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Santa Maria Novella - The church was begun in 1246 by Dominican friars. The white and green marble Gothic-Romanesque façade was completed by Leon Battista Alberti who designed the upper part. Inside, the church hosts splendid masterpieces including the "Trinità" by Masaccio, frescoes by Filippino Lippi (Cappella di Filippo Strozzi), Orcagna and Ghirlandaio (in the Tornabuoni chapel), and a Crucifix by Giotto.Next to the church is the Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, where perfumes, soaps and fragrances are made and sold.
Cathedral, Baptistery, Museo dell’Opera del Duomo - Santa Maria del Fiore is the Gothic cathedral which has been built over the church of Santa Reparata. It was designed by Arnolfo di Cambio who began its construction in 1296. Brunelleschi completed it in 1436 with the elegant dome, the inside of which was entirely frescoed by Vasari and Zuccari. The facade was completed at the end of the 19th century. The Bell Tower, or Campanile was designed by Giotto in 1334 and continued by Pisano and Talenti; covered with pink, green and white Tuscan marble. Opposite the Cathedral stands the green and white marble Baptistery of San Giovanni (1128) with splendid bronze doors, a masterpiece of Florentine Romanesque architecture. Famous for the mosaics representing Biblical scenes on the vault. The Museo dell'Opera del Duomo houses artworks from Santa Maria del Fiore, the Baptistery and the Campanile; works by Michelangelo ("Pietà"), Donatello, Arnolfo di Cambio and Luca della Robbia.
Palazzo Vecchio and Piazza della Signoria - On this square, the heart of Florence, there are the Palazzo Vecchio, the Fontana del Nettuno, a copy of the David statue by Michelangelo as well as other statues by Giambologna and Bandinelli. Palazzo Vecchio was designed in 1298-9 by Arnolfo di Cambio as the seat of the Republican government. First called Palazzo dei Priori, it became "Palazzo Vecchio" when the Medici family moved to their new residence in Palazzo Pitti. now it is the city hall. Visit the Salone dei 500 with frescoes by Vasari, the Sala dei Gigli, frescoed by Ghirlandaio. Facing Palazzo Vecchio is the Piazzale degli Uffizi bordered by the Loggia dei Lanzi designed by Orcagna. Under its Gothic vaults stand 15 statues.
Galleria degli Uffizi, Vasari Corridor and Ponte Vecchio - The Uffizi Gallery is one of the largest museums of the world, founded in 1581 by Francesco I de' Medici, who decided to use the rooms of the palace designed by Vasari, to display the family's art treasures. Today the Uffizi boast masterpieces by Italian and foreign artists from the 13th to the 18th century such as Cimabue, Giotto, Masaccio, Beato Angelico, Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Piero della Francesca, Raphael, Caravaggio, along with Rubens, Rembrandt, Dürer, Goya and many others. Don't miss the Ognissanti Madonna by Giotto, the Duke and Duchess of Urbino by Piero della Francesca, the Birth of Venus by Botticelli, the Holy Family by Michelangelo, the Venus of Urbino by Titian and the Bacchus by Caravaggio.The Vasari Corridor that connects the Palazzo Vecchio with Palazzo Pitti Palace hosts around 800 paintings and offers a splendid view. Built by Vasari in 1565, it passes above the Ponte Vecchio, the oldest bridge in the city, with its many jewelry shops.
Gallery of the Accademia - This museum is dedicated to Florentine art and houses famous sculptures by Michelangelo, including the "David"; the "Pietà" by Andrea del Sarto, a Deposition by Filippino Lippi.
Opificio delle Pietre Dure - The Opificio was founded by Ferdinando de' Medici in 1588 as an institute for teaching the craft of working with marble and semiprecious stones. Today it restores mosaics and Robbian terracotta.
Basilica of S.Croce and Museo dell’Opera di S.Croce - This Franciscan basilica in Florentine-Gothic style was designed by Arnolfo di Cambio in 1295. It houses the tombs of Michelangelo, Galilei, Machiavelli and others. Inside there are many artworks, including Giotto's famous frescoes in the Bardi chapels. The most important monuments include the tomb of Alfieri by Canova, the tomb of Leonardo Bruni by Rossellino and the tomb of Carlotta Bonaparte by Bartolini. Don't miss the Cappella de' Pazzi (to the right of the church) the Cappella Baroncelli and the Annunciation by Donatello in the inside.The Museo dell'Opera is housed in the cloister and contains renowned artworks such as the "Crucifix" by Cimabue, frescoes by Taddeo Gaddi and Andrea Orcagna.
Cappella Brancacci - This chapel in the 13th century church of S.Maria del Carmine is world-famous for its frescoes by Masaccio, a masterpiece of Renaissance painting. They represent the Stories of St Peter and completely cover the walls of the small rooms. Masolino da Panicale was commissioned to do the frescoes and he began work in 1424 with the help of his pupil Masaccio. When Masaccio left Florence, the frescoes were completed after 1480 by Filippino Lippi.
Palazzo Strozzi - Designed by Benedetto da Maiano and Cronaca in 1489, this building is one of the finest expressions of Renaissance architecture.
Orsanmichele - A loggia-market which was turned into a church in 1380 by Simone Talenti.
Palazzo Pitti and Giardini di Boboli - This palace was commissioned by the banker Luca Pitti in 1448; it was enlarged in 1549 when ownership passed to the Medici family who made it their residence. It boasts a beautiful courtyard by Ammannati. Palazzo Pitti houses several museums and galleries the most important of which is the Galleria Palatina, with masterpieces dating from the 15th to 17th centuries, including paintings by Titian, Giorgione, Raphael (Madonna of the Chair), and Rubens (ceilings frescoed by Pietro da Cortona). Other museums are the Gallery of Modern Art, the Museo degli Argenti, the Galleria del Costume, the Carriage Museum, the Porcelain Museum, the Contini Bonacossi Collection, the Royal Apartments and the Apartment of the Duchess of Aosta. One of the most beautiful Italian gardens, the Giardini di Boboli, extend on the Boboli hill behind Palazzo Pitti, covering 5000ha. Designed by Tribolo in 1549 and then enhanced by Ammanati and Buontalenti. It has woods, lush greenery, fountains, lakes and rare botanic plants.The 16th century fortress, Forte Belvedere, dominates the gardens and the entire city; it was designed by Buontalenti for the Grand Duke Ferdinando I.
Other interesting sights: Palazzo Rucellai, Ognissanti church, Santa Felicita (paintings by Pontormo), San Miniato al Monte (the oldest Florentine church, built in 1018), Palazzo Torrigiani - called "La Specola", San Frediano, Santa Trinita, Palazzo Davanzati (houses the Museo della Casa Fiorentina), Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Cenacolo di Sant'Apollonia (hosts the "Last Supper" by Andrea del Castagno), S.Lorenzo (designed by Brunelleschi), Santissima Annunziata (visit the Chiostrino dei Voti and the Cappella dei Pucci), Giardino dei Semplici ( botanical garden).