Taking the A1 highway going south we proceed towards the beautiful italian countryside in the direction of Tuscany. Once in Florence, driving along the Viale dei Colli, we reach the marvellous terrace called Piazzale Michelangelo (named after the artist who sculpted the original David statue). Here you get one of the most impressive views of the city.
Nearby you can also see the white and green marble façade of the S.Miniato al Monte church - an example of the Florentine Romanesque style. After leaving the church, we follow an uphill road, bordered by the ancient city walls, until we reach Forte Belvedere, built around 1590 by the Grand-duke Ferdinand to protect the Medici villas. From the Fort, passing the old gate to the city - Porta Romana, we come to the imposing Pitti Palace, which hosts many galleries and museums (Gallery of Modern Art, Costume Gallery, Palatine Gallery, Royal Apartments, Coach Museum, Silver and Porcelain museums, etc) and a magnificent park called the Boboli Gardens.
Next we head for the city center, to Piazza della Repubblica, surrounded by the historical literary cafés, where, long ago, important intellectuals gathered together. Following the Via De'Calzaiuoli, which connects Piazza del Duomo (S. Maria del Fiore, the Baptistery, Giotto's Bell tower) to Piazza Signoria (Palazzo Vecchio, Uffizi*, loggia dei Lanzi) you will be able to admire the best masterpieces of Renaissance art, breathing in the magical atmosphere that only Florence can offer.
Our driver, completely at your disposal, will be more than happy to take you to Piazza Santa Croce to visit the Santa Croce church, where many famous Italians are buried, and then take a must-deserved rest. For those who would like to shop or the hungry soul, there are also many shops and "trattoria" to dive into, so everyone in the group can satisfy their desires whether it be a leather jacket or a scrumptious plate of pasta! Shopping, can be a unique experience in Florence.
Walking through its ancient medieval streets, exploring the city's renowned tradition of crafts and family-run businesses. Few cities of comparable size can boast of such a profusion and variety of high quality goods with Italian design. The most important street for shopping is Via De' Tornabuoni with designer boutiques like Prada, Gucci, Armani, Ferragamo, Valentino, Vuitton, Damiani, Cartier, Trussardi, Eleuteri, Buccellati, Coveri, Versace, Tiffany, YSL, Zegna, Desmo, Chopard, Tod's, Cavalli etc. We can also see what the local craftsmen have to offer in the small local workshops in the Santa Croce or Santo Spirito neighbourhoods, or practice your bargaining skills at the San Lorenzo outdoor market. At this point, you could choose to visit the Academy Museum* to take in the original David statue by Michelangelo (the David statues found at Piazzale Michelangelo and in Piazza Signoria are both copies and pale in comparison!), or ride up to visit the ancient Etruscan town of Fiesole above Florence to admire another view or explore the old Roman Amphitheatre.
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