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For lovers of art and history, there is no more special place to visit than Florence's Uffizi Gallery. Open to the public since 1765, this former magistrate's office on the banks of the Arno welcomes some two million tourists a year. The Uffizi's collection is laid out in chronological order from the 13th up to the 17th century, so visitors get to experience the evolution of Italian art, from the introduction of realism and perspective of Cimabue and Giotto up to to the High Renaissance of Da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael, and finally to the Baroque chiaroscuro of Caravaggio. A visit to the Uffizi is a unique chance to commune with the protagonists of the Italian Renaissance. When planning a trip here, always remember that the Uffizi Gallery is closed on Mondays.
Visitors to Florence's Accademia Gallery invariably come for one reason – to see Michelangelo's magnificent statue of David. David has been on display here since 1873 along with the artist's Slaves and St. Matthew. On a trip to the Accademia – originally founded in the 1780s – you'll also be able to take in an important collection of Renaissance paintings by the likes of Botticelli and Ghirlandaio, see the remarkable original plaster cast of Giambologna's Rape of the Sabine Women, and the charming Museum of Musical Instruments.
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Since it was opened to the public in 1436, Florence's most famous landmark, the Duomo (or Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore) is a must-see city landmark. In fact, its towering size means you can't miss it. Filippo Brunelleschi's red-tiled dome is a wonder all on its own, but the architecture is as impressive inside as it is on the outside. Climbing to the top of this stunning cathedral affords great views of the city.
Selfie Museum Firenze is dedicated to contemporary creativity. Just a few hundred meters from the Duomo and the Accademia Gallery (where Michelangelo's David is kept), the two-story exhibition space is home to immersive art, optical illusions, sound installations, kinetic sculptures, digital storytelling, and augmented and virtual reality.
Palazzo Pitti was built for Renaissance banker Luca Pitti. A loyal consigliere to Cosimo de Medici, Pitti wanted a mansion built to rival those of the mighty Medici. He did pretty well: about 100 years after its construction the Medici acquired it and moved in. With a grand courtyard, Royal Apartments, the Palatine Gallery and a high Baroque interior design, this is a worthy Renaissance palace.
Originally conceived in the 16th century, the Boboli Gardens are now home to a remarkable 3,000-year old Egyptian obelisk, design features by leading architects such as Ammanati and Vasari, and eye-catching statues, grottoes, and fountains from the likes of Giambologna.
The Medici Chapels were built by and for the Medici family, who bankrolled much of the Renaissance and ruled the Florentine Republic for generations. These two chapels belong to the Basilica of San Lorenzo - a church that dates back to the 4th century AD. In addition to being the burial place for 49 members of the Medici clan, these chapels contain three of Michelangelo's most beautiful sculptures.
Discover everything da Vinci in a hands-on museum experience that lets you interact with Leo's greatest creations and learn about his incredible contributions to the fields of art and science.
Housed in the 11th-century Palazzo Castellani, the Galileo Museum is dedicated to preserving the legacy of the eponymous scientist and astronomer and celebrating the contributions of Tuscany to modern science.