One of the best ways to discover the city of Florence is to follow Lungarni, the streets that run along the River Arno. They were built in the 19th century when the city became the Kingdom of Italy’s capital. Medieval labyrinths of streets, markets and many houses had to be pulled down to make way for a more orderly and modern city grid. Strolling along lungarni you will explore some of the most spectacular sites.
|Lungarno Amerigo Vespucci|
Lungarno Amerigo Vespucci brings you to Piazza Ognissanti with its majestic 12th century Church of San Salvatore di Ognissanti with a Baroque facade. Inside you can admire beautiful frescoes by Ghirlandaio and Sandro Botticelli.
Head down Lungarno Corsini, one of the most elegant streets in Florence, lined up with many splendid palaces such as Palazzo Gianfigliazzi, Palazzo Piccioli, Palazzo Corsini al Parione. After crossing the St. Trinity Bridge, you will find yourself on one of the oldest areas in the city, Borgo San Jacopo that has retained a medieval character with its towers and palaces. It was heavily damaged during the World War II but, later, carefully restored.
|St Trinity Bridge|
From lungarno Torrigiani you can take great snapshots of the famous Ponte Vecchio, the most photographed bridge in Florence, the Vasari Corridor that connects the Palazzo Vecchio with the Palazzo Pitti and the Uffizi gallery.
Across the bridge lies the Oltrarno district with its artisans workshops and studios that have been here for many centuries. You can see how local masters make ceramics, Florentine marbled paper and carve wooden furniture. The beautiful Renaissance Basilica of Santa Maria del Santo Spirito is also located here where you can spend some time admiring its numerous masterpieces from various historic periods: Michelangelo’s wooden crucifix, sculpture by Donatello, Jacopo della Quercia and many others.
|View from Piazzale Michelangelo|
There are several places in the area that offer spectacular views over the city: terrace of the Villa Bardini, Forte di Belvedere or Piazzale Michelangelo.
Photos via Flickr by: Ben Rimmer, Antonio Trogu, Renzo Ferrante.