Attractions of Florence, The Jewel of Italy

Florence is high on the list of any Renaissance-loving history and travel buff. The city’s beautiful gardens, churches and squares, not to mention the food and the shopping, make it worth a visit on these merits alone, but where Florence really shines is in its rich history.

The city was one of the cultural centres of the Renaissance. Notable Florentines have included (but are far from limited to) Niccolo Machiavelli, Raphael, Galileo Galilei, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Lisa del Giocondo (immortalised in the Mona Lisa), Donatello, Amerigo Vespucci and, of course, Leonardo da Vinci.

This meeting of minds and resultant outflux of iconic artistry means that Florence is often known as “the birthplace of the Renaissance”, and to this day the city remains a global art capital. What better way to soak up the history of such a magnificent place than with a Florence walking tour, taking you through some of the city’s most impressive museums?

Galleria degli Uffizi

When you think “Italian masters”, you’re likely thinking of the sort of thing you’ll find in the Galleria degli Uffizi. The Uffizi is one of the most highly regarded museums there is, with its stellar reputation underpinned by a collection including works by such names as da Vinci, Raphael, Botticelli and Michelangelo. Most of the collection once belonged to the famous and powerful Medici family, which ruled Florence for much of the city’s history, and the Uffizi’s collection is just one part of the Medicis’ legacy. You’ll surely see other marks the Medici made upon the city on any Florence walking tour.

Galleria dell’Accademia

The Accademia is a similarly famous museum, containing a number of world-famous works of Italian art. Particularly of note is Michelangelo’s David, possibly the single most well-known sculpture in history.

Should your Florence walking tour take you through this rare collection, you’ll also be lucky enough to see examples of Stradivari masterwork instruments as well as original Cristoforis (Cristofori is credited with having invented the piano). These pieces form part of the most recent section of the Galleria dell’Accademia, known as the Museum of Musical Instruments.