Florence was once a central hub of medieval European trade and finance and one of the wealthiest cities of its time. The city is often even referred to as "the Athens of the Middle Ages" and has managed to preserve ancient architecture and 13-th century palaces such as the Palazzo Vecchio and the old bridge Ponto Vecchio.
Florence is a UNESCO-declared World Heritage Site that attracts millions of tourists each year. The key landmark of the city is the medieval Florence Cathedral with its tiled dome. The building was designed by Brunelleschi and the terra-cotta bell tower was created by Giotto.
Noted for its breathtaking architecture, Florence boasts striking places like the white-marble Baptistery, Bargello palace, San Miniato al Monte basilica, and the Medici Chapel.
When in Florence, viewing the original "David" by Michelangelo is an unmissable experience. The sculpture is housed in the Gallery of the Academy of Florence (Galleria dell'Accademia di Firenze). The Accademia also displays his other giant marble sculptures including the "Prisoners" and unfinished “Slaves”, as well as other marvelous works like Botticelli's "Madonna of the Sea". Another place that gives tribute to the great talent is the library of San Lorenzo - a magnificent exhibition of Michelangelo's architectural genius.
Other Renaissance landmarks worth of notice are the Baboli Gardens with incredible sculptures and of course the Uffizi Gallery, which is home to Botticelli's "Primavera" and "Birth of Venus", Filippo Lippi's "Madonna and Child with Two Angels", Titian's "Venus of Urbino" and other works by Giotto and Renaissance pioneers like Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo.