Florence and its monuments
Florence, its monuments and the Grand Duchy:
a journey through the most important works of the period.
To fully enjoy all the Florentine works of major importance we can begin a journey that will lead us through a series of monuments that have marked the history of the Grand Ducal Florence. Through an artistic journey that starts at the beautiful Palazzo Vecchio and Piazza della Signoria and ends in the magical garden of Boboli, you can relive the great age of Florence by the Medici dynasty.
Piazza della Signoria
When you will find in the square with the imposing Palace you will be immediately greeted with an atmosphere typical of that age with the flow of people that is the same as in the Grand Duchy age because it was the seat of all political and intellectual life. Always in the square we can admire “Loggia dei Lanzi”, building dating to the second half of the ’300 that was used to host public meetings of the Florentine Republic. Since 1500, with the arrivle of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, this space was intended to accommodate some sculptural masterpieces, becoming one of the first exhibition. Bernardo Buontalenti created, in 1583 on the balcony, a terrace where the family attended the performances that took place in the square. To be mentioned is a stop at “Caffè Rivoire”, antique living room created by chocolatier Enrico Rivoire, a member of the House of Savoy. Here you can taste typical Florentine handicrafts in a context that is the great Piazza della Signoria.
The grandiose and monumental building, home of the municipal offices, is one of the greatest symbols of Florence. Over the centuries, the palace underwent several restorations since had to be functional in different periods and especially governments that succeeded in the great city’s history. The most famous room in the building is the “Salone dei 500″. It was built for Girolamo Savonarola to host the “Consiglio dei 500”, but subsequently changed over the centuries. The most significant restructuring occurred with the arrival of the Medici that expanded and embellished the living room becsuse it was bare of all furniture just like the philosophy of Savonarola required. This show is worth visiting because it is full of history, frescoes and statues that you will live a very fascinating trip back in time. A small room full of fascination is “lo Studiolo di Francesco I” in which the Grand Duke loved to spend his days and from wich the small room is named. This was used for the studies of alchemy, on which Francesco was very close. Seeing this room you will certainly attracted to an environment that seems to be surrounded by an aura of magic and mystery.
Uffizi e Corridoio Vasariano
In 1560 the Duke Cosimo I de ‘Medici wanted to bring together the most important Florentine magistrates in one place. For this purpose it was built by Giorgio Vasari, the majestic building of the Uffizi. From 1580 onwards all the lodges were used to record the magnificent collections of works of art over the centuries, increasing in number, made the old headquarters of the judiciary one of the most important art galleries in the world that can not be omit for art lovers. Now the building houses paintings of famous artists such as Giotto, Michelangelo, Raffaello, Botticelli and many others. In 1565, by order of Cosimo I de ‘Medici, was built til Corridoio Vasariano running from the Palazzo Vecchio,passes over the Gallery anda Ponte Vecchio, and reaches the extraordinary garden of Boboli. The route was a safe way for the Medici family in case of revolt of the people, in fact, the rulers could reach from Boboli the Forte Belvedere that was a safe haven and also it was allowed to leave the city. The gallery, until recently, was closed to the public, but fortunately was reopened and now it’s possible visit this location to live feelings very strong and admire paintings that only the Granducal family could enjoy.
Palazzo Pitti and the Garden of Boboli
Originally, the palace belonged to the Pitti family who wanted the building to overcome in majesty and grandeur of the Medici’s Palace (Palazzo Vecchio) as the two families had always been rivals. Fall in disgraced the Pitti family had to sell their property to the Grand Dukes of Tuscany, who expanded the façade and restructured the garden. Today the building houses five different museums all very interesting to see: the Palatine Gallery, the Monumental Apartments, the Gallery of Modern Art, the Museo degli Argenti and the Carriage Museum. The garden behind the building is one of the world’s most important because many European gardens are made on the model of Boboli, the first true example of Italian garden. This is a veritable outdoor museum because of the great number of statues on display. The garden is absolutely charming, full of fountains, side roads are immersed in thick vegetation, not to mention the wonderful artificial caves. The most famous of these is the Cave of Buontalenti. The indentation seems like a real cave, even if artificial, thanks to the expert craftsmanship and precision with which the walls are plastered and decorated. Many stalactites and stalagmites in the cave are natural and were taken directly from real geological formation, this beautiful cave was also enriched inside with a beautiful fountain and the statue of Venus. This could be an unforgettable experience that will amaze you and make you live indescribable emotions. That ends our tour in Grand Ducal Florence. Of course the buildings and museums are not certain only that but we can say that seeing the sights described we can get a fair idea of the beautiful wide artistic possibilities that Florence, a worldwide city, can offer. Belong to the history of Florence also many cafes, restaurants and shops that can offer excellent service and thanks to the delicious Tuscan cuisine definitely come back to visit this magnificent art city.
The most famous Churches of Florence
Basilica of Santa Maria Novella
The Basilica of Santa Maria Novella is one of the most important churches of Florence, basilar bangs for all art lovers. It stands in the homonym square that makes you feel immediately immersed in an oasis of tranquility, away from the traffic of city centre. This monument was born around 1246 on a small church, which now remain only the foundations of some Roman pillars, with the order of Dominicans who obtained the property. The church was officially opened in 1420 but already ended about ‘300. Once you enter you will have a great sense of depth, as if the aisle never end. It’s actually an illusion, this is possible because the fields are shrinking as we approach the altar. The church was very important for the birth and growth of several artists, including Leon Battista Alberti who designed the magnificent main door, the entablature and completed the facade. Now it contains works by great artists such as: “Il Cricifisso” of Giotto, “La Madonna del Rosaio ‘” of Giorgio Vasari, “La Trinità” of Masaccio that will amaze and fascinate you with their beauty. To complete the tour you can admire the enchanting cloisters monumental and spectacular chapels painted with real skill.
Basilica of Santa Croce
Santa Croce is one of the oldest Franciscan Gothic Basilicas that, with its magnificence, you will attract and kidnap. It was founded in 1294 by Arnolfo di Cambio, an important Florentine architect, and it was a meeting place for leading philosophers, artists and politicians of the time that determined the city’s history in the late Middle Ages and Renaissance. The homonymous square in front of the basilica was from its very beginning scene of parties, meetings and celebrations in the city. Still is home to historic events and performances including the conduct of the famous historic football or calcio in costume. The facade of the church remained unfinished until the second half of 1800 when Niccolò Matas concluded, the testimony of the old facade reaches us through prints and photos of the time. The inside of the curch is tall and imposing and the magnificent trusses ceiling was achieved with great difficulty because of the thin walls could not bear its weight.. The basilica contains nobles works by Giotto, Donatello and Cimabue, which realised the “Crucifixion,” which was almost totally destroyed by the 1966 flood; to visit are also finely frescoed cloisters and chapels that take you back in time an oasis of tranquility and beauty. The building also contains the tombs of many famous people including Michelangelo and Machiavelli and monuments to Dante Alighieri, Galileo and other famous people.