The city of Florence eats, sleeps and breathes art. Examples of man's artistic genius stand on nearly every street. Dozens of museums and art shops wait to be explored. Florence, Italy, is an art lover's paradise.
Florence travel, Italy Tourist Attractions
During the Renaissance (or "Rebirth" of art), Florence was a paradise for artists themselves. In fact, the Renaissance began here more than 500 years ago. Before this time, art focused completely on religious subjects. Renaissance art began to include more variety. Artists painted pictures of ordinary people. They painted scenes from history and characters from Greek and Roman myths.
The Arno River runs through the center of Florence.
Florence is the capital of the region of Tuscany, on Italy's north-west coast. The cultural and historical impact of Florence is overwhelming. However, the city is one of Italy's most atmospheric and pleasant, retaining a strong resemblanceto the small late-medieval center that contributed so much to the cultural and political development of Europe.
Where Rome is a historical hot-pot , Florence is like stepping back into a Fiat and Vespa-filled Renaissance : the shop-lined Ponte Vecchio, the trademark Duomo, the gem-filled Uffizi Gallery, the turreted Piazza della Signoria and the Medici Chapels.
The remarkable Duomo , with its pink, white and green marble fa? ade and characteristic dome , dominates the city's skyline. The building took almost two centuries to build (and even then the facade wasn't completed until the 19th century), and is the fourth-largest cathedral in the world. The enormous dome was designed by Brunelleschi, and its interior features frescoes and stained-glass windows by some of the Renaissance-era's best: Vasari, Zuccari, Donatello, Uccello and Ghiberti. Take a deep breath and climb up to take a closer look, and you'll be Florence travel rewarded by fantastic views of the city and an insight into how the dome was so cleverly constructed - without scaffolding. The dome still defines the scale of the city, and no building in town is taller. Leaning Tower of Pisa
Bandinelli's Hercules and Cacus can be found in Piazza della Signoria.
Florence was founded as a colony of the Etruscan city of Fiesole in about 200 BC, later becoming the Roman Florentia, a garrison town controlling the Via Flaminia. In the 13th century the pro-papalGuelphs and pro-imperial Ghibellines started a century-long bout of bickering ,which wound up withthe Guelphs forming their own government in the 1250s. By 1292 Florence eventually becoming a commercial republic controlled by the Florence tourism Guelph-heavy merchant class.In the latter part of the 14th century the Medicis began consolidating power, eventually becoming bankers to the papacy . Florence became capital of the Kingdom, and remained so until Rome took over in 1875.
Florence used to be badly damged by war and floods (in 1966), fortunately the salvage operation led to the widespread use of modern restoration techniqueswhich have saved artworks throughout the country.
Michelangelo was the greatest of Florence's artists. Visitors line up for hours at the Accademia museum for a look at his impressive David. This 14-foot-high statue has become the ideal human figure of the Renaissance. David is an example of Michelangelo's talent for sculpting people simply, yet powerfully.
More of Michelangelo's work can be seen in the great Palazzo Vecchio. This Florence attractions building housed the Florentine government from 1299-1322. Paintings and carvings of famous Italian artists fill the palace rooms. Michelangelo helped decorate the outside, too. He chiseled a head into the palace wall. A story says that to win a bet, Michelangelo carved the head with his hands behind his back, facing away from the wall.
Not far from the Palazzo Vecchio lies Florence's Cathedral Square. The beautiful domed Duomo, or "House of God," took nearly 150 years to build (1294-1436). One of the most famous engineers of the day designed it. Florence travel Visitors still marvel at the dome, the crowning feature of the cathedral. To this day, no building in Florence may rise above the dome.
Nearby stands the Cathedral Works Museum. The building once housed the offices of the men who commissioned art for the cathedral. Today it contains sculptures that used to decorate the outside of the cathedral.