Escorted Rail Tours to Florence
Renaissance flavour in Tuscany
The beautiful city of Florence - 'the jewel of the Renaissance'
- is a city of many treasures. Picturesque, narrow streets and
handsome squares, including the Piazza della Signoria - the
people-watching centre of Florence - are only part of the city's
charm; much of the beauty of the city is found indoors. One fifth
of the world's Renaissance art is kept and displayed in Florence's
museums, galleries, churches, monasteries and palaces; many in the
Basilica Santa Croce, burial place of some of Italy's most
celebrated icons including Galileo, Machiavelli and Michelangelo,
and as many as 1,700 masterpieces in the world-famous Uffi zi
Among the city's famous buildings are the Duomo with its
iconic red-tiled dome, which dominates the city skyline, both day
and night. Called 'Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore' - Florence's
cathedral (Duomo) was constructed between 1296 and 1436. Located in
the appropriately named 'Piazza del Duomo', the cathedral complex
also includes the Baptistery and Giotto's Campanile - a
free-standing bell tower. Together, the three buildings have been
awarded UNESCO World Heritage status.
Another of Florence's charms is the beautiful Ponte
Vecchio - a 14th century bridge that is home to 43 jewellers'
shops. The bridge spans the River Arno at its narrowest point -
thought to be the place where the Roman's first bridged the river.
The shops on the bridge had been monopolised by butchers for over
150 years, until a local law was introduced in 1593, banning
butchers in order to preserve the 'prestige' of the bridge.