FlorenceThis magnificent city is the birthplace of the Renaissance movement and, standing anywhere in its vast historical center, you can feel it. The beauty is expressed by its squares, buildings and bridges. Florence takes you back in time, and it would feel almost normal if Dante, Botticelli, Michelangelo or Leonardo da Vinci were sitting there enjoying the fruits of their work over a delicious cup of coffee.
To create art on such a majestic scale requires wealth. And with Florence as a medieval center for trade and finance, dominated by the Medici family, up-and-coming creative minds of the time found their sponsors and were able to invent, try, and create.
Masterpieces of global fame such as Botticelli's Venus, Michelangelo's David, and Raphael's paintings in the Palace's gallery are the result of this cooperation. The Uffizi Gallery is the most visited Italian museum for a reason. Brunelleschi's dome of the Florence Cathedral dominates the city's skyline, best enjoyed from the steps at Piazzale Michelangelo. Until today, it is the largest brick cupola ever constructed anywhere in the world. Around it, on both sides of the Arno river, you'll absorb the historical city by walking its cobblestoned alleys, the palaces, the hidden piazzi (squares), and, most prominently for keeping or reviving romantic feelings, the Ponte Vecchio at sundown.
Looking at the World with New Eyes
A Metropolis in Quest of the IdealIn the 15th century, Florence became the capital of the Renaissance. Masters like Filippo Lippi, Botticelli or Raphael were the first painters to be famous as artists rather than craftsmen. They were in search of ideal beauty – as seen in real humans.
▶ The Berlin Gemäldegalerie▶ Florence