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Best things to do in Florence for Free – IN ONE DAY…




It is practically impossible to make a list of what you can and must see in Florence, considering that the ‘cradle of the Renaissance’ concentrates a vast historical and artistic heritage, to get to know which several visits are certainly necessary. What is certain, however, is that, alongside masterpieces of inestimable value and famous throughout the world, such as Michelangelo’s David kept in the Accademia Gallery or the famous Uffizi Gallery, the capital of Tuscany will not disappoint those who travel with a shoestring budget and intends, without spending a single euro, to savor a pinch of its medieval and Renaissance atmospheres. If you are about to leave for the capital of Tuscany and are short of ideas, continue reading our advice on what to see for free in Florence.


It is practically impossible to make a list of what you can and must see in Florence, considering that the ‘cradle of the Renaissance’ concentrates a vast historical and artistic heritage, to get to know which several visits are certainly necessary. What is certain, however, is that, alongside masterpieces of inestimable value and famous throughout the world, such as Michelangelo’s David kept in the Accademia Gallery or the famous Uffizi Gallery, the capital of Tuscany will not disappoint those who travel with a shoestring budget and intends, without spending a single euro, to savor a pinch of its medieval and Renaissance atmospheres. If you are about to leave for the capital of Tuscany and are short of ideas, continue reading our advice on what to see for free in Florence.




NUMBER ONE – The Cathedral

of Santa Maria del Fiore, or Duomo of Florence, is definitely the reference point of the Florentine skyline. The church stands out not only for its dimensions – it is the third largest in the world after San Pietro in Rome and San Paolo in London – and its beauty, but above all for the incredible dome made by Filippo Brunelleschi, an authentic architectural masterpiece capable of Preaching the times: just think that it took over 4 million bricks to build it, and with its weight of about 40 thousand tons and the size of the middle field field, represents the largest masonry structure in the world. The history of the construction of the dome appears even more incredible if you think that Brunelleschi, a goldsmith’s goldsmith, found itself facing the dilemma of how to make the dome 80 years after the start of the construction of the church, after winning a public competition despite if it were Completely without experience.

The anecdote tells that Brunelleschi managed to convince the jurors of the competition by telling them that he would reveal his projects if any of them had managed to make a standing egg stand on the table. Everyone ventured with the challenge, failing, until Brunelleschi crushed the egg on the surface of the table, managing to make him ‘standing’. The judges objected that they themselves could have done the same, but the ingenious Brunelleschi sly replied that, if they knew what he knew, they could also build the dome, obtaining the assignment eventually. The inspiration for the dome was the famous Pantheon in Rome, whose constructive technique at the time had not yet been fully understood. And Brunelleschi’s genius also lies in having devised cutting -edge construction solutions, not only designing a self -supporting brick structure with curved walls without the use of a wooden structure, but also inventing the tools necessary to do it, including a Three -wheeled dentaled mechanism operated by oxen walking in a circle, to control the lifting or lowering of heavy objects. The construction works of the dome began in 1420 and ended in 1436, and for years the constructive technique used remained a mystery for scholars, since Brunelleschi, unlike Leonardo da Vinci, left no notebook or document to document the project. So much was the admiration for the work that, according to popular legend, just before his departure for Rome Michelangelo Buonarroti wrote to his father, referring to the dome that shortly after he would have designed for the Basilica of San Pietro, saying: “Vo ‘a Rome to make her sister, older yes, but no longer beautiful. ” Can you miss a visit to this authentic wonder?




NUMBER TWO – Free Walking Tour

Florence is a perfect city to go around on foot, to be able to appreciate all the most hidden beauties and corners, and a highly appreciated initiative are the tour of the free city. Every day there are 2, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, and no booking is needed, since it is sufficient to present yourself to the place of departure in the chosen time. At 11, the Renaissance Tour starts from Santa Maria Novella: a 2 -hour walk in the center of Florence, which touches all the major attractions of the city, from the Cathedral to Piazza della Signoria, to end in front of the church of Santa Croce. At 4 pm the Medici Tour begins; The starting point and the duration are the same, but in this case, our itinerary touches Palazzo Medici-Riccardi, Palazzo Vecchio, Ponte Vecchio and Palazzo Pitti. In both cases, these are an excellent opportunity to retrace the history of the city in the company of competent guides, who with their indications will be able to add further charm to the visit of one of the richest and most characteristic urban fabrics in the world. Remember, however, that, despite being free participation, it is practice to leave a tip to the cicerone on duty.




NUMBER THREE – Basilica of San Miniato al Monte

The Basilica of San Miniato al Monte di Firenze is located in the highest part of the city, and must be seen as it constitutes a splendid example of Florentine Romanesque architecture. The church, which turned exactly a thousand years in 2018, takes its name from the saint who was the first martyr of Florence, probably a Greek merchant or a Armenian prince on pilgrimage to Rome who arrived in Florence in 250 AD. He devoted himself to hermit life was beheaded during anti -Christian persecutions. It presents itself with a splendid entrance staircase, and a facade with marble inlays and on which upper order stands a mosaic on a golden background, from the thirteenth century, which depicts Christ between the Virgin and San Miniato. Outside the building there are then impressive plays of light, which make the church splendid even at night, and in this regard, in the Basilica there is a solstial sundial among the oldest in Europe: on the floor you will find a marble zodiac Of the thirteenth century on which on June 21, the day of the summer solstice, the symbol of the sign of cancer is illuminated by a ray of sunshine.

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