Essential: Don’t get intimidated by the steep staircase, once you’re up in the Giotto’s bell tower you’ll be compensated by the amazing views.
Famous for: The most mysterious dome in the world.
In three words: Imposing, majestic, symbolic
We’re in the heart of Florence: the cathedral area is the most visited place and very crowded with tourists. Imposing, sometimes chaotic, a shopping and art Mecca, including the Piazza del Duomo, the elegant Via Calzaiuoli, which directs you to Piazza della Signoria and the Loggia dei Lanzi. From here, you can start enjoying the Galleria degli Uffizi. For those who want to live in the bustling centre of the city, an apartment in Florence Duomo is the best there is!
HISTORY: Florence was born here, in the Piazza della Repubblica, more than 2000 years ago. The city is the masterpiece of Renaissance: The Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral has a large history of succeeding renovations, but found its true glory in the XV century, when its extraordinary dome was opened, Filippo Brunelleschi’s work, who kept being a mystery of architecture for centuries. Another important aspect of the history of the city is the Palazzo Vecchio, now Florence’s town hall: this project is attributed to Arnolfo di Cambio, and throughout the centuries it was the political centre of Florence.
AMBIENCE: The Duomo area is very touristic, and it couldn’t be otherwise as it’s considered amongst one the wonderful works to be seen. It’s ideal to go shopping or just walking looking up, but you have to be careful when you go out for drink as you might get an unpleasant surprise when taking care of the bill (although many bars are worth the pay: a hot chocolate at the Rivoire, Piazza della Signoria, and some coffee at the famous bar Le Guibbe Rosse, Piazza della Repubblica – a piece of the city’s history). The area behind the Piazza della Repubblica offers charming places such as the streets that lead you to the Santa Croce Cathedral. Just by moving away from the most crowded sections, you’ll be amazed by getting lost in the interior streets.
PLACES: The Duomo, Battistero and Giotto’s Campanile are a harmonic triumph of colorful marbles – white, green and pink dominate preciously. The Duomo (Santa Maria del Fiore) is the fourth largest cathedral in the world: it was started by Arnolfo di Cambio and finished by Brunelleschi’s big dome. Giotto’s Bell Tower is considered the most beautiful one in Italy. The baptistery was Santa Maria del Fiore’s baptism font and its copper doors are of great artistic interest.
Walking by the Via Calzaiuoli you can find the beautiful Chiesa di Orsanmichele, born with the structure of an old barn. Then we reach the Piazza della Signoria, undoubtedly one of the most beautiful squares in Florence, if not the most beautiful one, dominated by the Palazzo Vecchio, featuring the famous Salone dei Cinquecento, and the wonderful Loggia de Lanzi.
Lastly, the Piazza della Repubblica, the centre of the old city, and the Mercato del Porcellino, famous for its leather products, but even more famous for its fountain, the name of the market is due to the statue of a pig (although it actually is wild boar) and the tradition says that you have to put a coin inside the mouth of the animal (or rub its snout), make a wish and be able to let it drop. Otherwise you won’t come back to Florence! Everyday there are queues to make wishes in front of the Porcellino.
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