The city of Florence is a beautiful and artistic tourist destination in the heart of Italy. Home to more than 1.5 million people in the metropolitan area, Florence is the capital of Italy, located in the Tuscany region. More than 1.6 million visitors travel to Florence each year to absorb historical art and architecture during their Italian vacation. From museums and art galleries to cathedrals and monuments, Florence tourist attractions are some of the most fascinating sights to see. Here are the top five tourist attractions not to miss in Florence.
Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore
For a city that is rich with so much culture and art, Florence would not be complete without beautifully architecture and historical churches for visitors to see during their Italian vacation. The Basiclica di Santa Maria del Fiore is the cathedral church of Florence and was originally called the Duomo. Completed in 1436, construction on the gothic-style church began in 1296. It is one of Italy's largest churches and the cathedral's dome is the largest brick dome every designed, make it one of the most popular church attractions in Florence.
The Bargello Palace
Also known as Palazzo del Popolo (Palace of the People), the Bargello Palace is a former prison that was converted into an art museum in 1865. While sight-seeing in Florence, tourists can view the largest Italian collection of gothic and Renaissance sculptures on display at the palace. Bargello Palace was constructed beside the Volognana Tower in 1256, making them the oldest public buildings and attractions in Florence.
Ponte Santa Trinita
While sight-seeing in Florence, tourists will be able to view many buildings and structures that have great architectural significance. One of these architectural attractions in Florence is the Ponte Santa Trinita. This Renaissance bridge located in Florence is the oldest elliptic arch bridge In the world. The outside of the bridge spans approximately 105 feet in length and was designed by Florentine architect Bartolomeo Ammanati in 1567. It was later destroyed in 1944 by German soldiers and rebuilt in 1958 using many of the same stones.
Accademia di Belle Arti Firenze
The Accademia di Belle Arti Firenze is an art academy located in Florence. While many visitors on an Italian vacation may not be interested in seeing a school, this institute has great significance to the art community. The Gallery located within the Accademia di Belle Arti is home to Michelangelo's The David original sculpture. The sculpture was moved here in 1873 in order to be conserved and its presence makes the Gallery one of the most popular Florence tourist attractions.
Sight-seeing in Florence would not be complete without a visit to one of the many palaces located within the city limits. The Palazzo Pitti is a Renaissance place that is located on the south-side of the River Arno. It was originally constructed in 1458 and housed a Florentine banker. The palace was bought in 1549 by the Medici family, turning it into the primary residence of the ruling families for the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. In 1919 the palace was donated to the public to complement the many Florence tourist attractions and it houses one of the largest art galleries in Florence.