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A Beautiful and Ancient City

Nov 27, 2007
In 1865, Florence was chosen to be the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, and remained capital until 1871. It is one of the most beautiful and ancient cities in Italy. The city is an important commercial centre. The traditional centuries-old banking and financial sector continues to flourish here.

The main shopping streets in Florence are wonderful. Major fashion houses have opened glitzy stores in the city. The city brims with clothes, shoes, leather goods, ceramics, stationery, wine and decorative goods. The city is not a city for bargain shopping, though. Most visitors interested in gold or silver jewellery head for the Ponte Vecchio and its tiny shops.

Florence is a determinedly young scene, it does not have a great deal of choice when it comes to live music. It is not exactly hopping at night, but there are some providers of music and modern beats, and a growing number of cocktail-soaked bars. The area surrounding Florence is famous for being the birthplace of Chianti, the most famous Tuscan wine. The nightlife is concentrated around Piazza della Signoria, home of more sedate venues.

Florence's major festivals include the Explosion of the Cart, when a cart full of fireworks is exploded in front of the Duomo on Easter Saturday.

The Uffizi Gallery is one of the largest museums in the world, It was built in the mid-sixteenth century, following a project by the architect Giorgio Vasari and still houses some of the most famous works of art by Italian and foreign painters from the 13th to 19th centuries, such as Caravaggio, Rubens, Rembrandt, Tiziano, Cimabue, Giotto, Masaccio, Tintoretto, Leonardo, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Piero della Francesca, Raffaello, Durer and Goya.

Ponte Vecchio is a splendid Bridge it is the oldest in Florence and the first construction already existed before the 11th century, but was destroyed by a flood of the Arno. The bridge was rebuilt in solid stone in 1345. Its banks are still full of goldsmiths, silversmiths and jewellers laboratories whose art has been passed down from generation to generation.

Piazzale Michelangelois known for its panoramic views of the Arno valley and Florence, this terrace is a popular spot with tourist and locals. It was created as part of major restructuring of the city walls. In 1871, Poggi designed a monument base dedicated to Michelangelo. The monument itself was composed of copies of Michelangelo's works, including David and the Medici chapel sculptures from San Lorenzo. When the terrace was finished, Poggi designed the hillside building.
About the Author
Douglas Scott writes for The Car Hire Specialist. and is a writer for The Italian Rental Site
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