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Florence Travel Guide


Florence Introduction


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Florence, Italy, is one of the most beautiful cities in the world—and for many visitors, it is the most splendid. While travel to the city usually centers on its attractions, including museums, palaces and churches that overflow with masterful paintings and sculpture, it is not limited to those destinations.   Click here to see the full Florence travel guide on Travel42 »

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Florence Geography


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The historic city center of Florence, the Centro Storico, is where you'll find most of the city's monuments and attractions. The area was once encircled by medieval city walls. In the 1860s, when Florence was briefly capital of the newly formed Kingdom of Italy, the walls were replaced by large boulevards that today form a ring road (viali di circonvallazione) around the old city. The city falls naturally into two sections: the Duomo side of the Arno River, called di qua d'Arno, and—across the river—the Oltrarno side. (Oltrarno means "beyond the Arno.")   Click here to see the full Florence travel guide on Travel42 »

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Florence History


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Julius Caesar established Florentia, the "flourishing one," in 59 BC as a military post along the banks of the Arno River, and Roman walls embraced what is now the city center. The city did not truly come into its own until the 12th and 13th centuries, becoming an independent republic in 1198. In this period, a few merchant and banking families began to distinguish themselves in the world market, establishing guilds and bringing international commerce to the city. The florin, named after the city, became a standard unit of currency in Europe.   Click here to see the full Florence travel guide on Travel42 »

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Florence Sightseeing & Things to Do


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Visitors rarely allot enough time for Florence, partly because until you've been there, it's difficult to comprehend how much there is to experience in the city. Any visit, brief or extended, should begin with the magnificent Duomo. Don't be content with admiring its stunning exterior: Go inside and gaze at the frescoes and take in the view from the top of the dome.   Click here to see the full Florence travel guide on Travel42 »

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Florence Nightlife


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Early summer evenings are tranquil—Florentines and visitors alike stroll the narrow streets with an ice-cream cone in hand, or sip aperitivi or iced tea in the piazzas. Although there are places to go as the night goes on, the town doesn't have a big local nightlife scene. The Florentine idea of a pleasant evening is a good meal, a pizza, an evening at the opera or visiting with friends at home.   Click here to see the full Florence travel guide on Travel42 »

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Florence Restaurants & Dining


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Florentines, like people of other regions of Italy, are very proud of their cuisine. "Italian cooking" as such does not exist—Florentine, Roman and Milanese cuisines do. In Florence, you might say that the cuisine mirrors the character of the city's inhabitants: no-frills, solid and dignified.   Click here to see the full Florence travel guide on Travel42 »

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