“My course is set for an unchartered sea”. Dante Aghlieri, Florencian poet
By any stretch, Florence is a cultural capital of the world. Packed with priceless works of art and architecture, the city has helped to define Western civilisation. All amidst the beautiful surroundings of the Tuscany hills.
No visitor in Florence can afford to miss the galleries. The Uffizi and Accademia are the most famous, the latter housing Michelangelo’s statue of David. Book in advance to avoid the (very) long queues outside these two places. Also not to miss is the Duomo, the domed cathedral which forms many people’s mental image of the city. It’s as spectacular on the inside as on the outside.
We could go on forever listing Florence’s museums and churches, because they’re literally hiding behind every corner. The bigger ones include the Museum of the Santa Maria Novella, the Museo Novecento [Museum of the 20th Century] and the San Lorenzo Basilica, connected to Florence’s old ruling family, the Medicis. The crystalline Arno river snakes its way through the city, reflecting beautiful buildings and crossed by centuries’-old bridges. The Ponte Vecchio is the most notable of these, rebuilt in 1345 but first raised in Roman times. It’s now one of the only major bridges to have shops all the way down, as was common in Medieval times, making it the ideal place to potter and sample the local goods.