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These Breathtaking Buildings Show the Best of Florence Architecture

Updated: Apr 24, 2023

Florence is known for its architecture. Here are some of the breathtaking buildings you could see on your visit to this beautiful city.

Brunelleschi Dome Florence free waking tour

Julius Caesar first founded Florence in 59 BC. The settlement only became the beautiful city we know today hundreds of years later. Today, Florence is known for its fine architecture, art, and culture.

Florence buildings are arguably the most striking in all of Italy and even all of Europe. But what are the most breathtaking buildings in this city?

Keep reading and learn more about it in this Florence travel guide.

Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore

You can't think about visiting Florence, Italy, without visiting the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore.

This building is the most iconic feature in all of Florence. It is instantly recognizable by its large red dome or cupola.

This dome is locally known as the Duomo, which means dome in Italian. The dome was originally built by the famed architect Filippo Brunelleschi. This cathedral is one of the largest cathedrals in the world.

Its architectural style is unique due to the time in which it was constructed. It has noticeable gothic features which are hundreds of years old. These features are contrasted by Renaissance features which are slightly more modern.

Gothic features are more rough and jagged. Renaissance features are softer and more Romanesque. While Brunelleschi did the cupola, Arnolfo di Cambio designed the rest of the cathedral.

The Details

The designs were completed in the 13th century. The facade of the church is not original as it was added 100 years later in the 14th century. The facade is a striking array of multicolored marble, including some that are pink and even green.

The cupola is the most modern addition to the cathedral. It was constructed in the 15th century. Inside the cathedral is where you will find more amazing architecture and design.

There are mosaics and frescos everywhere. While other Italian cathedrals have amazing artwork, few match the beauty inside this one. One of the most famous artworks inside the cathedral is the Last Judgement.

This was created by the artist Giorgio Vasari many hundreds of years ago. This is one of the most popular points of interest in the entire cathedral. What many people don't know about the cupola is that you can climb to the top of it.

From there, you can enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view of Florence. Whenever you decide to visit Florence, you can't miss this marvel.

The Uffizi Gallery

The Uffizi Gallery is one of the best buildings in Florence to visit for several reasons. The building was originally an array of administrative offices run by the infamous Medici family hundreds of years ago. The word "uffizi" means "offices" in Italian.

Today, the building is now home to some of the most famous pieces of art in the world. The building's exterior is striking in its own right. It boasts Renaissance architectural features that are hard to find in other regions of Europe.

These features include arched doorways, porticos, tall windows, and more. The entire facade is very sleek and almost modern considering its old age. It is one of the best examples of Renaissance architecture in Italy.

The building was constructed right next to the Arno river which is one of the most famous rivers in the world.

What You Need to Know

From the gallery, you can enjoy an amazing view of the Ponte Vecchio, yet another architectural marvel. You can view even more architectural features inside the museum. There are also paintings by famous artists like Michelangelo, Titian, and Botticelli.

The only downside of this building is that it is often crowded. This is especially true during the summer which is Italy's peak season. If you want to enjoy the museum without as many people, consider going during the winter or late autumn.

While the museum will still have some crowds, they won't be as bad as the rest of the year. Getting an entry ticket ahead of time is also a good way to make sure you'll get inside and see some of your favorite art pieces.

Giotto's Campanile

Giotto's bell tower (campanile, in Italian) is instantly recognizable by its many striking colors. These colors are not painted but instead are natural. This is due to the carefully selected specimens of marble used for the bell tower's facade.

The tower features white marble inlaid with pink and green marble. The architecture of this bell tower is unique because it is mostly Gothic in style rather than Renaissance or Romanesque. The Gothic features of this tower include sharp angles, ridged arches, and many small details.

The campanile's first stones were placed in 1334 by Giotto. Giotto was a famous artist and architect. He was one of the first artists to bring art out of the Dark Ages and into the Renaissance.

Giotto did not complete the bell tower on his own. He stopped working on the project after three years. The architect Andrea Pisano then took up the project, followed by Francesco Talenti.

Talenti was the one who completed the tower in 1359. Today, the tower is an icon of Florence. You can climb to the top of the tower to enjoy magnificent views of the city.

All About Florence Buildings

There are many Florence buildings to admire. Each one is a milestone in the history of architecture and the history of Florence. Some of the most impressive examples are Giotto's Campanile, the Uffizi Gallery, and the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore.

If this guide has spurred you to visit Florence, look no further than our helpful Florence travel guides.

Also if you want more about the city of Florence come with us we are running a free walking tour every day from Santa Maria Novella square, to have more information look our website:

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