Sunday, January 8, 2012

Florence, Italy

Florence is the capital of the region of Tuscany in Italy with a population of about 388,500. The city is considered a cultural, artistic and architectural gem. Florence, arguably Italy's most beautiful city, is an essential destination for any serious art lover, who'll be overwhelmed by the quantity, let alone the quality, of some of the most important examples of western art anywhere in the world, concentrated into one small, beautiful city. The works of Botticelli, Michelangelo, Bruneschelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Boccaccio, Alberti, Masaccio, Donatello, Vasari and Fra Angelico imbue the city with the magnificence of their contribution to art and life. The city itself is muse to some and home to many stylish citizens who titivate the cobbled streets and fashionable piazzas with their inimitable Italian flair.

Of course, like many other cities, Florence suffers from too much traffic (although efforts have been made to restrict it from the centre of town), too many tourists, and an historic old centre tainted by cheap-looking fast food restaurants. The city is undoubtedly expensive - so pick your hotel and restaurant carefully, and as far away from the main sights as is practical. But it is those sights that make Florence such an unforgettable destination. The chapels, galleries and museums capture the spirit of the Renaissance more fully than any other city in Italy: no visitor could fail to be impressed. 

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