Florence is where all the big masters were at some point, creating some of the most disrupting pieces that would mark an Era and change the paradigms of a world once emerged in darkness. For me, stepping on the grounds where the great master had once been was surreal. As I mentioned on my previous Florence post, I traveled in time, I smelled the wet and dirty medieval streets, and imagined I was living at the same time as Lorenzo de Medici, Il Magnifico, the great patron of Arts.
But in modern days, in our days, Florence is breathes and creates Art. You can find amazing artists in the streets everywhere as ironically, as their ancestors, not getting the recognition they truly deserve.
I studied my visit to Florence. As a Art lover for short time in a city so rich in Art, it would be crazy for me to just go without knowing where to go and when to go (queues a big issue in the main galleries). I got the Firenze card, which completely paid off. It costs 72 euros, you have priority entry to all main museums, for 72 hours, which was precisely the amount of time I was planning on spending in Florence.
In my first day, after hours of travelling, I ended up eating gelato in Piazza della Signoria, where the amazing Palazzo Vecchio stands. But more than Palazzo Vecchio, there is a set of amazing renaissance sculptures. Do not be misled by the fake David standing in front of the Palazzo. The real one was moved to the Museo dell’Accademia, to avoid damage by weather conditions and pollution.
But let’s go inside Palazzo Vecchio. I am telling you is pure magic, full of intricate golden ceilings, and beautiful, idyllic frescos.
I have been lucky enough to have visited several of the main Art Galleries in Europe, and I am telling you the Uffizi Gallery was definitely my favourite. I guess because apart from being obviously beautiful, we have a feeling of coziness, like you’re at home. Except that here the corridors are decorated with amazing sculptures, and the walls are covered by Da Vincis and Botticellis. I went to the gallery really early in the morning, I was at the entrance before the opening time (there was already a huge queue for people who haven’t bought the ticket). Therefore, I had the immense pleasure of being at the gallery almost by myself. I didn’t even took loads of photos… I just wanted to enjoy it. And I did.
L’Academia is not the Uffizi, not even comparable. Is much smaller and let’s face it: we only go there to see the famous Michelangelo’s David, Il Gigante. But I did like this room they had with loads and loads of sculptures. It was amazing, like little pieces of the past reunited in a room.
A museum that I enjoyed much more than Academia, was Bargello’s. It’s a sculpture museum, but not one of those galleries with white and blunt walls. It has a beautiful outside terrace, where the sculptures were put in as if they were taking their natural place. Everything looks antique, and that’s what makes this place so very special.
To enjoy majestic rooms and royal art, you must go to Palazzo Pitti. The frescos in the ceilings and walls are absolutely stunning.
The main attraction and Florence symbol is definitely its Duomo, only completed thanks to the brilliant Brunelleschi. The cathedral is an architectural pearl, unlike any other I had ever seen. The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore is one of the biggest cathedrals, and it’s definitely worth a visit. I didn’t climb to the top as I suffer from claustrophobia and strong vertigo, but I feel I enjoyed pretty much the art of it. You can entry fo free inside the cathedral and look up to the inside of the Duomo. The intricate and colorful frescos are a vision. You would wonder how difficult and dangerous it must have been to paint them, from such a height. Those painters were brave.
As majestic the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore might seem, if you can, do not neglect the Cathedral of Santa Maria Novella. From the outside it’s beautiful, following the same style as Santa Maria del Fiore. However, you will be amazed with how big it actually is, with gardens inside surrounded by beautiful cloisters. The walls and ceilings are covered by faded frescos, but you can see how beautiful they must have been in all its bright colors, a sort of brightness that you wouldn’t expect from the cloisters of a cathedral.
It’s undeniable that Florence is a artwork itself. In every corner you’ll be surprised by some sort of little church or palazzo that will amaze you with its details. There is so much more that I am able to post here. So, either being or not an art lover, I highly recommend you to visit Florence.