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Florence in 10 steps and without the Uffizi

Together a family with a sound surname, a biblical hero, a dome and an artistic revolution and the result will be none other than Florence. With or without a syndrome, the city that perfectly defines the Renaissance is unbeatable in a single visit. Only the list of things to see overwhelms even the most painted. Therefore, for everything to flow, we shelled it in ten steps in which to avoid the artistic and tourist collapse. On a tour of piazzas, churches and panoramas, where art drinks everything.


Imagining the city once was not difficult. Cobblestones, medieval towers and a army of statues they talk about trecento, the quattrocento and the cinquecento with the same fluidity as yesterday. Rent one bike and follow the course of Arno, crossing the bridges and rioni (neighborhoods) of the city. Among them, what they say is the oldest in Europe, the Ponte Vecchio, where before the goldsmiths took their recesses, they were the butchers and butchers those who sold their gender in what is the narrowest point of the river, until one of the Medicis decided in the sixteenth century that it was better to feed on gold than meat, not to mention the smell.

Another of the most significant bridges, and it is said that the most beautiful of Florence, is that of the Santa Trìnita, with its ornaments and sculptures, that although they give the stick of Renaissance are of the twentieth century, at least in their materials, because it is an exact reconstruction of it, which was demolished, like all the bridges of the city, by the German army in its withdrawal during WWII. Only the Ponte Vecchio. And if you move away a little from the center, from the wear San Niccoló, just when the sun has just gone, Florence multiplies by two reflected in the calm waters of the Arno.


When you get to the piazza della Signoria, despite being the giant of the place, the Palazzo Vecchio It is diluted between both biblical hero and pagan god. Normal if one gives credit to that Neptune wander through the full moon nights through the square or how the huge Perseus de Cellini left a piece in his foundry after taking the squad's house in a big fire. Thus, source and lodge look away from this 'small' fortress raised by Arnolfo di Cambio and converted into palazzo for the Médicis and that still today keeps the political power of Florence. For one of its doors, the one that keeps the copy of the David, you enter without going through the magnificent box Vasari courtyard, with stucco and maps of the Habsburg domains.

With the entry in hand, the tour begins in the call Hall of the Five Hundred, where, among others, stands with a somewhat theatrical lighting The genius of victory by Michelangelo. It was Cosme I, Duke of Tuscany, who commissioned Vasari, again he, the total remodeling of the fortress. Lounges and more lounges follow each other wrapped in vaults and caves along several floors, in which the saturn viewpoint and a room where the authentic one is kept Judith from Donatello. Special mention deserves the stays of Eleonora de Toledo and his private chapel, painted by Agnolo Bronzino, and the tiny and out of series Studying it by Francisco I. As a climax, go up to the tower to see the 'ant' that travel and take pictures of each corner of the Piazza de la Signoria, in addition to perfect views of the city.

The Palazzo Vecchio over Florence © Corbis


Groupies of art and literature, in Florence some of the stars more glittering than Renaissance and co. Michelangelo Buonarroti, the genius, awaits the day of the resurrection in the Basilica of the Holy Croce, worthy Pantheon of Florence, because he himself wanted to be buried here so that when he opened his eyes again the first thing he saw was the Brunelleschi Dome. Other geniuses of the arts and humanism accompany him as the composer Rossini or the astrologer Galileo Galilei.

On the other side of the city, the tour continues in the Medicean Chapels, in the Basilica of San Lorenzo, where in addition to many of the members of the dynasty, including the Dukes of Urbino and Nemours that he portrayed Miguel Angel in the New Sacristy and that according to his contemporaries did not look very similar, to which the genius replied that after a century no one would pay attention to that detail, the sculptor's challenges rest Donatello In a deeper crypt. And in the English cemetery, the very fans of Shakespeare they can meet the last descendants of the Great Bard, Beatrice and Edward Claude Shakespeare.


Tuscan 'snacks', of sausages, mozzarella and spicy preserves in focaccines fresh out of the oven, this is the little piece of heaven that they put at your disposal in All´Antico Vinaio, where you will pay for the Tuscan fast food to take away. For foodies, the wine bars they water the city with the best bottles of Tuscany and their highlights antipasti, crostinis, pizzas Y carpaccios. Reserve in the Cantinetta Da Verrazzano (via dei Tavolini, 18). And if the sweet can with you, Sienna panfortes, marzipan and nutty catuccini, among others, await you in the windows of Gilli, a mythical that sweetens the city since 1733.

Tuscany on the table of Cantinetta Da Verrazzano © Corbis


In the Duomo among so many colored marble, our eye couples the bell to Santa Maria del Fiore, but, although in spirit they are one, an independent door gives access to this medieval lookout tower. Count your 441 steps to its terrace, a small panoramic viewpoint of 360 degrees from where you will get the best views of the heart of Florence. And as in New York, where it is better to admire the city from the Rockefeller Center terrace to enjoy the Empire State Building, here it is better to do it from the campanile to admire closely, almost at your fingertips, the tile-colored dome that Brunelleschi He rose to profess at the dawn of the Renaissance.


There is 'museum life' beyond essential and requested Ufizzi and Galleria dell´Academia, which must be enjoyed at least once in a lifetime. However, somewhat quieter, the Bargello Museum is another unavoidable event in the Florentine artistic circuit, with an unequaled sample of sculpture and applied arts of the Renaissance. If the day is clear, add a few more minutes to the time calculated to enjoy it, because in its courtyard, one of the most beautiful in Italy for connoisseurs, opens to the sky a small solarium of folding chairs bounded by walls full of plates and medieval shields.

Gianbologna, Miguel Angel Y Cellini they are the stars of the museum, with more mythological, biblical heroes and allegories of Florence in marble, bronze and terracotta. Here they live together Bacchus by Michelangelo, the Mercury from Gianbologna, the Saint George from Donatello, the David of Verrocchio and panels Brunelleschi and Ghiberti of the mythical contest for the doors of the Baptistery. Renaissance in body and soul.

Bargello Museum: Renaissance in body and spirit © Corbis


If you leave the exclusivity of via Calimala Y via Rome, the Florentine trade returns to its medieval habits in the immediate vicinity of the piazza de San Lorenzo. With the brick facade of the Medicis church, which one day would have the most grandiloquent and Roman facade of the city thanks to Michelangelo, it extends into Florence's most traditional flea market in a succession of positions in which to find designer bags, leather jackets and leather goods. And if you have a spirit gourmet, enter the nearby Mercato Centrale, where Tuscany is shown on the counters of the market.


The charm of Florence lies in its bounded and artistic map. Always busy, only luck will make you see the city with 1,000 or 10,000 more people. So, if fortune does not smile at you and in the piazza of the Signoria does not fit a pin, and if you sit in the Lodge or talk, pull north and install yourself in the piazza della Santissima Annunziata, perhaps one of the most beautiful urban expressions of the Renaissance that the city has.

Choose ladder, book and snack to see life pass from one of its corners of the square, centered by an equestrian statue of Cosme I of Gianbologna and flanked by the ospedale degli innocenti, the church that gives its name to the enclosure and the entrance to the Archeological Museum, storage room of the ancient archeological collection of the Medici.

Overview of Florence from piazzale de Michelangelo © Corbis


Symmetry and greenery would be the two adjectives that would best define the Boboli gardens, a full-fledged remedy for the Stendhal syndrome. And not because they are not beautiful, because they are, but because they are on the other side of the river, in Oltrarno, where only their beds and Palazzo Pitti, the palace that left the old one of the piazza of the Signoria, they will form a large part of the agenda. Lavish residence of the Medici and final point of the Vasarian corridor, in the palazzo Pitti Three museums are hidden that, if the force still accompanies you, are well worth a visit.

Our advice is that you bring something to eat and that after visiting the palace you let yourself be carried away by the park's narrative, passing through its artificial sources and its famous grotto, where once were the exclavos of Miguel Angel and where tradition says that Bernardo Buontalenti invented the first 'gelato' modern, by mixing some of the cold-preserved foods in it, namely milk, eggs, sugar, cardamom, lemon and honey, with ice. The perfect fuel, which you can buy with some variant in one of the many ice cream shops in the surroundings, to begin the ascent to the great viewpoint of Florence.


It is difficult to climb, there are many steps that lead in Oltrarno to the Michelangelo piazzale, but the reward is intuited with each step and, when crowning goal, the panorama is unsurpassed. From the villas on this side of the river to the Santa Crocegoing through it Ponte Vecchio, Y palazzo Vecchio wave dome of the Duomo, Florence is yours. If you arrive at dusk take place on the stairs that connects the square with a small side viewpoint, and if you have not brought snacks, throw savings and invest at this time the five euros that costs a third, because it is worth it.

The sun slowly descends over the city, with just enough time to imagine the 'battalions' that have taken place in it. Nothing can crush that moment, not even the shy applause with which the staff starts when the sun goes down, moreover, you may even be clapping yourself. And if you go up one last flight of stairs, to the pretty basilica of San Miniato al Monte, the show will be somewhat more private, but the views are a little less perfect, higher yes and more lateral, too. Our advice is that you enjoy both, in the order you want.

The Boboli Gardens, peace on the other side of the Arno © Corbis

Video: Florence: The Uffizi Gallery (April 2020).

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