Travel on the Side

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In Florence, my home base was near Santa Maria Novella, one of the many historic churches. This basilica seems like an underrated tourist site to me. Its close proximity to the samely-named train station means thousands of tourists must pass by it each day. It’s definitely worth stopping in and taking a look. The first weekend I was in Florence, it was one of the meeting points for a large and colorful… Read More

Palazzo Vecchio (“old palace”) is the heart of Renaissance Florentine politics. Actually, it still functions as the heart of politics in Florence as the town hall. Located on Piazza della Signoria, the famous statue of Michelangelo’s David greets you at the entrance. However, don’t be fooled! It’s a replica. The original stands in the Accademia. Inside Palazzo Vecchio, it’s part art gallery, part history lesson, and part political intrigue as the seat of… Read More

I can’t quite decide on the word I would use to describe Palazzo Pitti–the Pitti Palace. Opulent would work. So would sumptuous. Decadent? Yep, that would be good too. All are appropriate descriptors. Palazzo Pitti is Florentine Renaissance wealth in a nutshell: money, power, and lots of art. Home base for the powerful Medici family, Palazzo Pitti is located in the Oltrarno section of Florence, just a short walk from the Ponte… Read More

Continuing an on art theme, the other big draw in Florence for art is, of course, the statue of David by Michelangelo. Housed in the Galleria dell’Accademia, the David statue captures all of the superlatives: is it simply AMAZING. After entering the museum you start making your way with the masses (yes, it will be crowded!) and then you round a corner and there it is–at the end of a long corridor is the statue… Read More

Art lovers naturally gravitate to the Uffizi Gallery. For everyone else, a visit to Florence should not be considered complete without at least a look-through at the Uffizi. It’s simply the essence of Renaissance Florence. The art tells a story, but so too does the building itself. Located near Piazza della Signoria and right next to Palazzo Vecchio, the Uffizi Gallery (Galleria degli Uffizi) is housed in the old Medici family offices (uffizi). Portions… Read More