Florence: The Florentine experience

Florence is a beautiful and culture filled city. It is an amazing and has so many churches and museums for everyone to wonder around and take in the sights. There are hundreds of churches in Florence so it can be difficult to pick out the ones that will be the best for you to go see.
Here are my tops picks for the churches and museums around the city.

Churches

Piazza del Duomo – I wouldn’t bother going into the Duomo (too touristy) but if you get there early enough and the queues aren’t too bad I would go up to the top and look at the view from there.

Super beautiful and you can see the four main parts which Florence is split into, each with its own fabulously decorated church.

Basilica di San LorenzoI would suggest you go into this church as it is one of the lighter interiors of the renaissance churches in the city.
It is dedicated the ‘Lorenzo the great’ the member of the Medici family who took the name from a simple banking name to a ruler of Florence and a great commissioner of the arts. It also contains the remains of many members of the family including the well known Cosimo’s, I’m sure you will hear lots about as you mill around.

While the status of the church was created through the name of its commissioners the architect of the church is also very interesting as it was constructed by Filippo Brunelleschi, and internally decorated by artists of note such as Michelangelo and Donatello!

Basilica di Santa Croce – This church was one which even my friends who have no idea about art ect loved. This church contains much earlier works of art from the very beginning of the Renaissance period Florence is so famed for.
Keep an eye out for works such as Giotto’s Death of Saint Francis and Baronelli Polyptych.

This church has been altered over the years and the marks are still visible of the first dividing alter, to separate the ordinary citizen from those of religious note, these changes came about due to the flood of 1966 which damaged much of the surrounding area and many of the works were damaged as a result.

The Church of San Miniato al Monte – San Minato al Monte is set up by Piazza del Michelangelo that has magnificent panoramic views of the city.
This Church is still occupied by Monks to this day and if you go around 6pm you can here them performing their traditional religious mass (chanting) which is a different way to experience a place.

This church is different to most as it is not directly East Facing. They constructed the church in the 11th century and it is all set up according to the seasons and the flow of light within the yearly calendar. For example on the day in which one of the saints was martyred the light falls onto the face of the tomb that was designed to immortalize him.


Museums

In a city filled with incredible museums you might find this a good way to cut down those options for you.

Galleria Degli Uffizi –  If you are in or around Florence you HAVE to go see one of the worlds biggest and best collections of art. This will be over whelming and there are hundreds of people. Is always busy so I would advice trying to get there early in the morning to beat the crowds.

Galleria dell’Accademia –  The Academia is the gallery where Michelangelo’s David is. This is always one to watch yet the rest of the museum isn’t as wonderful as you hope and is over crowded as ever due to the prestigious allure of Michelangelo’s work. I would suggest do this if you have time but don’t make it a top pick… the que is always far too long even with fast track passes.

Plus there is a replica which is just as striking situated outside in the Palazzo Vecchio in Piazza della Signoria (where the statue was originally placed).

Vasariano corridio – This is a great thing to do, but is a bit more on the extravagant side of the things you can do in Florence. It connects the Uffizi gallery with the main palace across the river over the Ponte Vecchio – very cool but needs to be booked in advance and be prepared to spend a fair bit for this experience.

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Hope you find this useful for planning your visits to this fabulous city.

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