Before I head to Florence as part of my upcoming trip over to Europe, I thought I would do a little feature on this beautiful Italian city.

History
The Birthplace of the Italian renaissance, Florence is now known as the cradle of the renaissance and is the capital city of Tuscany and is home to approximately 382,000 people. The population growth comes from an increase in tourism and trade throughout the 20th century which saw the population triple on that of the 19th century. During the second world war Florence experienced a year long German occupation (1943-1944) and upon there retreat the Germans demolished the bridges along the Arno linking the district of Oltrarno to the rest of the city, making it difficult for the British troops to cross. There is however one bridge, the Ponte Vecchio that managed to survive that period, mostly due to Charle Steinhauslin who at the time of consulate of 26 countries in Florence convinced the Germans to not blow up the bridge. 

Landmarks/Attractions
As for many cities in Italy, Florence is known for its amazing architecture which can be seen throughout its buildings, monuments and churches. One of the cities most recognisable landmarks, the Ponte Vecchio or "Old Bridge" has been standing since the 12th century and is the only remaining bridge standing from the second world war after the Germans demolished the bridges of the Arno upon there retreat from the city in 1944.
The main tourist attraction of the city, the Santa Maria del Fiore or more commonly known as The Duomo is Florence's main cathedral which was completed structurally in 1436 with the dome of the church engineered by Filippo Brunelleschi who was the oldest amongst the founding fathers of the renaissance and said to be recognised as the first modern engineer. The Gothic interior of the church gives an empty impression due to its relative bareness but like many cathedrals throughout Italy offers amazing artistic detail under its dome.
If you have an upcoming trip to Florence be sure to visit the Pizzale Michelangelo. This Florentine piazza designed by Giuseppe Poggi and constructed in 1869 will give you sweeping panoramic views of the city including that of the Duomo, the Ponte Vecchio, Palazzo Vecchio and the Bargello. You will find the piazza to the south of the historic centre and is dedicated to renaissance sculptor Michelangelo.
You cant go to Florence without seeing Michelangelo David, a 5.17m sculpture of a standing male nude and represents the biblical hero David. Whilst the original is now on display in the Accademia Gallery, Florence, a replica can be seen in its original place of Palazzo Vecchio. Replicas can also be found at the Pizzale Michelangelo and the Victoria & Albert Museum.

What I am looking forward to
Like the many cities we visit in Italy, Florence has me most looking forward to seeing its incredible architecture and breathtakingly stunning views. Whether it be walking through its narrow streets amongst is many cathedrals, taking a walk over a 12th century bridge or through its many piazza's and taking in sweeping panoramic views looking over the city from Pizzale Michelangelo, Florence is going to be a very special place to visit and one that is high on my list to re-visit and spend more time in.

If you have enjoyed this feature, I welcome you to share it and leave a comment with your favourite thing about this beautiful city.

 

Published by Jackson Mahoney