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The city walls surrounding Florence

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The ancient Roman city Florence was founded around 60 B.C. The city was the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. Politically, economically, and culturally it was the most important city in Europe for around 250 years; from some time before 1300 until the early 1500s. Florentines reinvented money in the form of the gold florin. This currency was the engine that drove Europe out of the Dark Ages. Florentines were the driving force behind the Age of Discovery. Florentine bankers financed Henry the Navigator and the Portuguese explorers who pioneered the route around Africa to India and the Far East. Florence is filled with many other churches stuffed with some of the finest art in the world. In all, Florence has something over 80 museums. Among those at the top of most lists are the City hall, the Palazzo della Signoria, the Archeological Museum and Museum of the History of Science. The Uffizi Gallery is one of the world's top art museums - it houses some of the most important works of the Renaissance, including works by Leonardo da Vinci, Giotto, Botticelli and Michelangelo. Lots of sculptures too. Wander some of the oldest streets in the city until you reach the Arno River, cross the Ponte Vecchio, and experience the newest area of Florence, the Oltrarno. Summer is hot in Italy, no getting away from it, but I don't see that as a reason to skip Florence.

 

To get a great overview of the city Florence - Italy, you have plenty of choices: climb the dome of the Cathdral or Giotto's Bell Tower or photo above from Piazzale Michelangelo undoubtedly the best panoramic view of Florence. The city walls surrounding Florence have been widened and rebuilt six different times, but only the last two walls protected also the quarters of Oltrarno. Some parts of them are still to be found in the quarters of San Frediano and San Niccolò.

 

Florence is de hoofdstad van Toscane en heeft bijna 400.000 inwoners. De grote rivier die door de stad stroomt is de Arno en daar zijn dan ook ruim tien bruggen overheen gelegd. De wegen die direct langs de Arno lopen beginnen allemaal met het woord Lungarno (vrij vertaald: langs de Arno). Florence is een van de belangrijkste kunststeden ter wereld. Het herbergt prachtige kunstwerken en gebouwen: de David van Michelangelo, de Santa Maria del Fiore met de koepel van Brunelleschi, de Ponte Vecchio met huizen aan de weerszijden van de brug, en niet te vergeten de Galleria degli Uffizi met een aantal van de belangrijkste renaissance-kunstwerken van Italiaanse, Hollandse, Vlaamse, Duitse en Spaanse meesters. Als je Florence wilt bezoeken, moet je proberen in de lente of de herfst te gaan; in de zomer is het er stikheet en barst het er van de toeristen, terwijl het in de herfst en de lente aangenaam warm is en niet al te druk bij de belangrijke bezienswaardigheden. Maar ja voor ons toch geen reden om deze stad over te slaan in hartje zomer.

 

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Taken on August 14, 2012