Florence is considered the Cradle of the Renaissance and hosts many unique architectural and artistic treasures.
Many of these treasures are contained in its very famous churches.
Just like all cities of medieval origins, Florence is also full of places of worship. Some of them are truly unmissable masterpieces and are visited daily by tourists coming from all over the world.
The Duomo of Florence
The Duomo is the main church of Florence, as well as the Cathedral, because it houses the seat of the Bishop.
The dome of the Duomo is a distinctive feature of the city profile and the Piazza del Duomo undoubtedly deserves a visit.
On the same square, in the heart of the historical center, there is also the Baptistery. The dome of the Cathedral can be visited and from there you can enjoy a unique view over the city and the surrounding countryside, divided by the course of the Arno. Even the Baptistery houses some of the best known masterpieces of the city, including the Paradise Gate.
The Duomo is also known as Santa Maria del Fiore.
Basilica of Santa Croce
The Basilica of Santa Croce is the seat of the Florentine Franciscans. Inside the Basilica there are the graves of many famous people, some even non-believers and openly atheists, such as Ugo Foscolo, so much so as to be considered a sort of pantheon of artists.
Here you can visit the tombs of Galileo Galilei, Michelangelo, Machiavelli, Gioacchino Rossini and the cenotaph of Dante Alighieri, who is actually buried in the Basilica of San Francesco in Ravenna. Annexed to the Basilica there was a large Franciscan convent, which from the 18th century was however destined for other uses.
Today in a wing of the convent there is also the Central National Library of Florence.
Today the whole complex of the Basilica and the convent are a single large museum complex, accessible with a single entrance ticket.
The Basilica of San Lorenzo is mainly known for the Medici chapels, where many grand dukes of the Medici family are buried. Inside the church there are works by Donatello and Brunelleschi, as well as the Biblioteca Laurenziana, where the lecterns were designed by Michelangelo. It is one of the oldest churches in the city, probably founded in the fourth century.
It was the first cathedral built in Florence until another one was built 3 centuries later and the former became a church, before the bishop’s seat was moved.
Santa Maria Novella
The Basilica of Santa Maria Novella is among the best examples of Gothic style in Tuscany. Work on its construction began in 1279 and continued for a long time, so much so that the church was consecrated only in 1420. Historically this is the seat of the Dominicans of the city, who had a convent adjacent to the church.
The Basilica can be visited for a fee and was completely renovated in 1999, on the occasion of the 2000th Jubilee.
The facade and the door were designed by Leon Battista Alberti and during the 16th century the structure was remodeled by Vasari. Inside the Basilica is the famous Crucifix by Giotto. The church of Santa Margherita dei Cerchi is also known as the Church of Dante and is an important point of interest for literature lovers. Here Dante Alighieri met Beatrice for the first time as he left the mass.
According to tradition, in this church Dante married Gemma Donati and according to another tradition, Beatrice herself is buried here. In reality, the church houses the tombs of the Portinari family, of which Beatrice was a part of. However, having married a member of the Bardi family his tomb is probably in Santa Croce, along with the rest of the Bardi family.