Florence (Firenze in Italian) is world-famous as the cradle of the Italian Renaissance.
A city founded by the Romans with the name of Florentia that greatly expanded during the Middle-Ages, from the early-14th century to the late-16th century, under the reign of the Medici family, Florence had been indeed the birthplace or the hometown of many of the most important Renaissance artists, including Giotto, Filippo Brunelleschi, Masaccio, Donatello, Leon Battista Alberti, Fra Angelico, Raphael, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, and Michelangelo, to name a few.
Today, Florence is the capital of the Tuscany region, a lively university town, and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. A city that proudly shows its glorious past in its monuments (such as the famous Cathedral with the dome by Brunelleschi and Giotto’s Campanile), and world-renowned museums, including the Uffizi Gallery, the Bargello Museum, and the Galleria dell’Accademia.
Many of the most important museums and monumental buildings are located in Florence’s historical center, which is rather small if compared to those of Rome and Milan and can be easily traveled on foot. This also gives the traveler an occasion to experiment with the famous Tuscan cuisine in one of the many restaurants and trattorie available there; typical Florentine dishes include the traditional Crostini Toscani with chicken pate, the Ribollita and the Pappa al Pomodoro soups, the Peposo beef stew, and the enormous Fiorentina steak traditionally served with the Fagioli all’Uccelletto baked beans. A street food very popular among the locals is the sandwich with Lampredotto, but be careful because it is made from a cow’s stomach and not everyone likes its peculiar flavor.
Finally, our suggestion is to avoid visiting the city in summer since it can be overcrowded and very hot; spring and autumn are the best seasons to visit Florence.
Cover image, the facade of the Uffizi Gallery in central Florence; photo © Riccardo Bianchini/Inexhibit.
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