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  • Only a few hour's drive northwest of Italy's capital Rome,

  • at the foot of the Apennine Mountains, stands idyllic Florence.

  • This flourishing Mediterranean city full of historic buildings

  • is one of the highlights of a trip to Europe.

  • Welcome to the city of Dante, Machiavelli and Michelangelo

  • and the place where Leonardo da Vinci learned how to paint.

  • Welcome to "Firenze"!

  • Florence's written history dates back to 59 B.C.,

  • when Julius Caesar set up camp on the banks of the Arno river.

  • Explore the compact Centro Storica,

  • which was built on early Roman foundations and shop

  • for leather sandals and handbags.

  • For good luck, put a coin on the snout of "Il Porcellino".

  • Even though it is just a replica, it might just work!

  • More than 1,400 years after the first Roman settlement,

  • the church and wealthy merchant families ruled Florence.

  • The Medici family were responsible for the greatest buildings

  • and most elaborate art.

  • They handpicked master painters, architects and sculptors

  • and created one of the most cultural cities in Europe.

  • An example of their efforts is the Basilica di San Lorenzo.

  • Designed by Filippo Brunelleschi,

  • this is a prime example of Italian Renaissance architecture.

  • He also built the dome of the 750-year-old

  • Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral on the Piazza del Duomo.

  • Lovers of religious art won't want to miss the Uffizi Gallery

  • that spans the long city block

  • between the Palazzo Vecchio and the Arno River.

  • Even outdoors there are sculptures everywhere you look:

  • On the churches, the fountains and the piazzas.

  • The larger-than-life statue of king David, by Michelangelo,

  • is among the most famous sculptures in the world.

  • This version on the Piazza della Signora is just a replica:

  • The original marble David is kept safe

  • in the Gallery of The Academy north of the piazza.

  • Cross the 400-year-old Ponte Vecchio.

  • which was spared from World War II bombardments because of its charm.

  • On the other side of the river stands Palazzo Pitti.

  • As one of the old residences of the Medici family,

  • it houses some of their heirlooms in its expansive public galleries.

  • Florence is one of those destinations

  • where you find yourself constantly pointing your camera

  • at yet another magnificent building.

  • It is easy to imagine why this city

  • has captured the hearts of so many travelers.

  • When it is time to say "Arrivederci!",

  • remember to look back over the river one more time

  • at the cradle of the Renaissance.

Only a few hour's drive northwest of Italy's capital Rome,

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Florence - City Video Guide

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    Amy.Lin posted on 2017/10/11
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