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Italy

Recommended Florence attractions


Florence
Basilica di Santa Croce, Piazza Santa Croce 16
Many of the great thinkers of the Renaissance are buried here, including Michelangelo, Galileo, and Macchiavelli.
The church contains sculpture by Donatello, a fantastic Crucifixion by Cimabue, and frescoes by Giotto and Gaddi. The Pazzi Chapel, which is Santa Croce's cloister, was designed by Brunelleschi and is decorated with rondels by Luca della Robbia.
Phone:  05.52.44.61.9
Hours:  Church is open from
8AM to 12:30PM and
from 3PM to 6:30PM
daily; museum is
open from 10AM to
12:30 PM and 2:30PM
to 6:30PM Thursday
through Tuesday, March
through September;
10AM to 12:30PM
and 3PM to 5PM
Thursday through Tuesday,
October through February
Admission to the church is free  
Museum admission:  4EUR

Basilica di Santa Maria Novella, Piazza Santa Maria Novella
Begun in the 13th century, Santa Maria Novella contains some wonderful frescoes by Massaccio, Uccello, and Ghirlandaio. There's also a beautiful carved Crucifixion by Brunelleschi.
Phone:  05.52.15.918
Hours:  9:30AM to 5PM Monday through Thursday and Saturday; 1PM to 5PM Friday and Sunday
Admission to the church is free  
Museum Admission:  2.50EUR

Battistero (Baptistry), Piazza di San Giovanni
In 1401, a contest was held to determine who would design the doors for the Duomo's Baptistery. The leading sculptors of the day, including Donatello and Jacopo della Quercia, submitted designs. Ghiberti won the commission for the North Doors and spent the next 21 years of his life working on them. As a reward, he was also awarded the East Doors, which Michelangelo dubbed the "Gate of Paradise." The ten gold-leafed panels depict scenes from the Old Testament. Andrea Pisano was commissioned to do the South Doors. Inside the Baptistry, there's a 13th-century mosaic of the Last Judgement. Dante and other Renaissance greats were buried here.
Phone:  05.52.30.28.85
Hours:  Noon to 6:30PM Monday through Saturday; 8:30AM to 1:30PM Sunday
Admission:   3EUR

Caffè la Torre, Lungarno Cellini 65r
This small club along the Arno offers live jazz most nights.
Phone:  05.56.80.643
Hours:  8:30PM to 5AM daily

Campanile di Giotto (Giotto's Tower), Piazza del Duomo
Designed by Giotto, but completed and improved by Andrea Pisano, the Duomo's Campanile contains reliefs by Donatello and Pisano. Those here are copies -- the originals are in the Museu dell'Opera del Duomo. The highlight of a visit here is the view from the top of the tower, reached by climbing 414 steps.
Phone:  05.52.30.28.85
Hours:  9AM to 6:50PM daily, April through October; 9AM to 4:20PM daily, November through March
Admission:   6EUR

Cappelle Medicee (Medici Chapels), Piazza Madonna degli Aldobrandini
Adjacent to San Lorenzo, the Medici Chapels run the gamut from the sublime to the ridiculous. The latter being the over-the-top Cappella dei Principi or Chapel of the Princes. The former being the New Sacristy where Michelangelo labored between 1521 and 1534. The three groups of statues here -- the Tomb of the Duke of Urbino, the Tomb of the Duke of Nemours, and the Madonna and Child -- are among his finest works. Note the figures of Dawn and Dusk and Night and Day at the feet of the Dukes.
Phone:  05.52.38.86.02
Hours:  8:15AM to 5PM daily; closed 1st 3rd and 5th Monday and 2nd and 4th Sunday of each month
Admission:   6EUR

Casa Buonarroti, Via Ghibellina 70
Michelangelo bought this house for his nephew in Lionardo, whose son turned it into a museum. It was restored in 1964 and today it contains drawings, models, and some minor sculptures by the Renaissance genius.
Phone:  05.52.41.75.2
Hours:  9:30AM to 2PM Wednesday through Monday
Email:  ente@casabuonarroti.it
Web:   www.casabuonarroti.it/english/e-home.htm
Admission:   6.50EUR

Casa di Bianca Cappello, Via Maggio 26
This palace, once the home of Grand Duke Francesco I, is decorated with exquisite sgraffito.

Galleria dell'Accademia, Via Ricasoli 60
Founded in 1563, the Accademia di Belle Arti is the oldest art school in the world. The Galleria was established in 1784 to provide students at the school with artwork to copy. Today, it's the home of Michelangelo's "David," carved in 1504. His "Quattro Prigioni" or "Four Prisoners" is also here and the unfinished work reveals the artist's genius in progress. The Galleria also has a fine collection of 15th- and 16th-century paintings, including works by Ghirlandaio, Filippino Lippi, and Botticelli. To avoid waiting in line for 2+ hours, make reservations in advance by calling 011.39.055.294.883 between 8:30AM and 6:30PM Monday through Friday or from 9AM to noon Saturdays Florence time, or for an additional fee online at Weekend A Firenze.
Phone:  05.52.38.86.12
Fax:  05.52.38.86.09
Hours:  8:15AM to 6:50PM Tuesday through Sunday
Email:  galleriaaccademia@polomuseale.firenze.it
Web:   www.sbas.firenze.it/accademia
Admission:   7EUR Additional reservation fee of 3EUR if made in advance by phone. Additional reservation fee of 8.70EUR if made in advance online.

Gallerie degli Uffizi (Uffizi Galleries), Piazzale degli Uffizi 6
Italy's greatest gallery reveals the astonishing brilliance of the Renaissance on one manageable floor. Paintings from the "trecento" or 1300s include works by Giotto, Duccio, Cimabue, and Simone Martini. The Early Renaissance is represented by Paolo Uccello, Fra Filippp Lippi, Piero della Francesca, and Botticelli, whose work is the highlight for most visitors here. Rooms 10 through14 display his "Birth of Venus," "Primavera," "Adoration of the Magi," and several other paintings. Paintings by Leonardo da Vinci, Bronzino, Michelangelo, and Luca Signorelli illustrate the High Renaissance style. The Uffizi also has an impressive collection of Venetian painting. To avoid waiting in line for 2+ hours, make reservations in advance by calling 011.39.055.294.883 between 8:30AM and 6:30PM Monday through Friday or from 8:30AM to 12:30PM Saturdays Florence time, or for an additional fee online at Weekend A Firenze.
Phone:  05.52.38.86.51
Fax:  05.52.64.40.6
Hours:  8:15AM to 6:50PM Tuesday through Sunday; 8:15AM to 10PM Saturdays in summer
Web:   www.polomuseale.firenze.it/english/musei/uffizi/
Admission:   7EUR An additional reservation fee of 3EUR if made in advance by phone. An additional reservation fee of 8.70EUR if made in advance online.

Jazz Club, Via Nuova de'Caccini 3
This sophisticated club is one of the best spots in Florence for jazz.
Phone:  05.52.47.97.00
Hours:  9:30PM to 2AM Tuesday through Friday; 9:30AM to 2:30AM Saturdays
Admission:   8EUR

La Sinagoga di Firenze, Via Farina 4
Inspired by Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, this Moorish-Byzantine synagogue was begun in the 1870s. There?s small museum upstairs tracing the history of Florence?s Jewish community from the 14th century to the present.
Phone:  05.52.34.66.54
Hours:  10AM to 1PM Sunday through Friday; 2PM to 4PM Sunday through Thursday Upon request 45-minute guided tours every 25 minutes
Web:   www.firenzebraica.net
Admission:   4EUR

Mercato Centrale, Piazza del Mercato Centrale
Great food and a little bit of everything else at Florence?s largest market.
Hours:  8:30AM to 7PM Monday through Saturday; food market from 7AM until 2PM Monday through Friday

Mercato di Sant'Ambrogio, Piazza Ghiberti
With fewer tourists than Mercato Centrale, this market is a great and less expensive place to shop for produce, meats, and cheeses. Outside the market, there?s all sorts of junk for sale.
Hours:  7AM to 2PM Monday through Saturday

Museo Archeologico di Firenza, Via della Colonna 38
Florence's archaeology museum contains a fine collection if sculpture, ceramics, and other artifacts from Egyptian, Greek, and Roman times.
Phone:  05.52.35.75
Hours:  Monday, 2PM to 7PM; Tuesday and Thursday, 8:30AM to 7PM; Wednesday, Friday and Sunday 8:30AM to 2PM; closed 2nd and 4th Mondays of the month
Admission:   4EUR

Museo dell'Opera del Duomo di Firenza, Piazza del Duomo 9
This museum contains the original priceless sculpture and reliefs from the Duomo, the Campanile, and the Baptistry. There are also interesting exhibits detailing the construction of the cathedral and its magnificent dome.
Phone:  05.52.30.28.85
Hours:  9AM to 7:30 PM Monday through Saturday, 9AM to 2PM Sundays
Web:   www.operaduomo.firenze.it
Admission:   6EUR

Museo di Storia della Scienza (Science Museum), Piazza dei Giudici 1
Those who are interested in science will truly enjoy the exhibits here which include Galileo's instruments, Renaissance inventions, and a host of scientific instruments. As if that's not enough, you can see a bottle containing one of Galileo's fingers.
Phone:  05.52.65.31.1
Fax:  05.52.65.31.30
Hours:  9:30PM to 5PM Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday; 9:30AM to 1PM Tuesday and Saturday during summer; 9:30PM to 5PM Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday; 9:30AM to 1PM Tuesday off season
Email:  elena@imss.fi.it
Web:   galileo.imss.firenze.it/
Admission:   7.50EUR

Museo Nazionale del Bargello (Bargello Museum), Via del Proconsolo 4
Florence's other great fine arts museum, the Bargello contains one of the finest collections of Renaissance sculpture in the world. The building dates from 1255 and it was one of the first museums in Italy when it opened in 1865. The Michelangelo room contains his sensuous "Bacchus," a bust of Brutus, and a circular relief of the Madonna and Child. Donatello's "David" is here, as well as his heroic "St. George," and two "St. John the Baptists." Other highlights include Brunelleschi's and Ghiberti's designs for the Baptistry doors competition, and "David" by Andrea del Verrocchio. Make reservations in advance by calling 011.39.055.294.883 between 8:30AM and 6:30PM Monday through Friday or from 9AM to noon Saturdays Florence time or at this website.
Phone:  05.52.38.86.06
Hours:  8:30AM to 1:50PM daily; closed 2nd and 4th Monday and 1st, 3rd and 5th Sunday of each month
Email:  museobargello@libero.it
Web:   www.sbas.firenze.it/
Admission:   4EUR

Ognissanti, Piazza Ognissanti
The parish church of the Vespucci family, Ognissanti or "All Saints" contains Ghirlandaio and Botticelli who is buried here.
Phone:  055.23.98.700
Hours:  Church is open from 8AM to 12PM and 4PM to 6:30PM daily; Convent is open from 9AM to 12PM Monday, Tuesday and Saturday
Admission is free  

Orsanmichele, Via Arte della Lana 1
Once the city's grain market, this 14th-century building became a church when an image of the Virgin appears on one its columns. The 14 exterior niches are adorned with statues by the leading sculptors of the time, including Ghiberti, Donatello, and Verrocchio.
Phone:  05.52.84.944
Hours:  Church is open from 9AM to noon and 4PM to 6PM daily; museum is open for 45-minute visits at 9AM, 10AM and 11AM daily

Plant Market, Piazza della Repubblica
You?ll get good pictures at this colorful plant market outside the Post Office.
Hours:  8AM to 1PM Thursdays

Rinascente, Piazza della Repubblica 1
Florence?s most stylish department store is good for fashion, housewares, and gifts.
Phone:  05.52.19.113
Hours:  9AM to 9PM Monday through Saturday; 10:30AM to 8PM Sundays

Santa Maria del Fiori (Florence Duomo), Piazza del Duomo
Faced with white, pink, and green marble, Florence's Duomo is the fourth largest in Europe. Brunelleschi's magnificent dome was the largest to be built without scaffolding when it was completed in 1463. There are three apses at the east end of the church, each crowned with a smaller dome. The chapels there have stained glass windows designed by Ghiberti. The intricate, inlaid floors were designed in the 16th century by Baccio d' Agnola and Francesco da Sangallo. The ceiling is decorated with a huge fresco of the Last Judgement by Vasari and Zuccari. Brunelleschi is buried in the Duomo.
Phone:  05.52.30.28.85
Hours:  10AM to 5PM Monday through Wednesday and Friday; 10AM to 3:30PM Thursday; 10AM to 3:30PM first Saturday of Month; 10AM to 4:45PM other Saturdays; 1:30PM to 4:30PM Sundays; Sundays; tours every 40 minutes from 10:30AM to 12PM and 3PM to 4:20PM
Admission to church free  
Dome admission:  6EUR

Santa Maria della Carmine, Piazza della Carmine
The Brancassi Chapel at Santa Maria della Carmine houses some of the finest Renaissance frescoes in existence, painted by Masolino, Masaccio, and Filippino Lippi. Highlights here include Masolino?s "Temptation of Adam and Eve," and Masaccio?s "Expulsion of Adam and Eve" and "Tribute Money."
Phone:  05.52.38.21.95
Hours:  10AM to 5PM daily; 1PM to 5PM Sunday
Admission to church free  
Brancacci chapel:  4EUR

Santissima Annunziata, Piazza Santissima Annunziata
Founded in 1250 and rebuilt in the 15th century, Santissima Annunziata contains frescoes by Andrea del Sarto and a shrine built around an icon of the Madonna which is reputed to have been completed by angels.
Phone:  05.52.66181
Hours:  7:30AM to 12:30PM and 4PM to 6:30PM daily
Admission is free  

Santo Spirito, Piazza Santo Spirito 29
Brunelleschi designed this church in 1435 although it wasn't completed until the late 15th century. Inside the church, there are paintings by Ghirlandaio and Filippino Lippi. The highlight of the small museum here is the 14th-century Crucifixion and fresco of the last Supper.
Phone:  05.52.10.030
Hours:  8AM to noon daily; 4PM to 6PM, Thursday through Tuesday
Web:   giubileo.comune.fi.it/en/itinerari/cenacoli.htm
Church admission is free   0EUR
Refectory:  2.20EUR

Spedale degli Innocenti, Piazza Santissima Annunziata 12
This orphanage designed by Brunelleschi, opened in 1444, making it the oldest in Europe. The exterior is decorated with terra cotta cameos created by Andrea della Robbia. Spedale degli Innocenti is considered the first Renaissance building.
Phone:  05.52.49.17.08
Hours:  8:30AM to 2PM Thursday through Tuesday
Web:   www.istitutodeglinnocenti.it
Admission:   3EUR

Teatro Comunale, Corso Italia 16
Florence?s leading venue for classical music and dance, Teatro Comunale offers a progam of performances year ?round. Zubin Mehta has been the principal conductor here since 1985. The concert season runs from January through March, followed by the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino festival which lasts until July. This is one of the most popular festivals in Florence, so if you want to go, purchase tickets in advance through their web site.
Phone:  05.52.11.15.8
Fax:  27.79.41.0
Hours:  Box office is open from 10AM to 7:30PM Tuesday through Saturday; 3:30PM to 7:30PM Saturdays
Email:  tickets@maggiofiorentino.com
Web:   www.maggiofiorentino.com

Vasari?s Corridor, Leaves from Palazzo Vecchio
Reservations are required to tour the corridor Vasari built in 1564 so Grand Duke Francesco I could walk from the Pitti Palace to his "job" at the Uffizi without having to rub shoulders with the riffraff. The passageway offers wonderful views of Florence and more than 700 paintings. There are only three tours a week and they are limited to 30 people each.
Phone:  05.52.65.43.21
Web:   www.polomuseale.firenze.it
Admission:   28.50EUR