At first, Florence mesmerizes you with its beauty and coziness, and then it gets deep into your soul to stay there forever. The colorful facades of old buildings and the sounds of paved streets leave an unforgettable “aftertaste.” Feel the bright and busy life of this city by going on a Florence walking tour.
Piazza del Duomo and the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore
Start your tour in the center of tourism in Florence: Piazza del Duomo and the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, where Giuliano Medici was killed. Given that this cathedral is the fourth largest in the world, and it’s clamped from all sides with residential blocks, it’s almost impossible to take a close picture of it. The cathedral is lined with marble of three colors, so it looks very presentable.
If you have enough time, be sure to climb 400 steps that lead to the observation platform of the cathedral’s bell tower to enjoy the unforgettable panoramic view of Piazza del Duomo and the city itself. If you’re lucky, you’ll get the chance to hear the chime of seven bells on the bell tower.
There’s another building on Piazza del Duomo which you simply can’t miss. It’s an octagonal Battistero di San Giovanni the gates of which are decorated with gilded bas-reliefs depicting scenes from the life of John the Baptist.
Ospedale Degli Innocenti
The next stop is the Ospedale degli Innocenti located in Piazza della Santissima Annunziata. It’s the first institution for orphans and foundlings in Europe. To get the place, just go to Via dei Servi Street and take a 10-minute walk along it. You’ll immediately recognize the building by its gallery with columns and blue medallions with bas-reliefs of babies on them.
Piazza di San Marko and the convent of San Marco
The best route from Piazza della Santissima Annunziata to Piazza di San Marko goes through Via Cesare Battisti Street. The convent of San Marco located on this square is known for three famous names: Savonarola (his cell has been preserved, and you can visit it), Fra Angelico (his frescoes still decorate the premises of the convent), and Cosimo di Giovanni de’ Medici (he financed the reconstruction of the building).
Palazzo Medici Ricardi and Basilica di San Lorenzo
The Medici palace or Palazzo Medici Ricardi is located just five minutes from the convent. Form outside, the palace looks more like a bank, but it’s magnificent inside. Be sure to visit it.
Not far from Palazzo Medici Ricardi is Basilica di San Lorenzo where the famous Medici Chapel (created by Michelangelo himself, by the way) is located. Fortunately, no one has destroyed or ransacked the chapel, so you can still admire the masterpieces of the Italian master.
Basilica di Santa Maria Novella and Palazzo Strozzi
From the Medici Chapel, follow Via del Giglio Street to the intersection with Via dei Banchi. Once you reach Piazza di Santa Maria Novella, visit the basilica with the same name to take a look at the oldest Byzantine frescoes in Florence.
Take a stroll along Via del Sole Street, and you’ll see another palace called Palazzo Strozzi. At first sight, it looks almost like Palazzo Medici Ricardi, but it’s completely different inside. Now Palazzo Strozzi is a museum.
Piazza Santa Trinita
From the Palazzo Strozzi, walk along Via de Tornabuoni Street to reach Piazza Santa Trinita where you can look at the Column of Justice and check out one of the oldest churches in Florence, Santa Trinita, to see the Sassetti Chapel skillfully painted by Ghirlandaio.
From Piazza Santa Trinita, you can reach the Santa Trinita Bridge. It’s the first arch bridge in Europe. It replaced a wooden bridge that stood there until the 16th century. It was designed by the architect Bartolomeo Ammannati, a friend of Michelangelo.
A walking tour of Florence will always stay one of the most vivid and unforgettable chapters of your life. And if you still have doubts, forget about them because you need to see all this beauty with your own eyes to fall in love with the atmosphere of this delightful city once and for all.