Daily Escape

ll Duomo di Firenze

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ll Duomo di Firenze

Florence, Italy

It looks like a Fabergé egg. But, in fact, the 150-foot-wide dome, which represents the birthplace of the Renaissance, is an immense, double-shelled, herringbone brickwork feat of masonry. The largest dome of its kind, Il Duomo towers over Florence's red-roofed skyline, and comprises part of the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore. Designed by Filippo Brunelleschi in the 15th century, the dome has 463 brutally steep steps which lead up to a breathtakingly beautiful panoramic view of the city.


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The Duomo

The Duomo

One of the most recognizable landmarks in Florence, the Duomo is a cathedral built in honor of Santa Maria del Fiore. Visitors can climb to the top for amazing views of the city or explore the Gothic building’s amazing artwork, including Giorgio Vasari’s Last Judgment. Self-guided tours are free, or you can pay about $2 per person for the audio tour.
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Mercato Centrale

Mercato Centrale

Go shopping at the Mercato Centrale, or Central Market, in Florence. This 2-level, indoor food market has butchers, fishmongers and delis on the first floor, and on the second floor, shops sell vegetables, fruits, cheese, homemade sauces and more. Don’t leave the market without tasting homemade mostarda, a spicy jam usually eaten with cheese or roasts. 960 1280

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Piazza San Lorenzo

Piazza San Lorenzo

Piazza San Lorenzo is the square in front of the Basilica of San Lorenzo. It is also a popular spot for locals and tourists to go shopping at the open market, visit the Cappelle Medicee, or stop by the Laurentian Library, a repository of more than 11,000 manuscripts and 4,500 books. 960 1280

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The Campanile

The Campanile

Climb to the top of the Campanile, or bell tower, to get perfect views of the Duomo and Florence. Italian painter and architect Giotto di Bondone designed the 277-foot-tall structure, which is divided into 5 levels. It is often referred to as Giotto’s Campanile. 960 1280

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Piazza della Signoria

Piazza della Signoria

A popular meeting place for Florentines and tourists, the Piazza Della Signoria is a square located in front of the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence’s town hall. 960 1280

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Fountain of Neptune

Fountain of Neptune

Located on Piazza Della Signoria in front the Palazzo Vecchio, the Fountain of Neptune was used as a washbasin for laundry before the 16th century. The popular statue was restored in 2007 after vandals tried to climb it, damaging the trident and one of the hands. 960 1280

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Ponte Vecchio

Ponte Vecchio

Built over the Arno River, the Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge) is the only remaining bridge in the city that was built during the 1300s. The others were destroyed during World War II. Ponte Vecchio is lined with shops that sell jewelry, art and souvenirs. 960 1280

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Galleria dell’ Academia

Galleria dell’ Academia

Thousands of tourists converge on the Galleria dell’Accademia to see Michelangelo’s most famous sculpture, the statue of David.  In addition to works by Italian artists, the museum also has a section that displays musical instruments created by Bartolomeo Cristofori, the inventor of the piano, and a tenor viola made by Antonio Stradivari in 1690. 960 1280

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Galleria degli Uffizi

Galleria degli Uffizi

Art aficionados will appreciate visiting the Galleria Degli Uffizi. This museum is one of the oldest and most famous art museums in Europe and the world. Artwork created by well-respected artists such as Michelangelo, Rembrandt and Leonardo da Vinci is on display here. Expect to wait up to 5 hours to get into the museum in July, during the city’s high tourist season. 960 1280

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Basilica of Santa Croce

Basilica of Santa Croce

While touring some of Florence’s popular churches, visitors may want to check out the Basilica of Santa Croce, located southeast of the Duomo. Well-known Italians such as Michelangelo, Galileo and Machiavelli are buried here. 960 1280

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St. John Baptistery

St. John Baptistery

Dedicated to St. John the Baptist, this baptistery is the oldest religious monument in Florence. Although its origin is unknown, it’s believed that it was built over the ruins of a Roman temple that dated back to the fourth or fifth century. Up until the 19th century, all Catholics in Florence were baptized here. 960 1280

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Linguini Carbonara Pancetta

Linguini Carbonara Pancetta

Foodies will definitely want to sample the traditional Italian cuisine offered at hundreds of restaurants in Florence, including linguine carbonara pancetta. Feeling really adventurous? Take a class at a local cooking school to learn how to make classic Italian dishes. 960 1280

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Piazzale Michelangelo

Piazzale Michelangelo

Built in 1869 and designed by architect Giuseppe Poggi, Piazzale Michelangelo, or Michelangelo Square, is the perfect place to get panoramic views of Florence. Dedicated to the Italian artist and sculptor, it features copies of his work, including a replica of the statue David. 960 1280

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Boboli Gardens

Boboli Gardens

If you’re visiting Palazzo Pitti — once the home of Florentine banker Luca Pitti — then don’t miss out on strolling behind it through the Boboli Gardens, which house a collection of sculptures from the 16th through 18th centuries. It’s not uncommon to see these historical gardens undergo some form of restoration throughout the year to maintain the landscape and dozens of statues on site. 960 1280

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