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The Tuscan city of Firenze (Florence), home of Dante, Michelangelo and the Medici dynasty, has an unrivalled position at the very heart of European history, and its unique legacy exudes from every stone. The city skyline is dominated by masterpieces of mediaeval architecture such as the Duomo, the great domed cathedral, and the Palazzo Vecchio. The Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge) which spans the Arno river, links Florence's largest art museum, the Pitti Palace, with the Uffizi Gallery, where Botticelli's famous 'Birth of Venus' still hangs. A wealth of Renaissance art graces numerous museums and galleries throughout the city.
With a compact historic centre, Florence is ideal for exploring on foot. Broad avenues interspersed with piazzas and winding side streets seem to offer surprises around every corner, whilst the Boboli Gardens beside the Pitti Palace offer a calm, green respite from the bustling streets. Overlooking the city, the Fiesole Hill offers a fine panoramic view, and is popular with Fiorentines escaping the sultry heat of the Tuscan summer. Florence is an ideal destination for either a short stay or a longer holiday, and it would take a lifetime to exhaust its possibilities.
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