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Sightseeing in Florence

There are a countless things to see in Florence: the entire historical part of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and therefore there is no shortage of monuments of notable artistic, urbanistic and landscape value.

Among the things to see are the hills overlooking Florence. To experience the thrill of walking through villas, olive groves, vegetable gardens, and along cypress lined avenues with the city as your backdrop is almost a must/a requirement. Stop at Piazzale Michelangelo for a gelato and for panoramic city views before heading up to the church of San Miniato al Monte from which you can admire the breathtaking sunset over Florence.

Florence has a rich selection of museums: the Uffizi Gallery which houses a collection of Botticelli paintings, the Academy with its colossus David and other sculptures by Michelangelo, and the Palatina Gallery with its collection of portraits of the Medici family and others by Raphael and Titian. But even those lesser known museums are worth a visit such as the Museum of San Marco with frescoes by Beato Angelico, the Museum of the History of Science with its collection of instruments used by Galileo, or the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnology, the first of its kind to be founded in Italy.

And still there are the squares (Piazza della Signoria with Palazzo Vecchio – the town hall of Florence; Piazza di San Giovanni – the spiritual heart of the city; Piazza di San Lorenzo and its market; Piazza di Santa Maria Novella; and of course Piazza della Signoria where our Italian language school is located); bridges; churches and their artistic treasures (the Duomo; the basilicas of Santa Croce, Santa Maria Novella, and San Lorenzo; the Shrine of the Annunciation; the granary church of Orsanmichele; and all the smaller churches including Santa Margherita, in front of which Dante first met Beatrice); palaces; gardens; and fountains – there is no end to the places to see for those who love the “beautiful.”

Even without a guide or an itinerary, wandering around the historic center has a charm of its own: to lose oneself in its narrow, medieval alleyways, to discover little squares practically hidden in the mass of tourists, with unexpected glimpses of the Arno here and there. Be guided by the city itself, surrender to its charms, lose yourself in it, for herein lies the magic of Florence.