Standing at Piazzale Michelangelo (Michelangelo Square) with the panoramic view of Florence in front me, I have to pinch myself literally for the commanding view of the Duomo, the Arno River dividing the city in two and the surrounding houses of ocher color facade is more than enough reason why Florence possibly will always be my most favorite stopover in Italy.
To enjoy this magnificent view of Florence one must head to Piazzale Michelangelo either by walking from the city center or taking the public transportation.
There is a bus stop across Piazza Giuseppe Poggi named after Guiseppe Poggi the architect of the panoramic walk leading to the piazzale. Taking the so called Poggi Ramps is the best way to go up, you can take your time climbing the stairs and as you get closer to the top, the distant view starts to unravel slowly.
Florence is another walk-able city, where there is no need to worry about metro cards or bus passes, if you have the will and stamina to just simply walk around then the city is all for you to discover.
Though it is a touristy place it never feels crowded, just simply look at the man peacefully enjoying the view of Arno River and Ponte Vecchio in front of him, drowning every sounds and chaos surrounding him.
The Ponte Vecchio or the Old Bridge is a Medieval segment arched bridge over the Arno River. Historically and till present day, the bridge houses shops and merchants of mostly souvenir shops and art dealers.
The capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany, Florence is the birthplace of Renaissance, where Botticelli, Medici, Machiavelli, Michelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci were some of its famous, notable residents.
You don’t have to be an art student to appreciate Florence. Part of Florence experience is to learn and appreciate the result of the Renaissance cultural movement- some of the world’s greatest work of art. This can be accomplished by visiting two museums- the Galleria degli Uffizi (Uffizi Gallery) and the Galleria dell’Accademia (Accademia Gallery).
Uffizi Gallery, with over 45 halls of outstanding collection is known for Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus” and my personal favorite Caravaggio’s “Medusa” while the Accademia Gallery is most famous for the sculpture of Biblical hero “David” by Michelangelo.
“For in it may be seen most beautiful contours of legs, with attachments of limbs and slender outlines of flanks that are divine; nor has there ever been seen a pose so easy, or any grace to equal that in this work, or feet, hands and head so well in accord, one member with another, in harmony, design, and excellence of artistry”.
-Giorgio Vasari, from his “Lives of the most excellent painters, sculptors and architects”, describing “David” by Michelangelo.