FLORENCE – 40 KM FROM MONTECATINI TERME
Florence preserves an exceptional heritage of art, splendid testimony of its centuries-old civilization. In Florence once lived: Cimabue and Giotto, fathers of Italian painting; Arnolfo and Andrea Pisano, renovators of architecture and sculpture; Brunelleschi, Donatello and Masaccio, initiators of the Renaissance; Ghiberti and the Della Robbias; Filippo Lippi and L’Angelico; Botticelli and Paolo Uccello, and the universal geniuses of Leonardo and Michelangelo.
Their works – with those of many other generations of artists, up to the masters of our century – are collected in the numerous museums of the city: the Uffizi, the most selected art gallery in the world; the Palatine Gallery, with paintings from the “golden age”, the Bargello, with Renaissance sculptures; the Museum of San Marco, with the works of Angelico; the Academy, the Medici Chapels and Casa Buonarroti, with sculptures by Michelangelo; the Bardini, Horne, Stibbert, Romano, Corsini Museums, the Gallery of Modern Art, the Museum of the Opera del Duomo, of the Silvers, of the Hard Stones.
Distinguished monuments mark the stages of Florentine artistic civilization: the Baptistery with its mosaics; the Duomo with its sculptures; the medieval churches with cycles of frescoes; the public and private palaces – Palazzo Vecchio, Palazzo Pitti, Palazzo Medici-Riccardi, Palazzo Davanzati; monasteries and cloisters; the convents and cenacles; the Charterhouse. The civilization of the Etruscans has a rich documentation in the Archaeological Museum.
Recognized as a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1982, the historic center of Florence, enclosed within the circle of avenues traced on the old medieval walls, collects the most important cultural assets of the city. Delimited by the route of the fourteenth century walls, built thanks to the commercial and economic power achieved, it experienced its maximum splendor in the following two centuries.
The historic center can be appreciated in its entirety from the surrounding hills, especially from Forte Belvedere, from Piazzale Michelangelo with the Romanesque Basilica of San Miniato al Monte and from the hill of Fiesole which offers one of the most evocative panoramas of the valley of the Arno.