Whether you are looking for a romantic weekend or ideal seclusion, city breaks to Florence are a real treat for your senses, offering a unique opportunity to get deep into the overwhelming beauty of the city. The center of medieval European finance and trade, Florence is considered by many to be a birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, and is also renowned for its architecture and art. It is believed that 350 of 1,000 great European artists lived and worked in Florence.
City breaks to Florence offer you a wonderful chance to move closer to the world of dazzling beauty and become part of it if only for a few days. A tour of Florence will bring you to the heart of the city, the Piazza della Signora with its greatest attraction - the Fountain of Neptune. This work by Bartolomeo Ammannati and his assistants was finished on the occasion of Francesco I de' Medici's wedding in 1565. Made in the XIX century, the statue of Neptune is a copy, while the original masterpiece can be found in the National Museum.
From the Fountain of Neptune you'll proceed to the Ponte Vecchio, the most famous medieval bridge, noted for many shops, notably jewelers, built along it. Constructed first by the Etruscans in ancient times, it is recognized as the oldest segmental arch bridge in Europe and the only in Florence to have survived the World War II. The Ponte Vecchio comprises three segmental arches, with the main one having a span of 30 meters and two side arches spanning 27 meters each. Situated in the center of the city's market district is the Basilica di San Lorenzo, one of the largest and most beautiful churches in Florence that also claims to be the oldest church in the city.
For more than 300 years it had been spotlighted as a cathedral, before losing this status to Santa Reparata. The Renaissance interior is cool and huge, and is lined with chapels. The oldest part of the church, Sagregata Vecchia houses the tombs of some members of the Medici family. No city break in Florence will be complete without a visit to San Lorenzo, the most famous palace of the city that has become the monument to the influential and powerful Medici family.
Located nearby is the Uffizi Gallery, regarded as one of the world's finest art galleries. There are three reasons that make it a must-see during city breaks to Florence: it was where the outstanding poet Dante was sent into exile in 1301, with a plaque on one of the gallery's walls commemorating the event; it was the location of the Bonfire of the Vanities in 1497, followed by Girolamo Savonarola's execution; it was the location of David by Michelangelo in 1504, replaced now by a reproduction, as the original moved to the Accademia dell' Arte del Disegno.
In addition to the renowned Uffizi Gallery, Florence boasts some of the most renowned world-class museums, all of them worth a visit during your city breaks to Florence. One of these, the Bargello focuses on sculpture, housing a number of priceless masterpieces by Giambologna, Michelangelo and Donatello, while the highlights in the collection of the Accademia dell' Arte del Disegno include David and Slaves by Michelangelo. Across Arno is the Pitty Palace, decorated with the private collection of the Medici family. Adjacent to the Palace are Boboli Gardens, landscaped with a number of magnificent sculptures.