Florence

Historical Survey

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The bell tower, designed by Giotto the great painter, was erected in the mid-fourteenth century. And one hundred years later the cathedral was "crowned" by Brunelleschi's majestic dome. Facing the cathedral stands the magnificent Baptistry, dedicated to the city's patron, St.John the Baptist. It is embellished by three famous doors, including the Lorenzo Ghiberti's "Door of Paradise". Not far from Piazza del duomo we come to Piazza della Signoria dominated by Palazzo Vecchio which, along with the Loggia della Signoria and the Piazzale degli Uffizi forms a setting that is unique in the whole world. Palazzo Vecchio, certainly the most beautiful of all the town-halls built anywhere in italy during the Middle Ages is an enormous structure: massive below and then gracefully tapering upwards to touch the sky with Arnolfo's tower. The Palazzo degli Uffizi, a sixteenth century project by Vasari is home of the gallery with the same name and hence, of one of the greatest art collections in the world. Not far from Piazza della Signoria are the Palazzo di Parte Guelfa, enlarged by Brunelleschi and the church of Orsanmichele. Crossing the fourteenth century Ponte Vecchio, we can admire the jewelry shops flanking both side of the bridge; if we look to the left we can see the long corridor that joins the Uffizi Gallery, Palazzo Vecchio and Palazzo Pitti. This last building stands on huge piazza and is the home of the Palatine Gallery, a fine complement to the Uffizi. Adjacent to Palazzo Pitti are the Boboli Gardens where fine performances of the "Maggio Musicale" festival are held annually. The renowned Via Tornabuoni is a succession of exception buildings, including Palazzo Strozzi, the finest example of the Florentine Renaissance home.
The splendour of Florence is also indebted to its capacity for accommodating its guests with possibility of choosing.