BED AND BREAKFAST LEONARDO DA VINCI FLORENCE

Some informations about what you can see in August and September in Florence.
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Florence Municipality developed this project with Unesco World Heritage Centre. From this site, you can download 28 mp3 audio guides, explaining works from Gianbologna, one of the great Renaissance artist, who leaved many masterpieces in Florence. Some of them are inside museums, others are visible in Florence's streets and places, like this Hercules Fighting the Centaur Nessus, who is in the Loggia della Signoria, which is in fact an open air sculpture gallery, open 24/h.
In the site you'll find also many texts and a map of Gianbologna sculptures in Florence.
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Visualizza Il Giambologna a Firenze in una mappa di dimensioni maggiori
Palazzo Vecchio has opened to public access some spaces, formerly closed to public, as its parapet walk, a place with beautiful and unusual city views, through embrasures and medieval windows. The Arnolfo tower is also open; you have to ask for visit it, when you book or buy the ticket. Parapets walk and tower are part of the museum of Palazzo Vecchio which now it can be visited, as other rooms, too, in the Palazzo are now opened to public, and a range of guided tours can also be booked, for instance special tours for students, or family with children, information here. Below, some photos taken during the visit!
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Panorama from the side of Fiesole hill, which is just visible in the bottom right side of the picture, next to the fourteenth-century bell tower of the Badia Fiorentina. On the left the dome of Santa Maria del Fiore, designed by Brunelleschi
Forte di Belvedere, made by Buontalenti, seen through the windows of Palazzo Vecchio parapet walk
Ponte Santa Trinita, a masterpiece by Bartolomeo Ammanati but on project and decisive advices by Michelangelo.
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The Birth of Venus (1485) is one of the Uffizi Gallery's mastepieces and a symbol of Florence Renaissance.
One of the most important Florence museum is Museum of San Marco, which we suggest to our bed and breakfast guests; fairly less known and much less visited than Uffizi or Accademia, San Marco is a wonderful museum, both in terms of architecture and of masterpieces kept inside.
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Architect, painter and writer, Giorgio Vasari (above a self portrait), from Arezzo, was a central figure in Renaissance's Florence. He's renowned as the author of the book the "Lives" of artists, and his works as painter, while valid, are now recognized as certainly below the level of the greats of his era such as Michelangelo and Bronzino; he actually gave his best as architect, producing what is his masterpiece, the Uffizi, in perfect harmony with the city context, just as his other stroke of genius, the Vasari Corridor, true "elevated road" that links Palazzo Vecchio to Palazzo Pitti.

On the State Uffizi Museums' site there's
a page with current events in Uffizi and in other museums, Pitti and Boboli; guided tours, conferences, concerts, special openings. Some events are with free entrance.
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Beside being an art masterpiece, Uffizi was also a technical prowess due to the very heavy building mass and water nearness; Vasari wrote "I've never build anything more difficult and dangerous, because it had to be founded over the river, and almost in the air."
Not a big museum like Uffizi or Pitti, but Accademia Gallery beside David, has worthy seeing paintings, as International Gothic paintings from 1370 to 1430 in the just renowed second floor rooms; and several masterpieces, among others from Perugino (Pala di Vallombrosa), Filippino Lippi (Deposizione della croce), Pontormo (Venere e Amore).
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The most visited Florence museums, Accademia Gallery and Uffizi Gallery, have both usually a very long line at the entrance during opening hours; that's why it's a good idea to phone and to reserve this two museums some days before. This is the page for Uffizi where you can buy tickets and getting a reservation; and this page for Accademia Gallery. But there's another way to avoid the line: if you don't bother to wake up early, Accademia and Uffizi museums open at 8.15 a.m.; so, before 9 a.m. there's no line at all or just a short one...
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Other than David, Accademia Gallery has other important Michelangelo sculptures, as this Prisoner, Atlas (1530).

Florence has about 70 museums, art spaces, palaces, etcetera, some of them managed by Italian State, others by Florence municipality, or Florence Church, or University, and public or private Institutions… there is really a lot to see!
Most famous and visited are Uffizi Gallery (Galleria degli Uffizi, or simply "gli Uffizi" in italian) and Accademy Gallery (Galleria dell'Accademia or simply Accademia).
Uffizi, it's the biggest and most important Florence museum; it's also very old, and the building itself a wonderful masterpiece by Vasari, probably his best artwork at all… in Uffizi, you'll see a marvelous collection of Renaissance paintings, among them some of the few paintings by Leonardo, the Annunciazione and Adorazione dei Magi (this latest just restored!) and a part of Battesimo di Cristo. Botticelli is also present in Uffizi with many paintings and his most famous artwork, the Primavera and the Birth of Venus, both a symbol of Florence.
Accademia, has the world most famous statue, the David, and other masterpieces by Michelangelo; and a small collection of middle age and Renaissance paintings.
Sure Uffizi and Accademia are the most visited, but we usually suggest to our guests some other less known and less visited museums such as
Bargello, with a great collection of Renaissance sculptures, museo di San Marco, an old monastery with the biggest collection of works by Beato Angelico and a wonderful building itself; or, if you prefer something really out the most frequented paths, the Medici Villa of Petraia and Corsini Villa of Castello, which are in Florence suburbs, actually in the near countryside; such villas were a "delight place" for rich or noble families, and the less that can be said, it's that they are well worth a visit… Unesco added the Tuscan Medici villas to its World Heritage list few years ago, and by the way, to these Villas, the entrance is free, which is not so unpleasant!
(for opening times of these and other museums, see pdf with updated news released on this page by the Florence province).
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Medici Villa of Petraia, designed by Bernardo Buontalenti on the lower slopes of a hill just 4 miles far from Florence center, has a great panoramic view on city plain. There's an hourly walk with Villa's keepers inside the building, which lets you explore its various environments, paintings, ancient furnitures, including the courtyard magnificent frescoes from il Volterrano
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The spectacular main room of the Corsini Villa a Castello, with some of the Greek and Roman statues on display; the villa contains some 100 remarkable sculptures, reliefs, steles and all sorts of Villanovan, Etruscan, Roman and Greek artifacts from the endless deposits  - over a hundred thousand pieces - of the National Archeological Museum of Florence
On Summer in Boboli Garden, you'll find some fresh corners, thanks to its large greenery. The Renaissance garden is still today not so different from the garden it was at the Medici time; that's why despite the name, it's not just a "simple" garden, it's actually a museum, with ancient Roman, Renaissance and Baroque statues. If you want to visit all the place, you can spend inside a whole day, discovering all the magnificent surprises it has: grottos, fountains, middle age walls, perspectives on the city, and the wonderful geometrical green shapes. On the new Boboli garden websites, many information on what you can find inside it; if you plan to visit it, it's a very good idea to study these pages before the visit!
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David by Michelangelo (Accademia Gallery)
Some huge renovation works are going on, in Uffizi gallery, with changes and rooms getting restored and opened; visiting Uffizi, you can find some rooms closed because works are still going on.
Among restored space, finally the
Tribuna too, after a long restauration, is now visible. Friends of Florence made possible the project, and on their website there are informations about it.
The Tribuna was designed by
Bernardo Buontalenti in 1584, and beside being an architectonical masterpiece, it's the first Uffizi museum room, built just to receive a part of the Duke collection.
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The Battle of San Romano, by Paolo Uccello, just restored by Opificio delle Pietre Dure, it's displayed in Uffizi Gallery. Google Art Project has a high definition image of the painting
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FAIRS AND MARKETS
ORGANIC FARMS PRODUCTS
ARTISANAL PRODUCTS
Every month in Florence there are some little markets, usually held in some "piazzas", places, with small farmers and traditional local artisans. That's why we recommend them. A fair, for instance is planned in Piazza Santo Spirito each third Sunday of every months, from 9 a.m to 7 p.m: this fair it's about small organic agriculture farms - they are usually family-run farm, with few hectares, - hand made artisanship, and trade of traditional regional products, such as ceramic. It's an opportunity to buy Tuscan extra virgin oil from organic production, or organic wine; or also aromatic herbs, cultivated with care. The fair organization has a simple website, but only in italian language.

If you go to these fairs, a little of words of italian could help for speaking with the producers, each of them has its own stand; but it's not so necessary, as you'll find quite everywhere people speaking at least a little of english.

Next markets:

Saturday 1 and Sunday 2, September, Piazza SS Annunziata, Bread Market (Fierucola del Pane), from 9 am to dawn

Saturday 11 August, Saturday 8 September: artisanal and antique market, books, furnishings, cloths, etcetera in Piazza della Libertà, from 9 am to dawn

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Ponte Vecchio
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The Giardino del Cavaliere, on the top of Boboli hill; at center, the Fontana delle Scimmie by Giambologna and Tribolo; back, on the hills behind the fountain, the Torre del Gallo and on the right, Arcetri, where Galileo lived (in Villa il Gioiello) and where in 1872 an observatory was built.
Some special visits are scheduled in Boboli garden and we can absolutely recommend them, information here. Visits are free and included in the ticket for Boboli garden Among the incredible places you'll discover, the Buontalenti grotto, image above, which is one of the (many) masterpieces of the late Renaissance great artist.
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EVENTS ON FLORENCE TOURISM OFFICE WEBSITE