Around Duomo

Put your soul at rest and arm yourself with patience. From the Cathedral, along Via Calzaiuoli, passing through Piazza della Sigornia and then the Uffizi, ending at the Ponte Vecchio: this is the heart of Florence. This small space is home to centuries of history and should be explored inch by inch. The only pity is that that, like you, thousands of other people are looking to do just the same. Prepare yourself to brave crowds of tourists, but it really is worth the effort. If after you’re done with the conventional tour you still have the strength, push on into the narrow streets and alleys where you will discover that aside from the monuments shown on the map, there is much more.

Welcome to the heart of Florence. Welcome to the birthplace of the Renaissance. Millions of tourists every year, thousands of passersby and visitors stop here every day, in Piazza del Duomo. Take it easy and let yourself be seduced for the charm unique to art, history, architecture, and human ingenuity at it’s highest potential. Gathered in just a few meters, keep your eyes wide for this experience if you want to grasp the soul of Florence.

The Basilica of Santa Maria del Fiore, the door of the Baptistery, the frescoes, the hidden details of Giotto’s bell tower and the timeless history carved in every corner of the piazza. You can decide to take a guided tour, or you can climb to the top of Brunelleschi’s dome to enjoy a view without equal. Or you can simply stroll around the Duomo, keeping your nose to the air. Here you have no limits.

The perfect setting for every photo keepsake is at your disposal: Piazza del Duomo in her beauty remains the best place for a stroll to discover the heart of Florence. This pedestrian area is rich with people crossing paths, languages of every kind intertwining, flashes of Florentine tradition and surprising details. Don’t stop now, you can rest later.

The Duomo and it’s surroundings don’t only mean art and guided tours of the beauty of Florence, but also experiencing the city life in it’s full potential. It balances historic charm and opportunities to relax and release stress. You can take a walk along the windows of the boutiques in Via Calzaiuoli or sit for a coffee in one of the historic bars of the center, watching Florence pass by.

On these roads, streets and alleys you will find yourself in front of hidden and ancient works of art. This is the case of Orsanmichele; medieval granary turned church, and now museum housing sculptures of the great artists of the Renaissance, form Donatello and Verrocchio to Giambologna and Ghiberti. Sheltered in these narrow streets lives art.

You’ve walked down Via Calzaiuoli? Good, now you’ll find yourself in the middle of the most celebrated piazza of Florence: Piazza della Signoria. The political heart of the city, it has been stage to conspiracies, plots, executions, and important historical events. Above all it is a treasure trove of art and beauty. From the magnificence of the Salone dei Cinquecento to the sculptures of the Loggia dei Lanzi, you can’t really say that you’ve been to Florence if you haven’t stopped here for at least a while.

Halfway between Brunelleschi’s dome and the Loggia dei Lanzi you can’t help but stop in Piazza della Repubblica. Since the times of the Romans it has been the geographic center of Florence. With her galleries and vintage emblems, her carousel and famous period cafes, her characteristic stores, nineteenth-century colors and fashion boutiques that surround her, the history of Florence passes here.

The heart of Florence is inseparable from the history of high fashion. Are you in search of excellent shopping, or do you want to browse the windows of some of the most elegant boutiques in the world? Or perhaps you want to admire a unique one-of-it’s-kind piazza, with three sides and four distinct different styles. You’d better take Via Tornabuoni and set your gaze to 360 degrees. You’ll be fascinated by modern boutiques that coexist alongside stately buildings, dwelling places of ancient families, and Gothic churches.

Florence preserves culture on every corner, and on every street. Walking is the best idea, because in this area you’ll find historic libraries inside of medieval palaces, such as “Il Palagio di parte Guelfa.” If instead you’re looking to relax away from the tourist chaos and find original details for a few good shots, Florence once again will know how to surprise you.

Looking for a traditional and characteristic Florence? Among shops, museums and monuments you can come across some truly Florentine corners, and in secluded spots that are at once surprising and peaceful, you’ll find history, style and modernity.

If you happen to pass by the Loggia del Porcellino, remember one thing: touch the nose and leave a coin in the mouth of the Wild Boar. It will bring good luck, at least according to Florentine tradition. And while you’re there, break your schedule and take a stroll through the market in the Loggia. Leather, tourists, enchanting scents, artisan products and fruit are all waiting to be discovered.

The birthplace of the Renaissance? That’s not all. You may be surprised to find Baroque works in the center of Florence. Take for example the church of San Gaetano in Piazza Antinori, the best example in the city. A piece of advice: don’t stop at the entrance. The inside is sure to astound you. Again.

There are those who love to experience the Duomo romantically. There are those who will satisfy the urge to shop the big names of fashion. Some people, however, will be moved in search of a noir glimpse of the heart of Florence. And you? Which Florence are you in search of?

You can change points of view, or you can search for the perfect shot. You can immerse yourself in art and paintings, or you can come here to celebrate an important occasion. The essence is the same; whatever you’re looking for, a visit to the Duomo and it’s surroundings won’t disappoint. Ever.

Try exploring fascinating stately palaces, rich with history and a mysterious and decadent atmosphere, such as Palazzo Gondi.