FLORENCE, THE FAMOUS ART CITY AND ITS HISTORIC CHURCHES
After just some more meters along Via de' Cerretani, you will get to the main religious and most important social center of Florence: Piazza San Giovanni and Piazza del Duomo. Here, you can visit three real historic treasures:
- first, you will notice the great Battistero di San Giovanni (Baptistery San Giovanni), the twelfth-century baptistery built in compliance with the Florentine Romanesque style.
- right behind it, the majestic Chiesa di Santa Maria del Fiore (Church Santa Maria del Fiore) stands, which is the most important church in the city. This Gothic-style church was built in the thirteen century while the beautiful cupola, the Brunelleschi's Dome, was added 200 years later. The façade of this cathedral is an amazing combination of white, pink and green marble while the interiors are less decorated, but the beautiful floors and the frescos on the ceiling are still great things to see. We suggest you buy the ticket and climb up the dome: the view from here, both inside and outside the church, is absolutely amazing!
- another perfect look-out over Florence is the top of the bell tower, which lies right next to the church and displays the same beautiful colored marbles. It was built by Giotto, one of the main Italian artists who led the way to the Italian Renaissance. The finely decorated windows, the statues and the bells of this tower will leave you breathless! Just a few steps behind the church you will find Museo dell'Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore, namely 'the Museum of the Church', which houses more than 750 wonderful paintings, sculptures and works of art by some of the greatest Italian artists of all time: Donatello, Michelangelo, Ghiberti, Arnolfo, Verrocchio, and many others. You can purchase a combined ticket to visit the museum, the cathedral, the bell tower and the baptistery: all of them are a veritable must-see, otherwise, it is like you have not visited Florence at all!
More about Florence:
Uffizi Gallery and Palazzo Vecchio, the heart of Florence
Ponte Vecchio, Florence, great shopping of jewels and gold
Panoramic view of Florence (pic n°1); Cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore with Giotto's Bell Tower (pic n°2); Duomo: Cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore, Giotto's Bell Tower and Baptistery San Giovanni (pic n°3); Church Santa Maria Novella (pic n°4); Cathedral Santa Maria Maggiore (pic n°5); Baptistery San Giovanni (pic n°6);