PALAZZO VECCHIO AND PIAZZA DELLA SIGNORIA
This is the most important civil building in the city. It was designed by Arnolfo di Cambio and its construction began in 1299. It was the seat of the Priori delle Arti and of the Signoria Council, as well as being the ducal residence. Over the centuries, it was remodelled several times. The 14th century courtyard, graced with the fountain with the "putto", a copy of Verrocchio's original, was later modified by Michelozzo. Inside, it is worth seeing the Salone dei Cinquecento, the study of Francesco I, the room of the Elements and the Sala dei Gigli. The Loggia della Signoria or "dei Lanzi" overlooks the square. Here there are several important statues including "Perseus" by Cellini and the "Rape of the Sabine Women" by Giambologna.
UFFIZI GALLERY, VASARI CORRIDOR AND PONTE VECCHIO
The Uffizi Gallery is one of the greatest museums in Italy, and the world. It was founded in 1581 by Francesco I de' Medici, who displayed numerous artworks in the building designed by Vasari. Today, the Uffizi contains masterpieces by Italian and foreign artists from 13th to 18th century, such as Cimabue, Giotto, Masaccio, Beato Angelico, Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Piero della Francesca, Raphael, Caravaggio, along with Rubens, Rembrandt, Dürer, Goya and many others. The Vasari Corridor that connects the Uffizi Gallery with the Pitti Palace hosts a rich collection of portraits by past and present artists. Built by Vasari in 1565, it passes above the Ponte Vecchio, the oldest bridge in the city, with its many jewellery shops. The same building houses the Contini Bonacossi Collection.
ISTITUTO E MUSEO DI STORIA DELLA SCIENZA
Palazzo Castellani houses the Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza, which contains the Medici collections of scientific instruments that was enriched by the Lorraine rulers, along with Galileo Galilei's original instruments.
MUSEO NAZIONALE DEL BARGELLO
This building dates back to 1255, when it was built as the seat of the "Capitano del Popolo", the commander of the local militia. Later, it became the seat of the "Podestà", and then of the Capitano di Giustizia (the magistrate) or "Bargello", from which it got its name. Since 1859, it has been the home of the National Museum dedicated to sculpture and the minor arts. It contains masterpieces by Brunelleschi, Michelangelo, Cellini, Giambologna, and Donatello along with priceless ivories, enamels, jewels, tapestries and weapons. The Badia Fiorentina, the city's oldest monastery (978) is just a short distance from the museum. Here, there is a masterpiece by Filippino Lippi. Nearby, in the Palazzo Nonfinito, is the rich Museum of Anthropology and Ethnology, while the Museo Casa di Dante (Dante's house) is right behind the Badia.
This building was constructed by Michelangelo's great-grandson, and since then many descendants of the family have brought together works by the great master, such as drawings, portraits, and early pieces. The purpose of Casa Buonarroti is to collect and enhance Michelangelo's art, and among other items, it contains the "Battle of the Centaurs" and the "Madonna of the Stairs".
BASILICA OF SANTA CROCE AND MUSEO DELL'OPERA DI SANTA CROCE
This Franciscan basilica was begun in 1295 according to plans by Arnolfo di Cambio. It contains countless artworks, including Giotto's famous frescoes in the Peruzzi and Bardi chapels, and it is universally famous as the final resting place of many great Italians. The basilica’s most important monuments include the tomb of Alfieri by Canova, the tomb of Leonardo Bruni by Rossellino and the tomb of Carlotta Bonaparte by Bartolini. The Museo dell'Opera contains renowned artworks such as the "Crucifix" by Cimabue, frescoes by Taddeo Gaddi and Andrea Orcagna and the graceful Pazzi Chapel, designed by Brunelleschi.
MUSEO DELLA FONDAZIONE HORNE
This museum contains fine collections of artistic and crafted items that date from the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries donated to the city of Florence at the beginning of the 20th century by Herbert Percy Horne. This English antique dealer recreated a noble Renaissance residence in his home. One of the most interesting pieces is a "St. Stephen", attributed to Giotto.
SYNAGOGUE AND JEWISH MUSEUM
The Byzantine-style Synagogue was built at the end of the 19th century according to plans by Marco Treves. The mosaics inside create a sumptuous Eastern atmosphere. The Jewish Museum reconstructs the history of the Jews in Florence through photographs, documents, and more. It contains a fine collection of ceremonial items.
CONVENT DI SANTA MARIA MADDALENA DE' PAZZI
The Chapter Room of the convent is decorated with Perugino's famous fresco of the "Crucifixion" (1493-96).