FLORENCE-THE CITY YOU RETURN TO
The city that should not be bypassed, if you are traveling through Italy, is the “Italian Athens”. Each of its corners hides an exciting story, so getting to know this Tuscan city is not a common tourist adventure, but an extraordinary confrontation with an entire historical period whose spirit, wealth and glow has been preserved in an almost authentic way. It truly is called the city of love and art for a reason. Florence is an escape for lovers of art, history, architecture.
The city that reconciled the 21st century and the spirit of old times
The first thing you notice in Florence is that the city is interwoven with hundreds of streets. It is therefore helpful to get a map immediately upon arrival, in order to make it easier and quicker if you are not accompanied by a tourist guide. If you do not like crowds, arm yourself with patience because the streets of Florence are packed. You will find tourists from all over the world at any time of the year. The streets exude a spirit of youth, since Florence is one of the university centers of Italy in which students of various artistic disciplines and architecture gather. If you are lucky, you will see a beautiful sight of a multitude of young people sitting in groups in squares and spreading incredible energy and joy.
You will also encounter artists who tirelessly look for inspiration to create everywhere. This city was the source of inspiration for artists such as Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, Petrarca, Donatello … The place where Dante Alighieri, led by his love for his Beatrice, wrote his first work, and the city of the richest family of Italy – Medici. However, one of the most breathtaking characteristics of this city is the architecture. Florence is one of the cities that have managed to preserve the authenticity of a large number of religious, state and other objects that are made in the Romanesque and Renaissance style. But the real adventure starts when you start discovering the stories behind each of them.
The Florentine postcards: Duomo Cathedral
One of the most beautiful impressions of Florence is the Cathedral of Duomo with its famous, mass dome. Its construction in the very center of Florence lasted for nearly two centuries. If you try to photograph the whole building, you most likely will not succeed because of its size, but also due to the close proximity of the surrounding buildings. The entrance is free, but certain parts such as the dome are not, which are totally worth it if you have the patience to wait in huge rows.
Paradise for art lovers
The Piazza della Signoria square is the most famous Florentine square, not far from the Duomo Cathedral. It is recognizable for the Neptune’s fountain connected with the old Roman water supply and a replica of the famous Michelangelo’s David. You will also find the Uffizi Gallery, which no true art lover should miss seeing, as its collection of works includes Botticelli’s paintings “The Birth of Venus” and “Spring”, Michelangelo’s “Holy Family”, his only finished and preserved painting, but also the works of Raphael, Caravaggio, Titian, Leonardo, Tintoretto and many others. The tour should take at least three hours for the enormous gallery.
When visiting Florence, one should also visit the Gothic Basilica of the Sacred Cross (Basilica di Santa Croce) in which Michelangelo, Rossini, Machiavelli, Galileo and others are buried, and where you will also find Dante Alighieri’s monument.
The most beautiful among the bridges
Florence has many bridges, but the most famous and the most beautiful is the Ponte Vecchio, covered by shiny windows of jewelry and souvenir shops, in places where there were once fish markets and butcher shops. It is believed to be the only bridge Hitler spared because of its beauty during his retreat from Italy in World War II. You’ll also definitely see at least one love couple symbolically “locking” their love to the bridge, and throwing the key into the Arno River.
The view of Florence from the Michelangelo Square
Although there are many places, sights, museums and palaces to visit in Florence, I will also mention the Michelangelo Square with a beautiful panoramic view of almost the entire city and make photographs that will surely be among your favorites.
Shopping and food in Florence
An inevitable part of every trip is shopping and enjoying gastronomy. Famous restaurants are located at each corner, but if you have the time and opportunity to go outside of the center and eat at smaller pizza places, you’ll easily find some of the best Italian or world-class pizzas. Of course, if you are in Italy, besides the pizza, you’ll also probably try the most delicious pasta; but do not limit yourself to that alone – try their cheese, the divine tastes of ice cream or chocolate treats. And finally, spice it all with good shopping.
While still in the city center, you should visit the perfumery “Aroma Firenze”, located next to the Duomo, where you will find wonderful cosmetic products that will capture all your senses. Here, you will find a variety of authentic and creative gifts for your family. The best place for shopping alone, is the Gigli mall. It is located outside of the city, but the transport is provided, so, say, in addition to the regular city line, the shopping center also has its bus services that go regularly, and you can ask for the time schedule.
This is Florence – briefly. Only when you visit, you understand why it’s a centuries-old inspiration is to artists, historians, scientists, tourists, that everything you read about it is just a hint of what you will experience, and the main thing – understand why this is the city to which you will surely return.
Author: Marija Draskovic