We hope that you are enjoying our series of articles and guest articles on Italian tourist attractions, covering the entire country except for its major cities. In a sense we have left the best for last. We will describe what to see in Italy’s great cities neighborhood by neighborhood. You may not realize it, but Florence is divided into 9 districts. And each and every one of these districts boasts its own sightseeing attractions. If you have time, visit them all. In any case, read these articles to help plan your trip to Florence. You may be in for some real surprises.
The Uffizi district of central Florence is just south of the Cathedral. This district owes its name to the Uffizi Gallery, founded by the De Medici family towards the end of the Sixteenth Century. The Uffizi Gallery is one of the oldest and finest museums in the world. If you have any interest in art, don’t even think of visiting Florence without visiting this museum on the banks of the Arno River. Its artists include Botticelli, Michelangelo, Rembrant, and Titian. The best time to visit, crowd wise, is late afternoon. Right next to the gallery is arguably Florence’s most spectacular public square, Piazza della Signoria, which has been Florence’s center of political power for countless centuries. Don’t be disappointed; some of the statues here including Michelangelo’s David are mere copies.
Florence’s town hall, the Palazzo Vecchio, was built in the dying days of the Thirteenth Century. The bell on the tower was added some three decades later. Take the time to visit the three courtyards. The Loggia dei Lanzi is a Fourteenth Century museum that isn’t in the same league as the Uffizi gallery but is still worth visiting. Don’t miss Cellini’s statue, Perseus with the Head of Medea, a statue that took him ten years to complete and almost cost him his life.
The Ponte Vecchio is the oldest and undoubtedly the most romantic bridge crossing the river Arno. It is one of the oldest stone bridges in all Europe, dating back to Roman times. This is the only local bridge to survive the Second World War. At one time the Ponte Vecchio housed food shops but for centuries has been home to fancy goldsmiths and silversmiths. In the middle of the bridge you’ll find a bust of Benvenuto Cellini, one of the city’s most famous goldsmiths.
Cellini’s fame pales when compared to that of Dante Alighieri (born in Florence in 1265), author of the Divine Comedy. This district hosts Dante’s House, a museum dedicated to this literary giant. Its ground floor is often used for modern art and sculpture exhibitions.And wherever you go and whatever you do, check out the fine Tuscany or other Italian wines.
Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. Visit his website www.travelitalytravel.com devoted to Italian travel with an accent on fine Italian wine and food. Visit his central wine website www.theworldwidewine.com with weekly reviews of $10 wine and columns devoted to various aspects of wine including wine and food, humor, trivia, organic and kosher wine and lots more.
Feel free to reprint this entire article which must include the above resource boxFlorence Italy Attractions