Introducing the Icons of Florence
Posted: May 01, 2017
One of the primary features of Florence, noted by those who visit and love it, is that it is a city that cannot, and should not, be rushed. Florence is an experience that leaves an indelible mark on your mind, heart and soul. Each breath-taking sight and landmark simply oozes with the passion that was put into its creation. Fundamentally, the city is a fairly intense place which is why a Florence walking tour is highly recommended as the best pace at which to take it all in. The other pearl of wisdom that seasoned visitors usually convey, is to seek quality over quantity. Enjoying an in-depth exploration of a few of the major sites is preferable to a vague over-view of all of them!
The Jewel of Italy
Florence is a fairly compact riverside city whose monuments and influence greatly outweigh the area’s geographical size. To say that culture, beauty and art are crammed into every nook and cranny of this bustling metropolis would not be an overstatement. However, as with many of the world’s ‘must-see’ destinations a few of the more iconic landmarks do stand above the rest and deserve top priority on your ‘to do’ list. There is always a debate about the best way of seeing the finest landmarks in Florence. Walking tour, bus tour, bicycle tour, Segway tour: there is a method of exploration to suit all types. However, those wishing to really appreciate and absorb the essence of the city usually choose a walking tour. Thankfully the city’s best attractions can all be accessed easily, and enjoyably, on foot.
Florence’s most iconic landmark dominates the cityscape and is even more breath-taking up close. After giving as much attention to the exterior as to the stunning artistry found in the interior, be sure to make the climb to the top of the cupola for a city view like no other.
The Basilica of Santa Croce
Beautiful frescos adorn the walls of this magnificent church which is also the final resting place of many of Florence’s greatest names. Once again, the exterior is a stunning as the interior and this is an attraction that absolutely must be covered in a dedicated ‘highlights of Florence’ walking tour.
The Uffizi Gallery
Although Florence could be considered the ultimate ‘open-air museum’ it is worth delving into its most notable gallery for a glimpse of some of the creations by the greatest artistic minds of all time. You’re at risk of being overwhelmed by the sheer volume of stunning works under one roof so many visitors take advantage of an expert guide to help them get the most from the displays of work by Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, Giotto and Michelangelo, to name just a few.
The Palazzo Vecchio
For a truly authentic time-travel experience be sure to put Palazzo Vecchio on the top of your ‘to do’ list. Breath-taking art and history seamlessly collide in true Italian style within the walls of this Roman ruin, medieval fortress and home of a number of great examples of Renaissance artistry.
Designed by Brunelleschi in 1457 this vast and beautiful palace has been home to a number of Florentine dignitaries. In typical Renaissance style the palace hosts lavish frescos, fine sculptures, amazing paintings and numerous other points of interest which could easily fill an entire day!
Galleria dell’ Accademia
A tour of the city would not be complete without the opportunity to view Florence’s most famous resident. Michelangelo’s David, perhaps the world’s most famous statue, will not disappoint. Take the time to appreciate to impressive magnitude of this artistic feat that was carved from a single block of marble with amazing subtle details.
After a full day of exploring the city’s details one of the best final destinations for any Florence walking tour could be the epic panoramic view found at the Piazzale Michelangelo. The simply stunning view from afar of the Birthplace of the Renaissance never fails to capture the mind and heart and leaves most visitors yearning for an opportunity to return.
The Grand Finale
No matter how many times you visit Florence it is impossible to see it all. The city is built upon many layers, each one more exciting and interesting than the last but none more important than the others. A Florence walking tour allows you to properly absorb the sites and atmosphere of what may perhaps be one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
Rose Magers is an Australian-born Italophile and the founder of ArtViva. With an international reputation for excellence and creativity, ArtViva are at the forefront of escorted day tours in Italy. Rose has indulged her own passion for history and the arts by designing an innovative range of exceptional small group day tours and experiences, whether a Florence walking tour, an unforgettable Tuscan cookery class, or an afternoon grape stomping.
Writer and Online Marketing Manager in London.