Firenze, or Florence, is a major city located in Tuscany, in central Italy. This small town situated on the banks of the Arno has been modelled during the ages into a masterpiece, the "Cradle of the Renaissance" by great historical figures such as Lorenzo the Magnificent, Donatello, Michelangelo, Brunelleschi and many more...
A weekend isn't sufficient to experience Florence neither of course Tuscany, but you can manage to select a few things you really must to while visiting the town and the sorroundings.
Brunelleschi's Dome overlooks Florence, and even today it's the tallest building in the whole city. The bell tower was designed by Giotto although he did not see his work finished. The Baptistery is one of the oldest buildings in Florence and has been there since the fourth century, its magnificent doors replicate the bible trough bronze scupltures. The Cathedral with its white marble facade and green ravishes is literally breathtaking for all it's details. A true masterpiece.
The completion of this complex was attended by the most important Florentine artists: Giotto, Brunelleschi, Vasari, Arnolfo di Cambio and Lorenzo Ghiberti. Every visit to Florence starts here: with your head up and a stunned look on your face, wondering how did man create such a wonder.
The Uffizi is a true casket of master-pieces of every age and a dream destination for art lovers from around the world. Indeed, it is strange to see the long line of foreigners who are waiting patiently for their turn to enter and, for this reason, many Italians despite having the opportunity have never been inside the Uffizi.
The journey begins with the hall of the fourteenth century, and the Three Blades of Cimabue, Duccio and Giotto, depicting all the "Madonna in trono col Bambino". Then you are offered to a crescendo of beauty: Botticelli, Leonardo, Signorelli, Perugino, Durer, Caravaggio and many more great artist... Plan a whole day to visit this location and remember to put a pair of comfortable shoes, but most of all...enjoy the show.
Ponte Vecchio is the most beautiful bridge in Florence and one of the most photographed bridges in the world. Although today goldsmiths attract vast groups of tourists, but until 1565 the bridge was dominated by greengrocers and butchers.
Remember to try at least once a glass of wine from the sorrounding vineyards, I warmly reccomand a bottle of Brunello di Montalcino, Chianti or Nobile di Montepulciano.
Remember that Italy is one of the leading countries in fashion design...and here in Tuscany, neare Florence, you can visit an amazing shopping centre called The Mall, an exclusive outlet destination for shopping top brands at bargain prices.
At just an hour and a half ride from Florence you can find Lucca, famous for its intact Renaissance-era city walls.
Lucca, a living testimony to past times, kingdoms and dominions, lies in a green valley just north west of Florence. This almost perfectly preserved jewel of medieval architecture and buildings, emanates charm and shows layers of history from every corner of its narrow winding streets.
Lucca was founded by the Etruscans (there are traces of a pre-existing Ligurian settlement) and became a Roman colony in 180 BC. The rectangular grid of its historical centre preserves the Roman street plan, and the Piazza San Michele occupies the site of the ancient forum. Traces of the amphitheatre can still be seen in the Piazza dell'Anfiteatro.
Tuscany offers relaxing journeys, ancient legends, art masterpieces and natural wonders just waiting to be discovered. Take a break, and find your way out from your daily routine trough travel.
“Maybe the only thing that matters is to make our lives last as long as we do. You know, to make a life last until it ends, to make all the parts come out even, like when you rub the last piece of bread in the last drop of oil on your plate and eat it with the last sip of wine in your glass.”
― Marlena De Blasi, A Thousand Days in Tuscany: A Bittersweet Adventure