Florence is an amazing city, probably the most fascinating Italian one, and there are a lot of websites with very detailed descriptions of every building in it, but if you do not have so much money and time to visit it, like it happened to me because of workers’ strike on last November 14, this post could be useful.
We arrived in Florence Santa Maria Novella Train Station at 11a.m., and we needed to take another train at 5 p.m., so we had
6 hours and 15 euros in our pockets left
We immediately bought the city map for one euro and decided to follow this route..
Actually this is just the first part, and our first destination was the church of Santa Maria Novella, that is 5 minutes away from the station. It was completed in 14th century, it is considered one of the most important Tuscan Gothic style buildings and I would say that from outside it looks a bit different than a usual church.
Inside it is possible to admire a lot of frescoes and Giotto’s Crucifix.
The square is named Santa Maria Novella. It is quite big and that day there was a typical Italian product market; we spent some 40 minutes there, and then we reached Duomo square in 10 minutes, so
5 hours, 5 minutes and 14 euros left
Duomo square is the most amazing one I have ever seen in my life, and it is the main reason Florence is so famous in the world.
As you can see, it is impossible to catch the whole square in just one picture because the buildings are too big and majestic, but at least in the picture above it is possible to see the most important ones: the Baptistery of San Giovanni on the left, the Cathedral in the middle and Giotto’s Tower on the right. Between the Tower and the Cathedral there is the amazing Brunelleschi’s dome, that is the symbol of the city.
This square is out of time, of Florence and of Italy: every day is the same, with hundreds of tourists taking pictures of these buildings, almost fighting to take the best angles.
The most beautiful building is the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (Duomo).
It was completed in the middle of the 15th century and it is one of the most important Gothic style buildings in the world: also those who are not experts in art can appreciate the original white and pink marbles on the external walls.
It even has the biggest dome in the world: Brunelleschi’s dome, 45 meters wide.
It is possible to enter for free, but the internal surroundings is quite simple and I would say in contrast with the splendid exterior. Anyway, in the internal part of the dome, there are very beautiful frescoes of Vasari worthy to be seen.
Just like in Vilnius, the bells are not in the same building of the church but in Giotto’s bell Tower, 84 meters hight, located next to it.
This is surely the best bell Tower in Italy and it is possible to go on the top (414 steps) and enjoy the view for 6 euros.
Baptistery of San Giovanni is located in front of the Cathedral, it is more ancient than Duomo and it was built on an old Roman temple ruins. As you can see from the pictures below, it is very particular in the external and internal part.
We spent 45 minutes in Duomo Square, the minimum to admire so much beauty, so..
4 hours, 20 minutes and 14 euros left
Walking for 10 minutes along Calzaiuoli street, you can reach Signoria square, where Palazzo Vecchio is located. Nowadays inside of it the Major’s Office is situated, and before that, during the 5 years in which Florence was the Italian Kingdom capital (1865-1871), there was the Italian Parliament.
In this square there are also a lot of statues, most of them made by Donatello and one, the most famous, made by Michelangelo.
The statue on the left above is just a copy of Michelangelo’s David, the original is located in a gallery in Ricasoli street.
This statue was built in 1500 and symbolizes the Population (Davide) that, with the help of Good, defeat the tyrant (Golia).
We spent 30 minutes admiring everything, so
3 hours and 30 minutes left
In the second part, that will be published tomorrow, I will write about the next two amazing places I saw in this trip.