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Florence’s Renaissance jewels

An itinerary to discover the treasures of the city

First leg
From Santa Croce to Ponte Vecchio
Santa Croce
Santa Croce - Credit: Alessandro Farese

The itinerary begins with a visit to Santa Croce, a Gothic church with frescoes by Giotto and Gaddi, sculptures by Donatello and a beautiful cloister. To continue the Renaissance architecture, visit the Cappella dei Pazzi, designed by Brunelleschi. After a short walk, you’ll arrive at Piazza della Signoria and from here under the arcades of the Uffizi Museum, continue to the shores of the Arno, with a beautiful view of the Ponte Vecchio, home to many Florentine jewelers. Pass through Piazza Santa Croce, and walk to Palazzo Medici Riccardi.

Second leg
Frescoes and historical workshops
Frescoes by Gozzoli in the Magi Chapel
Frescoes by Gozzoli in the Magi Chapel

Admire the Palazzo del Michelozzo, built for Cosimo de 'Medici, and fundamental in imposing the tone of all the Renaissance palaces. Visit the cloister and admire the frescoes by Gozzoli in the Chapel of the Magi. Visit the historic workshops of Florence to see how the Renaissance Arts are being preserved today: ceramics, mosaics, leather and perfumes. Piazza San Giovanni is a delightful square. The same can be said of the Baptistery, with its Ghiberti doors that, according to Michelangelo, were so beautiful, they could be compared to the Gates of Paradise and Giotto's Bell Tower.

Third leg
Santa Maria del Fiore and surrounds
Basilica of San Lorenzo
Basilica of San Lorenzo - Credit: Joanbanjo

The enormous Dome of Brunelleschi's Cathedral can be seen from the street, from the Bell Tower or by climbing the 460 steps to the top. San Lorenzo is one of the two churches in Florence designed by Brunelleschi. The Church contains another treasure: Michelangelo's Laurentian Library, located near the cloister, famous for the vestibule at its entrance, where Michelangelo designed a staircase that seems to cascade like a waterfall from the reading room on the second floor.

Fourth leg
Santa Maria Novella and the Spedale degli Innocenti
Church of Santa Maria Novella
Church of Santa Maria Novella - Credit: Alquiler de Coches

You can also visit the Church of Santa Maria Novella, a Gothic building with a Renaissance facade, added by Alberti in the 15th century. Inside are paintings by Giotto, Masaccio and Paolo Uccello. Piazza della Santissima Annunziata was one of the first Renaissance squares with its symmetrical buildings and trapezoidal shape. In the square is the Spedale degli Innocenti, built by Brunelleschi, with its elegant Loggia and Church built by Michelozzo, where you can see the paintings of Andrea del Castagno and Pontormo.

Fifth leg
Palazzos, monasteries and frescoes by Masaccio
Bargello Museum
Bargello Museum

From there, go to see one of the less famous Florentine treasures: The Museum of the Church of San Marco. Fra Angelico lived in this monastery and painted a small fresco of devotion in each of its small cells, creating a unique museum. Continue to Santa Apollonia, where you can admire "he Last Supper by Andrea del Castagno. The medieval Palazzo del Bargello now houses a Museum, where you can see sculptures by Donatello, Michelangelo, Brunelleschi and Ghiberti. Finish the tour at Santa Maria del Carmine, where you can visit the Brancacci Chapel and see frescoes by Masaccio, in particular The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise.

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