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September 28, 2017

What are some lesser-known sights to see when visiting Florence, Italy?

 Note: I wrote this to answer the question in the Quora.com website.

The answer to this question depends upon your personal interests, so I’ll throw out a few of my own favs.

A fantastic place from which to see the sunset over the city: Piazzale Michelangelo. You can either walk up to it, or take a local bus, but bring a picnic and enjoy the end of the day. One of the 2 full-sized copies of Michelangelo’s “David” stands overlooking the sunset as well.

The Laurentian Library was designed by someone who isn’t hugely known for his architectural prowess, but non-the-less, he always employed his creative genius: Michelanglo. The Library was created for his beloved Medici family, and will surprise you at every level because it is so different than most of the other architecture you’ll find around the city. Click the image on the left to see the most astounding ceiling ever! And when you get there, take note of his cleverness when he stacked oval upon oval to create the grand entry staircase that you will ascend to enter the main rooms. Pure genius!!

FiesoleFiesole: a little town at the top of the hill that overlooks Florence. If you like archaeological ruins, but you don’t have a lot of time, take Bus #7. When you get off the bus, walk across the street, and you’re there. The ruins have been beautifully excavated. You will see a fabulous ancient Roman arena, complete with all of its accouterments. Even cooler, you’ll see even more ancient Etruscan Ruins that the Romans built over. The little museum is really worth a walk-through. When finished, grab a gelato and look over the side of the hill over the city of Florence. If it’s a clear day, you will be rewarded with an excellent view! And when you’re finished, you can be back in Florence before dinner.

In my book “FLORENCE Gems & Giants” (available on Amazon) I included a section called “Getting High in Florence.” This is for camera buffs. Most guidebooks don’t tell you where their beautiful photos are taken. So I added this section to let you know where in Florence you can climb up to get all of the wonderful panoramic photos that you will all throughout the book.

How about the tiny kitchen-sized room under the floor of the Medici Chapel where Michelangelo hid – for 3 months! – to avoid prosecution? If you get there, look at what he drew on the walls to keep himself from going crazy. And by the way, the Medici Chapel itself is yet another Michelangelo feat of architectural genius that he created for the family Medici.

I’m pretty sure I can go on all day, but it might be better if I didn’t quote my whole book in this space. But whatever you do, enjoy your trip to my favorite city in the world.


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