A day in the beauties of Florence.
While you are based in Rome you can certainly take a fast train to Florence and reach the city of Michelangelo in only 1 hour and 30 minutes. From Termini Train station, you can either take a “Trenitalia” fast train (Frecciarossa or Frecciargento) or an “Italo” Train and in only one hour and 30 minutes you are in Florence Train station of Santa Maria Novella.
The train station is located right in the centre of Florence and you can take a walk to the nearby Church called “Santa Maria Novella”.
This church is really spectacular, there are many chapels embellished by Renaissance artists who were financed by the noble families of Florence.
Inside Santa Maria Novella you cannot miss the Holy Trinity by Masaccio. It is considered one of his masterpieces, painted around 1425 with an incredible “Trompe l’oeil effect”.
Among the several chapels, all notable for their frescoes, we will mention the “Strozzi Chapel” with a series of Frescoes by Domenico Ghirlandaio and his young assistant Michelangelo who at that time was working at the arts workshop of Ghirlandaio, and the Chapel of the Gondi Family where stands the amazing Crucifix made by Brunelleschi, who was also the architect of the “cupola” of the Florence Cathedral.
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After your visit to this special church we highly recommend you to go to the Academy Gallery, but don’t ever forget to reserve a spot for you or you will stand in line for hours.
There you will see the famous David by Michelangelo sculpted when he was only 26 years old.
The David was sculpted after the “Pieta” statue of Saint Peter’s Basilica. It was carved from one block of Marble and it is about 17 feet tall.
There are many statues of David sculpted by genius and definitely, we can compare it to the David by Bernini in Rome, preserved in the Borghese gallery. The David of Michelangelo represented the young man when he took the decision to fight Goliath before the action. The Bernini one instead is representing the David in full action as requested by the Baroque art style.
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From the Academy Gallery, you can walk to the Cathedral Square where it is possible to skip the line with a guided tour of the Basilica of 30 minutes. The interior of the Basilica has a spectacular Gothic architecture with Renaissance frescoes. Once inside your attention will be attracted by the 44 stained glass windows and by the Dome interior paintings by Giorgio Vasari and Federico Zuccari.
If you book a longer tour you can visit the Crypt with layers of underneath history dating back to the Roman times. In the crypt, there is also the Tomb of the architect that projected the Dome and part of the Cathedral, his name is Filippo Brunelleschi. Maybe you don’t know yet that Michelangelo took also his inspiration from Brunelleschi masterpiece for the future Dome of St. Peter’s Basilica. Do not miss the chance to climb the Dome, from there you will be able to admire a breath-taking view of the city.
After a full immersion in the Renaissance art, you might want to do a stop
in the straw market or walk along the “Ponte Vecchio” where you can shop in the historical and artisan’s jewellery shops.
For “Gelato” lovers we suggest the ice-cream near Santa Croce, “De Neri ice-cream” is a must-visit place; they really know the secret and the recipes to make the gelato creamy and delicious. Today “De Neri Gelateria” makes one of the best home-made gelatos of Florence.
For all those who like to try some local snacks, we suggest going to the San Lorenzo Market where you can find local cold cuts of ham, cheese and of course olives, some of them served with spices. You can find also many “pate and olive oil” along with other typical product. Tuscany is very renown in Italy for its local recipes!
Florence is not famous only for jewellery but also for leather. In the area of Santa Croce you may find many artisans shops, but you should definitely go in one of them near Holy Cross Church called “Scuola del Cuoio”. The school and shop are inside a renaissance building and all the goods are handmade leather goods. If you have time after your shopping, do not hesitate to visit Holy Cross Church where the Tomb of Michelangelo and Galileo Galilee is located.
Your day in Florence can end with a spectacular dinner: you really must taste the Florentine T-Bone steak called “Fiorentina”. It is called Fiorentina because the meat is produced in Tuscany and it is “Chianina meet” from Valdichiana area. Cannot miss it! One of the best restaurants for the Fiorentina is the Perseus located in Viale Don Giovanni Minzoni 10. Of course, the Florentine steak must be really accompanied by a good glass of Chianti red wine or a Montepulciano Wine.
Do not hesitate to contact us from Rome Private Guides team if you need any suggestion or help to discover the city of Michelangelo but also one of the best Italian cuisines!