Considered the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence has plenty of history on offer. From being the centre of medieval trade to having a turbulent political history. The city airport is called Florence Airport, Peretola having previously being called Amerigo Vespucci Airport. There are two main airports in Tuscany with the other airport being Galileo Galilei International Airport which is nearby to Pisa.
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Things to See and Do in Florence
Once you arrive, the first thing you’ll see is the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore as this marvellous building dominates the skyline. Known locally as Duomo, it remains the largest brick dome ever constructed and until the modern era it was the largest dome in the world. Go to the top of the dome and experience the jaw-dropping view of the city. With one building, this architectural masterpiece represents the geographical, cultural, and historical centre of the city.
Just a short walk from the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore is the Palazzo Vecchi. This imposing fortress has a 94m high tower attached called the Torre d’Arnolfo. The tower was designed by Arnolfo di Cambio between 1298 and 1314 for the government that ruled medieval and Renaissance Florence. Just like at the Duomo, you have the opportunity to go to the top of the tower. Once at the top, you’ll be rewarded with another great view of the city.
Another place to check out in Florence is the Chiesa di San Marco. This is where the gifted painter Fra' Angelico (c 1395-1455) served God and the monastery is one of Florence's most spiritually uplifting museums as it showcases the work of Fra' Angelico.
If you’re still after other great views of Florence, then you should head down to the Ponte Vecchio Bridge, which is the only surviving bridge from Florence's medieval days. The Ponte Vecchio was built in 1345 and it was Florence’s first bridge across the Arno River.
Exploring Tuscany: Day Trips From Florence
When staying in Florence, you don’t have to remain within the city at all times. There are plenty of things to do outside of Florence too!
First of all, about 80km southeast of Florence is an old city called Arezzo. To visit you will definitely need to rent a car. Once you have arrived though, you’ll agree that it is worth the drive. With many cathedrals, churches and museums, Arezzo is a must see when visiting the area.
Another great city to see is the medieval city Siena. About an hour’s drive from Florence, Siena is known for many attractions and is also known for great wine. Considered one of the most beautiful places of the world, the Piazza del Campo in Siena is a must-see. Even the souvenir markets don’t spoil its beauty!