick Florence Tour – Cradle of renaissance
Santa Maria del Fione / Duomo / Florence Cathedral – This domed cathedral captivates the skyline of Florence and is one of the most famous cathedrals in the world. Florence skyline is incomplete without Duomo and it stunningly dominates the panoramic view of this city. This majestic cathedral was constructed in the 13th century in Gothic and Renaissance style of architecture. The dome of this cathedral is considered to be the world’s largest masonry dome. It is famous for façade of red, green and white marble, stained glass windows, frescoes and stunning sculptures. It also has Baptistery and Bell Tower. Tourist queue for climbing 400-500 steps of Bell Tower to have the incredible views of Florence city. Entry to this place is very crowded during peak seasons/ summers.
Ponte Vecchio – A medieval stoned arch bridge on river Arno have several jewelry shops. This bridge is also famous as Lovers’ Bridge.
Palazzo Vecchio – The 13th century Palace was town hall before and was a center of local government. This palace has lavish courtyards and ornate chambers. At present, it is a museum with all preserved artifacts and ancient government details.
Piazzale Michelangelo – It is located on a hill at the southern bank of Arno river. This 19th-century square/Piazza is known for having panoramic views of whole Florence city with a backdrop of the Tuscan landscape.
Also, you will find the replica of David, Michelangelo’s famous sculpture on this hill-top. It is believed that this statue safeguards the city. Piazzale Michelangelo is dedicated to Florence’s famous artist Michelangelo. This original marble statue of David can be seen in Galleria Dell’ Academia. From here you can also get a clear view of Florence’s prominent landmark like Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, and Palazzo Vecchio. This hill-top can be reached through the car, taxi, or bus(public transport). Can be visited either during day or night.
After this, I did a half day side-trip from Florence to Pisa. Also you can go for a side trip or day trip to Bologna. Click here to read about Bologna.
Pisa is located about 85kms (50 miles) towards the west of Florence. Pisa can be reached by trains, bus or any other tour services. Trains run at a higher frequency from Santa Maria Novella Train station to this historic city. Check Trenitalia official website for train timings and frequency. Superfast and slow trains both operate and take around 1 or 1.30 hours to reach Pisa.
After reaching Pisa station you have to take a public bus to reach North side of the river as Leaning Tower of Pisa is located there and railway station is at the southern end of the river.
ATTRACTIONS OF PISA –
Piazza Dei Miracoli (Miracle Square) is the most famous historic and world heritage site. This square consists of Cathedral(Duomo), Baptistery, The Monumental Cemetry, The Opera del Duomo Museum & Sinopie Museum and the most famous Leaning tower of Pisa.
Leaning Tower of Pisa is the most recognizable building on earth, which is actually the bell tower of the cathedral. This slanting/leaning tower was constructed unintentional and tilt developed due to the uneven foundation. You can go to the top of this leaning tower by taking 294 uneven stepped staircases for having picturesque views of Pisa. Tickets can be purchased online and onsite. There can be a huge crowd on ticket windows during peak season. It is better to purchase online if you are going in summer.
Cathedral(Duomo) entry is free. Other monuments and museums require a ticket and you can purchase combo-tickets, as it is a cost-effective option if you plan to see all.
I was having only 24 hours in Florence, thus I missed visiting many museums and other attractions. I would recommend 3 to 4 days trip to Florence, in which 2 days can be reserved for Florence city and 2/3 days for side-trips to nearby Tuscany countryside and towns.
- If you are visiting in summers then purchase tickets online to avoid huge Q’s.
- To avoid Q’s visit to Florence in the shoulder season. I visited Florence in February which is an off-peak season and I avoided the huge crowd at touristic attractions and so transit or entry to all places was very smooth.
- Try to book your stay near famous Florence Cathedral, as it is centrally located to all places.
- Enjoy Tuscan Gourmet.
HOW TO GET AROUND IN FLORENCE – Florence is a walkable city, but due to uneven bricked or stoned pavements, you need to wear comfortable shoes. For long distances, you can take public buses as they are very efficient and better way to go around. Look at their bus timetable on their official website.
HOW TO REACH FLORENCE – Florence has International and National Airport which located 5km away from city center. Florence can also reach through trains from major European cities through Euro rail. I visited Florence from Venice.
So, till then KEEP TRAVELING……………… KEEP EXPLORING……………………………………………………
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