Florence, a city rich in art, history and traditions, keeps an exceptional artistic heritage attesting its secular civilization. Cimabue and Giotto, the fathers of Italian painting, Arnolfo di Cambio and Andrea Pisano, renovators of architecture and sculpture, Brunelleschi, Donatello and Masaccio, founders of the Renaissance, Ghiberti and the Della Robbia, Filippo Lippi and Angelico, Sandro Botticelli and Paolo Uccello, and the universal geniuses of Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo Buonarroti, lived in Florence.
Their masterpieces –together with those of many other generations of artists, up to the masters of our century- are gathered in the city’s numerous museums, such as the Uffizi, the world’s most selected gallery; the Galleria Palatina, with paintings from the “golden centuries”, the Museo del Bargello, with its Renaissance sculptures, San Marco’s museum, with pieces by Angelico, the Academia Gallery, the Medici Chapels and the Buonarroti House, with the sculptures from Michelangelo, the Museums Bardini, Horne, Stibbert, Romano, Corsini, the Modern Art Gallery, Museo dell’Opera del Duomo (Museum of the Works of the Cathedral), the Museum of Silvers, and the peculiar Opificio delle Pietre Dure.
Great monuments are the landmarks of Florentine artistic culture: the Baptistery with its mosaics; the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore with its precious sculptures; medieval churches with their cycles of frescoes; public and private buildings, like Palazzo Vecchio, Palazzo Pitti, Palazzo Medici-Riccardi, Palazzo Davanzati; many monasteries with their most beautiful cloisters and frescoed circles, as you can see at the Galluzzo’s Charterhouse. A rich documentation of the Etruscan civilization is at the Archaeological Museum.
World Heritage Site recognized by Unesco in 1982, the historic center of Florence is surrounded by the viali (boulevards), which are opened on the route of the original medieval walls, in order to collect the most important cultural heritage of the city. From the hills of Belvedere or Bellosguardo the historic center of Florence seems almost a treasure in its chest where the facades of the most important monuments, palaces and churches, stand out. In particular, from both the Forte di Belvedere and Piazzale Michelangelo, with the gorgeous Romanesque Basilica of San Miniato al Monte, you can enjoy one of the most striking views of the Arno valley against the backdrop of Fiesole’s hill.