Florence is known as the cradle of the Renaissance: marks have been left throughout the city of the extraordinary literary, artistic and scientific development that took place from the 14th to the 16th centuries.
The whole city is like a huge, vibrant museum with a priceless array of architecture, paintings, sculptures and historical and scientific heritage. The heart of Florence is Piazza della Signoria, with the majestic Palazzo Vecchio, the gallery of sculptural masterpieces in the Loggia dei Lanzi and the adjacent Uffizi Gallery.
A short distance away is the religious complex formed by the enormous Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (also known as the “Duomo”), Giotto’s magnificent Campanile and the Baptistery of Saint John, whose famous bronze doors notably include the golden “Gates of Paradise”. Among the bridges spanning the Arno is the truly unique Ponte Vecchio, with distinctive jewellery shops in the buildings on top of it.
There are numerous highly sophisticated fashion boutiques and historical cafés in the city centre, so it is a great place to enjoy a little well-deserved shopping and relaxation.