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Florence travel guide photo

For several centuries of its history Florence turned into one of the most beautiful cities in Italy. And even at the background of such great cities as Rome or Venice, Florence takes a worthy position among all other important tourist destinations.

You can most fully feel the spirit of late Middle Ages or Renaissance in the city. As Florence then was a kind of cultural & scientific center. There lived and worked almost all great Italians of the period, from Dante Alighiery to Leonardo da Vinci.

One of the most important sights of Florence is the huge cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, which dominates all the buildings of the city, exceeding their height by nearly two times. The cathedral and bell tower is a wonderful example of Italian Renaissance architecture. So, you should visit it in the first place. Also, you should climb atop Giotto Bell Tower to admire the dome of cathedral and views of Florence.

The oldest square of the city, Piazza della Signoria, is only two quarters off the cathedral. It is dominated by the Palazzo Vecchio (Old Castle), and on the square itself you can admire sculptures of Florentine masters, such as Michelangelo, Donatello, and Cellini, etc. There is an alley between the Old Castle and Lanzi Gallery leading to the famous Uffizi Gallery. If you have enough time and patience to stand in a queue (and it is very desirable), you will get a great pleasure of your visit.

After a tour of the old quarters of the city, you may have a stroll along the Arno Embankment. It gives you a beautiful view of the Old Bridge or Ponte Vecchio. Beyond the bridge there is Pitti Palace, one of the largest palaces in Florence. To save time you may not get inside the palace (as its gallery is incomparable with that of Uffizi), but you are sure to look around the Gardens of Boboli.

It would be a blessed place for almost any tourist who has just made a tour of the streets of the city. The terraces of the garden let you climb the hill, giving a wonderful view not only of Pitti Palace but also of the entire city. From the Gardens of Boboli you need to pass to the hill, and then climb onto Piazzale Michelangelo. It just from there that you can have the most magnificent panorama of Florence.

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Old town Florence as viewed from the Piazzale Michelangelo.
Old quarters of Florence as viewed from the Piazzale Michelangelo.
View of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore from the tower of Palazzo Vecchio
View of the dome of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore from the Bell tower of Giotto
Baptistery in front of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence
Gates of Paradise - Eastern doors of the Baptistery of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore made by Michelangelo
Palazzo Vecchio (Old Palace) was built in the style of a medieval castle on the Piazza della Signoria in 1299
Statues of Michelangelo`s David and Hercules and Cacus at the entrance of the Palazzo Vecchio
Palazzo Vecchio is dominated by the Boboli Gardens located on the opposite bank of the river Arno
Vasari`s frescoes on the walls of the Room of 500
Santa-Croce Basilica as viewed from the tower of the Palazzo Vecchio.
Monument above the tomb of Michelangelo at the Santa-Croce Basilica in Florence.
Neptune Fountain on the Piazza della Signoria (Signoria Square) in Florence.
Statue of lion and «The Rape of the Sabine Women» at the Loggia dei Lanzi on the Signoria Square in Florence.
Fountain of Neptune against the background of the walls of the Palazzo Vecchio on the Signoria Square in Florence.
The viewing point of the Piazzale Michelangelo (Michelangelo Square) is well seen over the river among the gardens – from it you can have a magnificent view of Florence.
David statue, the most famous work of Michelangelo, is in the middle of the Piazzale Michelangelo.
Facade of the Palazzo Pitti faces the sloping Pitti square.
Luca Pitti wanted the court of his palace to be larger than the entire Medici Palace. 
View of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore from the view point of Piazza Michelangelo in Florence
Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens as viewed from the tower of the Palazzo Vecchio.
Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge) is the oldest bridge in Florence
From inside the Ponte Vecchio looks more like a jewelry shop street and not a bridge
Basilica of St. Lawrence at the old town Florence.
View on Florence from the square in front of the tea-house at the Boboli Gardens.
Dwarf on Turtle fountain near the Grotto of Buontalenti. It is supposed to be Pietro Barbi, a court jester of Cosimo I Medici.
«Hercules and Cacus» on the Signoria Square in Florence.
The statue of the duke Cosimo I de` Medici on the Signoria Square in Florence.
View on the central quarters of the old town Florence from the Giotto`s Belfry of Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral.