Florence at a glance
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Florence is the capital of Tuscany region. Florence is rich in industry and craft, commerce and culture, art and science. Climate here is temperate and sometimes variable. Winters are breezy and summers hot. This art city had been the birth place of many well known and eminent artists. Academies, art schools, scientific institutes and cultural centers are proof of the city's intensive love for art. This was the place were Renaissance begun. The best attractions of Florence are listed below:- Ponte Vecchio - This admirable Bridge is the oldest bridge in Florence. Its banks are still full of goldsmiths', silversmiths' and jewelers' laboratories whose art has been passed down from generation to generation. Piazza della Signoria - The magnificent Piazza della Signoria is a real open-air exhibition. Palazzo Vecchio, with its sixteenth-century hall full of frescoes by Vasari, the Fountain of Neptune by Ammannati, and the copy of Michelangelo's David leave the visitors spell bounded. On the right-hand of the square there is the Loggia della Signoria that contains statues like the bronze Perseo by Cellini and il Ratto delle Sabine by Gianbologna. Giardino di Boboli - The Boboli Gardens is situated alongside the Palazzo Pitti. The garden was created on the wishes of the Medici family in 1500. A walk across these beautiful renaissance gardens will reveal the sight of enthralling monuments such as the amphitheater, the Grotta del Buontalenti, and the small island with the statues of the dancing country-folk. The San Lorenzo Market - The Central San Lorenzo Market is housed inside a huge iron and glass building that was built in 1874. This market is a favorite tourist destination. On the ground floor there are several delicatessens sold. On the first floor there are flower stalls and fruit and vegetable stalls where all the local seasonal produce is displayed. Spedale degli Innocenti - This orphanage was opened in 1445 A.D. A part of the building is still used as orphanage till today. The portico, built by Brunelleschi, is decorated with glazed terracotta spheres that represent new-born children. It is still possible to see the "wheel" in the portico, a turning stone cylinder where mothers placed their unwanted children, who were then turned round to the inside of the building. Basilica di Santa Croce - Built in 12th century, Santa Croce contains several masterpieces like the frescoes by Giotto, the Crucifix by Cimabue and the Cappella dei Pazzi, a chapel built by Brunelleschi. The Basilica is famous throughout the world because of the famous people buried inside it, such as Alfieri, whose tomb was sculpted by Canova. Basilica di San Lorenzo - The interior of this church was completed by Brunelleschi and later, by Michelangelo. The Basilica di San Lorenzo's façade is still not finished. There are some works of art inside: the two pulpits built by Donatello when he was already 74 years old, The Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana and the Tombe Medicee, works by Michelangelo, the Cappella dei Principi chapel with its magnificent decorations in marble and semi-precious stones.
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