Walking through the streets of Florence is the best way to dive in a journey through time in the “Cradle of the Renaissance” and meet artists as Brunelleschi, Masaccio, Donatello, Michelangelo through their works.
Churches, palaces, museum and bridges, but also typical shops, markets, restaurants and places where to spend pleasant evenings, are all “within easy reach”.
On foot, in fact, it’s possible to visit all the most interesting places, discover hidden treasures and satisfy the senses thanks to noteworthy enogastronomical experiences.
Here are the 3 itineraries proposed based on the geographical areas in which the city is divided.
OLD TOWN: A WALK THROUGH THE MOST INTERESTING AND FAMOUS PLACES OF FLORENCE
Starting from Piazza del Duomo, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore looks impressive with its contrasting Gothic style: a rather austere interior and an external façade covered with pink marble.
The dome of the Cathedral can be compared to a precious chest, inside which you can admire the “GiudizioUniversale”, the beautiful fresco by Giorgio Vasari, completed by his pupil Federico Zuccari.
The clock, placed above the entrance and designed by Paolo Uccello, has a particularity: it follows the Italic time, that is, the 24 hours of the day end at sunset. But the visit of the Cathedral cannot end like this! You have to climb to the top of the dome of the Duomo: from up there the view of Florence will reveal itself in all its magnificence.
From Piazza Duomo, passing Giotto’s Bell Tower, you will come across the Museodell’Opera del Duomo, designed to offer protection from pollution to all the external statues of the Cathedral: think that it is more than 750 works of art!
From the Museum, turning in Via Proconsolo and proceeding along Via del Corso, Via del Presto di San Martino and finally in Via Santa Margherita, you can visit the Casa Museo di Dante, where the famous poet lived.
Returning to Via Proconsolo, you will find the Bargello Museum inside Palazzo del Popolo. The Bargello houses an impressive collection of sculptures and works of Renaissance art, including masterpieces by Donatello, Luca dellaRobbia, Michelangelo, Cellini and Verocchio.
A couple of blocks down, proceeding in Via dei Gondi, you will come across:
• Piazza Signoria: the center of political life in Florence and home to important historical events;
• Palazzo Vecchio: a political emblem of the city of Florence and a symbol of art and history, linked inextricably to the structure for centuries. The imposing construction, in fact, leans on the ruins of the Roman Theater of Florentia, presenting the appearance of a medieval fortress, internally composed of Renaissance rooms frescoed masterfully. In short: an alchemy of 3 historical periods;
• Uffizi Gallery: a delight for the view just to look at it from the outside! Inside, then, a triumph of frescoed ceilings and rooms full of works of art that follow each other as if to form a labyrinth.
After all this discovering, at the end of the square, give yourself a chocolate worthy of note (especially in winter!) at RivoireCafè is a must!
Continuing along Via Calzaiuoli, we find the Church of Orsanmichele, a long name, fruit of the union of three different words: a church different from all the others of the city because it’s the union of the typical characteristics of a civil and religious building.Going into Via del Corso, and turning to Via Sant’Elisabetta, you will come across a narrow Florentine alley, narrow and with many small shops, at the end of which there is Grom, a famous ice cream shop dedicated to the sweet tooth!
If, on the other hand, you prefer some typical delicacies, it is advisable to head to Via dello Studio where there is Pegna, historic food since 1860, where you can find culinary specialties with a Florentine flavor and souvenirs.From Via dello Studio, turning left, you return to Piazza del Duomo, thus concluding the first recommended route.
OLTRARNO: THE ITINERARY WHICH BRINGS YOU TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ARNO RIVER
The starting point of this walk is the Ponte Vecchio, the eternal symbol of Florence, the only survivor of the Second World War.
Crossing the bridge in the evening is really impressive, the wooden doors of the shops closed and the soft lights, create a unique atmosphere.
Leaving the bridge and continuing along Via deiGiucciardini, you get to Palazzo Pitti, an example of great and innovative Renaissance architecture, with its rooms rich in decorations and the beautiful Boboli Gardens: one of the most important examples of “Italian gardens” , as well as a real “open-air museum”.
To the left of the palace, crossed by the Vasari Corridor, there is the Church of San Felicita, testimony of Gothic style, which contains: a crucifix attributed to Giotto, frescoes by Pontormo and other works worthy of note.
In addition to lots of art, there are also the most characteristic leather and clothing stores in Florence. A tip: if you walk on a nice day, the Palazzo Pitti‘s Square reveals a large area on the left where you can relax and be kissed by the sun!
Proceeding, you reach Piazza di San Felice where there is a small tower; turning around it, and continuing in Via Mazzetta, you arrive at Piazza Santo Spirito, where, in addition to visiting the Basilica of Santa Maria di Santo Spirito, famous for the frescoes by Botticelli and Lippi, you can wander through the market, or spending time in one of the many restaurants, bars and restaurants.
After a bit of refreshment, the itinerary, through Via di Maggio, ends again on the Arno River at the Ponte di Santa Trinità.
PIAZZALE MICHELANGELO AND SAN MINIATO: A ROUTE TO EXPERIENCE!
This last itinerary will also be the longest, but certainly the most amazing!
Beautiful panoramic views and picturesque streets, all far from the most common and crowded tours.
Leaving Ponte Vecchio behind you and turning left into Via dei Bardi, the Bardini Museum offers a rich and varied collection of art, both by age and gender.
The Museum, complete with many masterpieces, is a gift from the eponymous antiquarian to the town of Florence.
Attached to it , there is the Bardini Garden which stretches along a side of the hill and offers a number of rare and exotic plants, as well as a great view of the city from its terraces.
At the end of Via dei Bardi, you turn into Via San Niccolò, and you get to the homonymous Gate in Piazza Giuseppe Poggi that, in the Middle Ages, was one of the gates of Florence.
Here, through stairs and streets, you reach the top inPiazzale Michelangelo, where there is a reproduction of Michelangelo’s David and, where, there is one of the most incredible and evocative views of Florence.
In front of so much immensity, you can do nothing but sit on the steps, breathe deeply and enjoy the view.
Only then can you continue along the staircase that leads to the Church of San Miniato al Monte, one of the most beautiful and elaborate examples of Tuscan Romanesque architecture.
You can’t fail to visit this place of interest inside, and admire frescoes, sinopias, terracotta decorations, mosaics and crypt.
From this point on, the itinerary leads back to the city, but first, taking Via Galileo and the stairs on the left to go down towards the center, it is worth stopping at the Rose Garden, especially between May and June, when, over 350 varieties of roses are in full bloom, in the company of many other plants, including a Japanese garden.
The Rose Garden is a magnificent place to relax immersed in nature and ideal for roaming the children in freedom, as it is fenced.
Well, if at this point the stomach begins to grumble, just cross the garden and get to the “Fuoriporta”, a restaurant famous especially for its crostoni.
Finally, before returning to the heart of Florence through the old walls, crossing Via Belvedere, you will enjoy a walk in one of the most beautiful streets of the city where, still, reside some of the most historic families.
In short: proposals on what to visit in Florence are millions…. you just have to get on the road!