Registered in the list of UNESCO’s World Cultural and Natural Heritage in 1982, the historical centre of Florence is surrounded by a circle of avenues traced along the ancient medieval walls. Panoramic views of the whole towns can be enjoyed from the surrounding hills, and especially from Forte Belvedere, Piazzale Michelangelo and from the hilltop town of Fiesole, which offers spectacular views over the Arno valley.
In medieval Europe, Florence was an important economical, cultural, trading and financial centre. It is considered “the cradle of Renaissance” and under the Medici leadership it developed as a concentrate of art and architecture, with a flourishing of historical buildings, monuments, and museums with precious works of art such as the Uffizi Gallery, the Accademia, the Bargello and Palazzo Pitti.
The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore was consecrated in 1436 at the end of the works of the Brunelleschi’s Dome, and it houses important frescoes by Giorgio Vasari and Federico Zuccari. Piazza della Signoria is Florence’s main square. The square, with imposing sculptures, is the heart of the town’s social life and hosts Palazzo Vecchio, the seat of Florentine politics. Ponte Vecchio (the old bridge) is one of the symbols of Florence and it crosses the Arno River in its narrowest point.