Friday, September 7, 2012

Florence best hotels

Robust wines, crusty breads and flavorful meats will draw your attention to Tuscany, a region in Italy that embodies food, history and romance. Often considered the birthplace of the Renaissance, this locale is an artist lover’s dream. Florence is the capital of the region of Tuscany. Although small in size, this storybook city is rich in culture and cuisine. Overflowing with a wide variety of famous art and architecture, it is wise to have a plan when it comes to the best places to stay in Florence and what to do while you're there so that nothing is overlooked.

The Renaissance, the rebirth of the ancient Greek and Roman culture, started in Florence around 1400 and quickly spread throughout Europe. One of the first places to visit might just be the Piazza del Duomo. Nestled in the heart of Florence, this piazza is home to the cathedral with the same name, Duomo. Topped with a red dome, this architectural marvel by Brunelleschi gives stunning views of the surrounding city. The interior of the Duomo is just as stunning as the exterior. The cupola is filled with paintings by Vasari depicting the "Last Judgment". Located nearby in the Duomo Museum you can visit sculptures by Michelangelo called the Pieta or see Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise 3-D gilded panels.

The human body was rediscovered in the time of the Renaissance. Artists strive to capture the most perfect form. Possibly one of the world's most famous sculptures depicting the human form is Michelangelo's David, located inside Galleria dell'Accademia. This is the home of David and four of his unfinished "Slaves" statues. While you tour the museum make sure you visit Botticelli's works as well, maybe not as legendary but just as impressive.

The most notable family related to the Renaissance would be The Medici. This family originated from the Tuscan countryside but ended up in Florence. They helped fund and feed the Renaissance movement. The Uffizi, their offices, have now become a popular visitor’s destination. The Uffizi is home to the finest paintings from Italy including art from Raphael, Giotto, Titian, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Botticelli. With such magnificent masterpieces under one roof, tourists flock to this destination.

Take home a little of Florence when you shop in the San Lorenzo's flea market or look for a fabulous piece of jewelry from the shops that line the Ponte Vecchio (bridge). These areas are full of excited tourists wanting to experience the people of Tuscany and their goods. If you would like to shop in an area less populated, visit the Oltrarno neighborhood. Small local artisans call this area home and sell handmade furniture, jewelry, shoes and pottery. It's also common to see refurbished antiques as some of the artists hone their talent of gilding, engraving, and mosaic or metal work.

Traveling to Florence and not enjoying the food would be a true crime. Florentine cuisine may be simple, but it is truly filling. Grilled meats, veggies, mouth watering bread with olive oil and herbs have been common since the Renaissance. The Tuscan people also love beans, so don't be surprised to be overwhelmed with many different types of bean on the local menus. Don't forget to end your meal with the famous Italian gelato.

Stroll along the idyllic streets of Florence and know that you are walking through the very same pathways as some of the most influential artist of the Renaissance. Stay in one of the best hotels in Florence and know that at the end of the day, your trip will be genuinely memorable.

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