Florence – the beauty of Italy
Where is Florence located in italy?
Florence, Italian Firenze, Latin Florentia, city, capital of Firenze provincia (province) and Toscana (Tuscany) regione (region), central Italy. The city, located about 145 miles (230 km) northwest of Rome, is surrounded by gently rolling hills that are covered with villas and farms, vineyards, and orchards. Florence was founded as a Roman military colony about the 1st century BCE, and during its long history it has been a republic, a seat of the duchy of Tuscany, and a capital (1865–70) of Italy.
Amazing city, located in the heart of Italy at the foot of the Northern Apennines.
Surrounded on three sides by small hills, the city is buried in the beautiful valley of the Arno river. The river divides Florence into two parts, flowing from East to West. This place was chosen by Julius Caesar in 59 BC to establish a military settlement, which became a magnificent city.
The most rapid flowering of the city fell on the XIV-XVI centuries under the rule of the famous Medici dynasty. But this does not prevent him from still admiring us with his splendor, which has come down from the depths of centuries. The city has preserved many ancient buildings, and it is rightly called an open-air Museum. Since 1982, the historic center of Florence is considered a UNESCO world heritage site.
What to see in Florence?
We advise you to start exploring the magnificent city with the world-famous Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (La Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore).
Main Cathedral of Florence
Construction of the Cathedral was begun in 1294, and completed a century and a half later, the famous architect Brunelleschi. This Cathedral is the third largest in the world, it deserves to be visited. Its length-153 meters and width-90, this giant structure can accommodate about 90,000 people, in the XV century the population of the city. It preserves magnificent frescoes depicting famous people of the time, as well as busts of Brunelleschi, the philosopher Ficini and organist Antonio Skvarchalupi.
Visiting the Cathedral is free of charge. And if you want to see the dome in all its glory, you should go up to the upper gallery. The staircase is located outside the Cathedral and the entrance costs 10 EUR. The ticket also covers the Cathedral Museum, Giotto’s bell tower, the baptistery and the crypt where Brunelleschi himself is buried.
Next to the Cathedral are Giotto’s Campanile (Campanile di Giotto) and the baptistery of San Giovanni (Battistero di San Giovanni), both buildings are of great architectural value of the Renaissance. Particular attention can be paid to the gates of the Baptistery. All four sides are decorated with magnificent panels with bas-reliefs depicting biblical events. Inside the baptistery is a magnificent dome decorated with an episode from the life of Jesus Christ, his disciples and the scene of the last judgment.
Piazza San Lorenzo
For 4 centuries Florence was ruled by the famous Medici dynasty. Going to the Piazza di San Lorenzo, where the Basilica of the same name is located, you can see the tomb of the dynasty. It is also the oldest building that has survived to our time, its construction was completed in 393. But over the centuries it was completed Sacristy, and the modern form of the Basilica acquired in the XVII century. In the Church you can also see works of art by Donatello, Michelangelo, Brunelleschi. Please note that it is not allowed to take pictures in the Church.
The cost of visiting the tomb 3,5 EUR.
Piazza della Signoria
Love the sculpture and heard about the famous statue of David, then you should go to The Piazza della Signoria. Located in front of the Palazzo Vecchio, it is a magnificent open-air Museum. Here you can see the statue of” David ” created by Michelangelo in 1504, the work of Donatello – “Judith with the head of Holofernes” and “Mardzocco”, which became a symbol of the city. On the square is the famous fountain of Neptune, created by Ammanati in 1570 for the wedding of Francesco I de ‘ Medici. As well as the work of other famous sculptors of the Renaissance.
Be sure to visit the Palazzo Vecchio (Palazzo Vecchio) built in the XIII century, it was used for meetings of the government. Strict and seemingly impregnable from the outside, the Palace impresses with its splendor inside. Passing through the chic halls, pay attention to the magnificent frescoes made by the famous Ghirlandaio. A courtyard will amaze you with the splendor of European cities of the XV century. Do you want to see the famous Stradivarius violin – it is located in one of the halls of the Palace.
The ticket costs 6 EUR.
Tired of the mass of monuments and many famous works of art, then offer you a walk to the other side of the river Arno. It is best to go over the famous bridge, the only preserved in its original form Ponte Vecchio (Ponte Vecchio). It can be reached by going down from the Piazza della Signoria down to the waterfront. Bridge built XIV century, resembles not so much a bridge as located above the water houses. Previously, it was a place of brisk trade in meat products, and today there are the most expensive jewelry stores.
Once on the other side of the river, around the Palazzo Pitti is a magnificent Park Boboli (Giardino di Boboli). The Park is a work of landscape design art. The garden was laid by order of the wife of Duke Cosimo I in the middle of the XVI century. The Park is replete with many sculptures, fountains and an ancient amphitheater. It was here that the world’s first Opera productions took place. He took the example of many famous houses in Europe. In the silence of the Park you can enjoy the views of Florence from the hill of the same name.
The ticket costs 6 EUR.
After a break from the bustle of the city, I recommend to visit the Pitti Palace itself (Palazzo Pitti), where one of the largest art museums in Florence is located. The luxurious interior of the Palace catches the eye as soon as you get into it. Magnificent tapestries hanging on the walls, silk Wallpaper and gold molding, preserved to this day are admirable.
The Palace also has a carriage Museum, porcelain Museum, modern art Gallery and Palatine gallery. Only here you can see the largest number of famous paintings by Raphael and Titian, collected in the collection of the Medici family and the Dukes of Lorraine.
The cost of a complex ticket is 11,50 EUR.
The Ponte Vecchio Bridge
Ponte Vecchio early in the morning
How to get to Florence?
Florence is located in the Central part of Italy, you can get to it by different modes of transport: planes, trains, buses and cars. Let’s look at all the options for a trip to the long-awaited Florence.
When you reach the Italian capital Rome, you should change for regular flights to Florence. Usually there are several of them per day and they are called connecting, because most domestic flights. Consider for yourself some points by choosing this method of travel you have in stock should be at least 2 hours between flights. The fact is that boarding flights to Florence takes place in another terminal and the transition between the terminals, as well as check-in for a connecting flight, takes a long time.
Planes arrive at the airport named after Amerigo Vespucci, located 5 km from the city center. By bus you can easily reach the center for only 5 EUR. If you wish to take a taxi, the cost will be around 25 EUR.
With a quick and inexpensive transportation to comfortably get to Florence. There are two rail carriers in Italy, Trenitalia and Italotreno. There are two types of trains: high-speed and regional. Travel time is 1.5 and 4 hours respectively, there is also a difference in price. On a high-speed train, the cost ranges from 19 to 44 EUR, while on a regional train, the price ranges from 21 to 30 EUR.
Trains arrive in Florence at the main station of Santa Maria Novella (Stazione di Santa Maria Novella)which is located in the heart of the city, on Via Mannelli. The historic centre is a 10-minute walk from the station.
By bus it is possible to get to Florence from any major city in Italy-Rome, Milan, Venice. There are regular buses of different carriers: SITA, Copit, CAP and Lazzi. For example, from Rome the duration of the journey will be 4 hours, the ticket price from 5 EUR. This is the most budget option to get to Florence. Buses arrive at the Central bus station, located near the railway station.
This is probably the most comfortable way to travel to Florence on your own. To it are highways from many cities in Italy. This road is very picturesque, you can see countless vineyards, beautiful valleys of Tuscany and the majestic Apennines.
Please note that the entrance of passenger transport in the historic center of the city is prohibited. Do not risk a fine!
Parking in Florence is expensive, the nearest underground Parking is located in the area of the railway station, and cheaper Parking is located between the fortress of Fortezza da basso and the station “Santa Maria Novella”. You can always Park on Piazzale Michelangelo near the observation deck.
How to get around Florence?
I would like to tell you how to move around the city, because you do not run all the time on foot! Due to the fact that Florence is not a big city, the population is only 400 thousand, and most of the attractions are concentrated in the center, and traffic on the narrow streets is very limited. So it will be inconvenient to travel by private car. Use to travel by public transport, it is cheaper and more economical in time.
There are 4 eco-friendly electric bus routes in the centre. They are difficult not to notice they differ in appearance, as well as the letters in the route numbers: C1, C2, C3, and D. Note one more thing, the transport company single tickets for all modes of transport.
The cost of a ticket 1,20 EUR is calculated for 90 minutes of travel. You can also buy a ticket for a day, three days or a week, the ticket price is 5, 12 and 18 EUR respectively. If you want to walk around the city at night, the transport from 20.00 to 3.00 will cost 4 EUR.
What to try or culinary masterpieces of Florence
What does culinary Florence offer? Let’s get acquainted with the traditional Florentine dishes.
First of all, for a small snack suitable bruschetta (bruschetta) — a kind of toast, fried in olive oil and liberally grated with garlic. Do not be surprised at the simplicity of snacks in Florence are very fond of bread and give it preference over everything else. As the saying goes “bread around the head.”
To toast, try finocchiona-sausage-salami, generously flavored with fennel seeds, from where it got its name-fennel or a piece of magnificent Tuscan prosciutto ham (prosciutto Toscano).
If you want to eat, so to speak “on the go”, you can try the traditional local dish lampredotto. It is a stewed stomach of a young calf with tomatoes, it is served both in gourmet establishments and sold at the local market in the form of a sandwich. However, the restaurant has a different name of the dish trippa alla Fiorentina. This snack will cost from 4 EUR.
Be sure to try the Florentine steak (bistecca fiorentina) – a huge piece of meat fried on coals. The minimum weight of one serving is 800 grams, so it will be enough for 2-3 people.
Where to stay in Florence?