Florence Italy is the both the capital of Tuscany region and the most populated city in the region. It lies on the River Arno and is considered among the most beautiful cities in the world. Regarded as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance and the largest preserved Renaissance city, Florence is famed for its art, architecture, and cultural heritage. This World Heritage Site has had a far-reaching impact on music, architecture, cuisine, fashion, philosophy, science, education, and religion.
Florence has been nominated the most desirable tourist destination on the globe and attracts more than five million visitors per year. In fact, during the months of April through October, tourists outnumber the local residents. This inspiring city is believed to have the greatest concentration of art in the world. Featuring a wide range of art collections, perhaps the most famed collections are located in the Pitti Palace and the Uffizi. The Pitti Palace is a vast Renaissance palace that contains one of Florence’s largest art galleries. The palace features the Palatine Gallery with more than 500 Renaissance paintings; the Royal Apartments with 14 rooms; the Gallery of Modern Art; the Silver Museum; the Porcelain Museum; the Costume Gallery; and the Carriages Museum. The Uffizi is one of the oldest and most famous art museums in the Western world. Florence boasts over 80 museums including a number of world class museums and exhibits.
Florence is referred to as the “cradle of the Renaissance” due to its numerous monuments, churches, and buildings. In addition to its many art galleries and museums, Florence is a stunning city comprised of elegant squares, parks and gardens, Renaissance palaces, churches, monasteries, villas, and great monuments. It features many important basilicas and churches full of art. One of the best-known Florence sites is considered an architectural jewel. The domed cathedral, Santa Maria del Fiore, also referred to as The Diomo, is one of Italy’s largest cathedrals and boasts the largest brick dome ever constructed. Equally famed and part of the cathedral complex are the Campanile (bell tower) and Baptistery building, octagonal in shape and one of the oldest buildings in the city. The Baptistery building is renowned for its three sets of bronze doors complete with relief sculptures.
The center of Florence contains medieval walls built in the 14th century. At the heart of the city is the Piazza della Signoria where the famed marble masterpiece, the Fountain of Neptune resides. An equally renowned Florence landmark is the bridge Ponte Vecchio, with numerous shops standing on stilts built along its edges. Florence also features both historical and modern theatres including the Odeon Cinema of the Palazzo dello Strozzino, one of the oldest movie theatres in the city.
It is worth noting that Tuscany is one of the world’s finest wine-growing regions and Florence is the most significant city in Tuscany. Wine-growing regions within a reasonable distance from the city surround Florence. Visitors will want to discover the bounty just outside the boundaries of this great city.