Florence and Tuscany

Florence

Florence, is art. From the first time I visited, I was shocked that art is very much in the DNA of the Florentines. Everything they do, even clearly utilitarian products such as an envelopes or a letter paper is a work of art.

  • Duomo: It is basic to sigh and delight before the dome made by Brunelleschi six centuries ago, and which is still the largest. After that it is interesting to enter and locate the wonderful fresco by Paolo Uccello, and the rest of the art and details that adorn it.
  • Piazza della Signoria: The famous square is always full of tourists, that is why beyond the sculptures in honor of the Medicis, it is important to look for the Loggia dei Lanzi (it is south of the square) it is an open museum where the famous sculpture Perseus Victorious of Cellini rests.
  • Uffizzi Gallery: Unless you want to line up for hours, it is best to book tickets in advance, as the most famous art gallery in Florence is always very busy. It has so many extraordinary works of art, that it is better to visit it with patience and without aspiring to see it all in one visit. There are works by Michelangelo, Piero de la Francesca and Da Fabriano, but my favorites are two by Botticcelli: “Primavera” and “Birth of Venus”.
  • The Academy: As with Uffizzi it is advisable to buy tickets in advance. When you arrive you will see a huge line and you will know that it is to see the David of Miguel Angel, after seeing him do not leave as many do, the Academy has a lot to see.
  • Santa Crocce: The iconic Franciscan church is the place where the most famous Florentines are buried: Michelangelo, Rossini, Machiavello and Galileo Galiei (who was only buried in 1737 as he was persecuted for his theories by the Inquisition and banned from giving Christian burial to the moment of his death). Also here is the memorial, but with the empty sarcophagus of Dante.
  • National Museum of Bargello: If you still want to see more art, I recommend this wonderful museum that has the largest collection of Renascentist sculptures, including some by Miguel Angel and the sculpture of San Jorge by Donatello.
  • Convent of Todos Los Santos: It seems incredible but the famous work “The Last Supper” is in the cloister of this small old convent. The opening hours to the public are limited, so it is necessary to plan the visit according to them.
  • Ponte Vecchio: The oldest bridge in Florence – built in 1345 – is the place where today Florentine art brought to jewelry can be enjoyed and bought. Side by side are small jewelers and stores with ideal items to carry as a souvenir of this beautiful city.
  • Santa Maria Novella: The ancient church of the Dominican Fathers is almost always forgotten by travelers, however it is full of relevant works of art including The Crucifix of Giotto. Also next to this is one of the most magical places in the city: “Officina Profumo Farmaceutica Santa Maria Novella” a pharmacy and perfumery founded also by the Dominican Fathers in 1675 that produces the most delicious perfumes, soaps and candles, as well as natural syrups and other pharmaceutical products.
  • Pizzeria Santarpia: If you ask the locals, surely most will answer that this is the best Pizza in Florence.
  • Sergio Gozzi Trattoria: This traditional Tuscan food restaurant belongs to the Gozzi family since 1915; It is a hidden gem in the San Lorenzo area.
  • CafĂ© Rivore: Founded in 1872 as a chocolate factory, it is the ideal place to take a cappuccino and watch people pass by from its lovely terrace. All their desserts are extraordinary, especially the Sacher Cake.
  • La Bottega del Buon Caffe: This elegant Michelin-starred restaurant achieves what many of its style does, feel cozy and relaxed. The mix of an open kitchen, organic ingredients and top quality prepared with mastery by its great chef Antonello Sardi, the experience of visiting it is memorable.
  • GurdulĂș: This modern restaurant, decorated with walls covered with tapestries from Fornasetti, is one of the most fashionable restaurants-bars in Florence. The food and the cocktails are creative and very well prepared.

The Toscana

  • San Gimignano: Only 57 kilometers from Florence is located on the top of a hill, this small walled town. which has remained almost intact since the Medieval Age. All its towers (they were like the skyscrapers of the period, a symbol of wealth). To enjoy it, you can walk around it and visit its shops selling typical Tuscan pottery items.
  • Sienna: It is essential to visit the Duomo, which is spectacular. Another historical place is the Spedale of Santa Maria de la Scala which is an old hospital and hostel turned into an archaeological museum.
  • Cortona: Idilico, is the word that comes to mind to describe it. It dates from the 5th century AD, and is surrounded by olive groves and vineyards. This is a small town to relax, drink wine and walk through its squares, not to find historical places. Ideal to recover from the hustle and bustle of Florence.
  • Asis: Technically this little town, the birthplace of San Francisco de Asis is already in Umbria, but it is so close to Cortona that the trip is appropriate. Going through is very easy, but it is better to get carried away by its small streets and enjoy the wine cellars and other local Italian products.

 

 

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