Of the Italian cities I’ve been to, Florence is the most unforgettable. Maybe it’s because two days weren’t enough to explore the Tuscan capital, incredibly rich with everything aesthetic. And also because I read Dan Brown’s “Inferno” and watched the first season of the fictional/fantasy TV drama “Da Vinci’s Demons”, it was hard to forget the cradle of the Renaissance.
Tourists invariably flock to Florence after day trips to Pisa or Venice, and they tend to stay longer as the classics-per-square-meter city has so much more to offer.
“Firenze: The Places of Interest” lists the museums, churches, villas and gardens that a visitor must not miss. Almost everything is within walking distance, that’s how fascinating Florence is! The tourism office itself is in front of the Santa Maria del Fiore, or the Duomo, one of Italy’s “Big Three” (the two others are Pisa’s Leaning Tower and Rome’s Colosseum).\
We decided to distance ourselves from the madding crowd to seek out Florence’s not-usual attractions. We headed to the Museo dell’Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore, located behind the apse of its namesake cathedral.
The neo-Gothic Basilica di Santa Croce is also known as the Temple of the Italian Glories (Tempio dell'Itale Glorie) because of the buried historical luminaries, namely Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli, Dante, Marconi and Fermi.
What drew my attention, however, was the Statue of Liberty, or its original inspiration. “The Florentine statue represents The Liberty of Poetry, and thus represents the freedom of art and creative genius in general...She differs from her stern American cousin in her more feminine form, in the gentle grace of her pose,” stated its plaque.
Florence is like an open-air museum. Milan may be the Italian fashion capital, but it was in Florence that the houses of Pucci and Cavalli were founded, as well as Gucci and Ferragamo, both of which have their own museums.
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