Districts of Florence Italy


First time visitors to Florence Italy will wonder where to start.  For travelers, they will find that Florence is divided into 5 main districts and that most of the areas attractions are located in these Districts of Florence Italy.

Developed in 1812, the Florence district of Campo di Marte served as the training site for the Tuscan army after Napoleon invaded the country. Now known as “Quartiere 2,” the area boasts many historical buildings originating from the turn of the century. Nestled amongst the array of historical structures, modern buildings emerged beginning in the 1950s. Today, the area is known as the city’s sports center. The Artemio Franchi Stadium stands here and serves as home to the Fiorentina soccer team. The region additionally features numerous public sports facilities and swimming pools.

Districts of Florence, Italy

Commonly referred to as Centro Storico, the design of the Centre district closely follows the road system constructed centuries ago by the Romans. The many attractions in this part of the city include the array of Renaissance palaces that line the medieval streets. Centre is also the region of Florence where visitors have the chance to see the artwork of the masters. The Galleria dell’Accademia features many paintings but the most famous attraction here remains Michelangelo’s statue of David.

Gavinana lies on the left bank of the Arno River and borders the city of Bagno a Ripoli. The historic location dates back to the 10th century and stands between the heart of the city and the famous Chianti wine country. The area also harbors treasured Renaissance works of art. The Church of Santa Maria dates back to the 14th century and features an altarpiece designed and crafted by Giotto. Students regularly attend the significant Longhi Foundation, which offers instruction in art history.

The Santa Maria Novella district lies between the banks of the Arno River and the railway station. The location features some of the finest architecture in the city that includes elegant piazzas. Explore the many medieval streets; visit the Croce al Trebbio, a shrine constructed by a group of Dominican friars. Indulge in window-shopping on the Via Tomabuoni.

Santo Spirito Oltramo, commonly called Santo Spirito, spans from San Frediano to San Niccol. The Piazza Santo Spirito lies in the heart of the district, which harbors local history and artisan workshops. Here, guests also find traditional markets in the squares. Visit any of the many beautiful churches and museums. The various facilities offer a glimpse into costumes, modern art and even silverware over the centuries. Take a leisurely stroll through the Boboli Gardens while admiring the fountains, statues and colorful landscape that span over 53 square yards.


Santo Spirito District, Florence, Italy


Santo Spirito District of Florence, Italy is an enchanting town that faces the Basilica of the Holy Spirit. The center of the city often hosts art exhibitions and local musicians. Vibrant bars and nightlife can also be found in the center of the Santo Spirito District.

The city is famed for its Basilica of the Holy Spirit, which was created by artist Filippo Brunelleschi. The yellow ocher facade makes the Basilica hard to miss. The Basilica is known as one of the most beautiful Renaissance churches throughout all of Italy.

Palazzo Pitti Museum, Santo Spirito District of Florence, ItalyIn the southeastern end of the Santo Spirito District, visitors will find a few museums. The Palazzo Pitti Museum features mini exhibitions that are dedicated to famous Italian painters. Visitors can also gain admission to the Boboli Gardens and view all of the sculptures that surround the gardens. There are various pathways adorned with beautiful flowers at the Boboli Gardens.

There are a variety of great restaurants to be found in this district too. To enjoy flavorful pasta dishes in an outdoor setting, Borgo Antico is one place to try. Il Santo Bevitore is an excellent place to dine at for a classy lunch or dinner. The traditional Italian cuisine is on point at Il Santo Bevitore. For a unique ambiance, visitors can check out the Munaciello Pizza House. The restaurant is housed within an old monastery which is complete with an angel sculpture hanging from the wall.

For the best shopping in the Santo Spirito District of Florence, travelers only need to check out the street located behind the Basilica. The Via Santo Spirito street is filled with charming boutiques, designer stores and antique outlets. There are also beautiful buildings lined up and down the street. The buildings were created by the wealthiest families of Italy, so it is worth taking a few minutes to check out these treasures.

Visitors can also gain a better appreciation and understanding of Florentine royalty by visiting the Pitti Palace. During the 16th century, the palace served as the main residence for the Medici grand duke. Each room in the palace contains artwork created by Italy’s foremost painters, including Raphael, Caravaggio, Titan and Botticelli.

The city is also adorned with other religious structures that are worth a visit. The Brancacci Chapel contains frescoes created by Masaccio. Famous paintings such as “The Expulsion of Adam and Eve” can be found tucked away in this famous religious center.


Campo di Marte District, Florence, Italy


Campo di Marte District in Florence, Italy has one of the smaller train stations located in Florence. It can be found in a primarily residential area. There are a few local boutiques and cafes in the area, but nothing of distinction. However, it is also close to the Stadio Artemio Franchi. This is the home stadium of Florence’s soccer team, Fiorentina. If you want to catch a game, then you can easily buy tickets the day of the match. Florentines love soccer, but the home team is not that popular. Thus, there should be no crazy crowds or lines keeping you from getting inside the 4,000 seat stadium.

Campo di Marte District, Florence, ItalyThere is an English cemetery not far from Campo di Marte either. It features the tombs of several famous writers such as Elizabeth Barrett Browning. The cemetery is located on a hill in the middle of the busy intersection at the head of Borgo Pinti and Piazzale Donatello. You should head down this road next after exploring the cemetery.

Perhaps the most notable attraction near the Campo di Marte station is the Four Seasons Hotel on Borgo Pinti. This magnificent compound is also home to one of Florence’s best gardens. All you need to do is walk through the plush lobby. The grounds are spectacular, and perfect for a quiet day away from the city. Walk through the garden, and up a hill to see an unexpected view of the Duomo. If you are hungry, then grab lunch by the pool at the Four Season’s cafe. They have great food that will remind you of home. The hotel also has a great spa and outdoor bar. It is a great place to get away for the day even if just for a few hours.

Piazza Beccaria is also a great place to grab drinks at Kitsch 2, or watch a movie. This little square features quite a large arch called the Porta alla Croce. Connecting roads feature plenty of bars and high street shops to keep locals happy.

If you are visiting Florence for the first time and short on time, this is probably not a district that will interest you as it is far away from the main attractions. However, its local charm gives it a distinct lived in feeling. If you want to see how real Florentines interact and live, then head towards the Campo di Marte station. It is easily accessible by bus, bike, or a twenty minute walk from the Duomo.


Santa Maria Novella District, Florence, Italy

The Santa Maria Novella District, Florence, Italy is a historic area of the city. It is a square that contains beautiful gardens, ancient buildings and gorgeous fountains. The area is an amazing place to visit.

Santa Maria Novella is one of the popular churches in the city. Upon entering the church, you will view Masaccio’s Holy Trinity on the wall. The pillars in the church are magnificent, and the paintings on the wall are stunning. The church contains a crucifix hanging in the middle of the church. The alter is impressive, and the artwork is incredible.

Plaza and Church of Santa Maria Novella in Florence, ItalyThe church is also home to the Museum and Monumental Cloisters of Santa Maria Novella. You can where you can exquisite art and intriguing chapels. The architecture is fascinating, and the museum is interesting.

Located near the church is the Santa Maria Novella Pharmacy. When Dominican friars arrived in the Florence in 1221, they used medicinal herbs. Their products became well-known, so they opened the pharmacy. You can visit the museum and learn about the making of perfumes and other famous medicines. The products are now sold online, so people from all over the world can buy them. The building is gorgeous, and you can try the lotions, teas, soaps and potpourri.

While in the Santa Maria Novella district, you can also take a leisurely walk and marvel and the amazing buildings. The structures in the area are unique and fascinating, and the people are interesting.

While visiting the area, you will want to take advantages of the shopping opportunities. The square is home to some of the most stunning art shops in the city. The shops contain beautiful rugs, unique sculptures, exquisite paintings and numerous other types of furniture.

The Santa Maria Novella Hotel is a great place for you to stay. The views are incredible, and the rooms are spacious. On certain days, you can visit the roof top terrace that contains a swimming pool. Numerous attractions are within walking distance of the hotel.

The Santa Maria Novella district is one of the most fascinating areas of the city. You can just sit back and be amazed at the beauty of the region.


Gavinana District, Florence, Italy

Gavinana District, Florence, Italy is located on the left side of the River Arno. It is the the third district of the city. It finds it name from its main square, Piazza Gavinana. This is a highly residential area of Florence despite its proximity to the city center. There are many narrow and winding streets in this district due to the lack of businesses and commercial properties. Gavinana is also home to one of the oldest social centers in Italy. A large portion of Gavinana is walled off from the public as it belongs to private estates. It was substantially ruined in the famous flood in Florence in 1966. Many parks were created in this district due to the demolition of older structures.

Piazza Gavinana, Florence, ItalyNotable Landmarks in the Gavinana District

There are three bridges in this district: the Iron Bridge, Ponte Giovanni da Verrazzano, and Ponte Varlungo. They connect the left side of Florence with the more central districts of the city.

If you are interested in churches, then you must check out one of the more popular landmarks in this district. First, there is the l’Iglse da Santa Maria a Ricorboli. It was one of the oldest in the area dating from the 15th century until the current structure replaced in in the 1920′s.

If you love architecture, then you must check out the Villa Rusciano. It was created by Luca Pitti and Filippo Brunelleschi. Luca Pitti is a famous banker who was a beloved friend of the Medici family. However, his name is more commonly associated with the Pitti Palace which he had created to rival the family’s own palazzo. The Villa Rusciano is located in the hills surrounding the city, and it provides further support to Florence’s substantial power during the Renaissance.

Another notable villa in the Gavinana District is the Villa Tasso. It once belonged to Robert Longhi who was an avid collector of important Florentine art. If you love art, then see if you can arrange a tour of the building as it still hosts some fine examples of period art. The Villa Bandini is one of the oldest structures in the district. It has a lovely garden called the Cave of Bandino. It was copied after the famous grottos found in palaces of the Medici family, and the cave at the entrance of the Boboli gardens.


Centre District, Florence, Italy


If you are a visitor to Florence, Italy you must be certain to spend some time in the Centre District. Many of the city’s most impressive sights are here in the center of the city, and you won’t want to miss the opportunity to see them for yourself. Conveniently, the district is not very spread-out, so you can see several fantastic landmarks within just a few blocks of each other. If you have only a day to spend in Florence, this would be an excellent place to spend it since you will be able to see so much in such a short time.
The Duomo, Centre District, Florence, ItalyThe Cathedral, otherwise known as the Duomo, is found in the center of Florence, along with the baptistry. Its proper title in English is the Basilica of Saint Mary of the Flower, and the cathedral reflects that lovely name. Along with the richly ornamental doors and the finely sculptured marble walls, the cathedral boasts 44 gorgeous stained glass windows created in the 1300s and 1400s. Construction on the cathedral began more than seven centuries ago, and several noted artists and architects had a hand in the design of this beautiful building whose golden dome towers over central Florence.

The Cathedral Square, or Piazza del Duomo, also includes the beautiful spectacle of Giotto’s Bell Tower, a splendid example of Gothic architecture, and the Museum of the Works of the Cathedral, which houses magnificent works of art connected with the cathedral, including the handiwork of Michaelangelo and Donatello. With its rich history, this is a definite must-see for any art enthusiast.

Another impressive sight in this district of Florence is the Ponte Vecchio, which is the bridge that stands over the Arno River. In addition to its structural beauty, which dates back to medieval times, the bridge is notable because it is lined with shops. While many bridges of that time were similarly lined with shops, that is not the case for many bridges that stand today, so it’s especially fun to wander these stores and buy the art, jewelry and souvenirs that is sold inside of them.

If you are planning a visit to Florence and looking for accommodation in the Centre District or all over the city, check out Oh-Florence where you can find a huge selection of apartments to suit your every need. Clearly, this central portion of Florence has a great deal to offer any visitor with a deep and abiding interest in art, culture and history, and its magnificence is such that it is likely to foster such an appreciation in others as well.


National Museum of San Matteo, Pisa, Italy

It is well known that Pisa’s main attraction is its Leaning Tower, but a visit to this Tuscan city should not overlook the hidden gem, the National Museum of San Matteo, Pisa, Italy, or St. Matthew.

Located in a scenic setting on the banks of the River Arno, the museum is housed in the Benedictine Convent of San Matteo. Recently renovated, this beautiful structure is well worth a look just for itself. The museum’s collections showcase art works by leading Pisan and Tuscan masters dating between the 12th and 18th centuries such as stunning paintings, sculptures, ceramics and illuminated manuscripts. Because it contains a wealth of valuable and historic objects, the National Museum of San Matteo is included among Europe’s most important medieval art museums.

National Museum of San Matteo, Pisa, ItalyAmong the museum’s outstanding display of paintings is the group of 12th and 13th century painted crosses. Collected from Pisa’s oldest churches, these paintings are the works of fine artists such as Giunta di Capitino, Maestro di San Martino and Berlinghiero Berlinghieri. Also included in this section are panel paintings by Giovanni di Nicola, Simone Martini and Benozzo Gozzoli. Paintings from the 14th and 15th centuries feature works by masters like Buonamico Buffalmacco, Francesco di Traino, Gentile da Fabriano, Spinello Aretino and others. A couple of notable works on display in this collection include a 15th century painting of Jesus Christ and an illustration of St. Ursula saving the city of Pisa from flooding.

The museum’s sculpture section features 15th century works that were collected from the city’s churches for better preservation. Examples of these beautiful pieces include masterpieces like Tino di Camaino’s “Nativity,” a polyptych by Simone Martini and the “Breastfeeding Madonna,” or the “Madonna del Latte,” by the artist brothers Nino and
Andrea Pisano. Additionally, there are a few impressive wooden pieces here by Agostino di Giovanni and Francesco di Valdambrino.

A collection of medieval ceramics contains the famous bust-relic of St. Lussorio by Donatello as well as glazed terracotta earthenware from the school of Della Robbia. Also of worthy attention are the ceramic basins that formerly adorned the outside walls of Pisa’s historic churches.

A number of illuminated manuscripts dating between the 12th and 14th centuries can also be viewed in the museum. The shining piece in this collection is the Bibbia di Calci, an illustrated Bible dating back to 1168.


Cathedral of St. Ranieri, Pisa, Italy

In the wide square known as Piazza del Duomo known as the Cathedral Square or Piazza dei Miracoli, the Duomo or Cathedral of St. Ranieri, Pisa, Italy is an impressive structure in Romanesque architectural style. People come from all over the world to admire the building as well as to see another building in the square, the famous Leaning Tower or bell tower. Admiring the architecture, visitors enter the cathedral for veneration and worship as well as for studying the design and history of the stunning piazza and Pisa.

The cathedral is laid out in the shape of the cross with the dome on the eastern end. While the structure is definitely built in the Romanesque style, hints of influence from the Bysantines show in the details of arches with points and interior mosaics. One of the most impressive mosaics that remained after the devastating Duomo fire of the late 1500s was “Christ in Majesty.” The ceiling is gilt and much of the beautiful interior was redecorated and filled with new art after the fire.

Cathedral of St. Ranieri, Pisa, ItalyAlso of interest is the use of marble in white and various other colors on the exterior and interior. The floors are quite elaborate and lovely. Because of the use of the light colored marble, the play of sunlight on the exterior changes breathtakingly as the sun travels across the sky.

Saint Ranieri is the patron saint of Pisa. He was born and lived much of his life in Pisa during the mid-1100s. He lived a spiritual life like a saint with only a little variance in when he was very young. Upon his death, Ranierius Scacceri was entombed in the cathedral that was in the process of construction in Piazza del Duomo in Piza where his casket was made into an elaborate shrine at the altar in the mid-1600s.

To visit and explore, the Cathedral is spectacular. The small entrance fee is definitely worthwhile. Inside is a museum and throughout the building are tombs of well-known people, amazing artwork and historic relics. This cathedral in this square in Pisa, Italy is one of the most beautiful churches on the planet.


Baptistry of St John, Pisa, Italy


Most guests who consider the offerings of Pisa, Italy, immediately think about the Leaning Tower of Pisa. However, the location offers a bountiful array of architectural feats that deserve equal if not more attention. The Baptistry of St John, Pisa, Italy an architectural marvel, abounds with beauty, design and historical significance that every guest has the opportunity to appreciate.

The building draws on traditional Italian Romanesque and Gothic architectural influences. The baptistery was the second structure to be completed in the Piazza dei Miracoli after the completion of the Duomo Cathedral to signify the city’s wealth and prominence.

Baptistry of St John, Pisa, Italy The completion of the building took 200 years, and it stands approximately 55 meters high, slightly taller than the Leaning Tower. The lower extremities of the baptistery consist of a spacious gallery buttressed by classical arches and pillars. The upper levels echo the Gothic style with sharp arches pointing to the heavens. Hovering above the entrance way of the baptistry is a relief portraying the life of Saint John the Baptist as well as one of Christ, the Madonna and a medley of evangelists and angels. The apex of the entrance is marked by a significant statue depiction of the Madonna with the child.

The interior of the baptistery features vibrant stained glass windows and the signature baptismal pool. The baptismal at the center of the space originates from 1246 and is large enough to accommodate baptisms by total immersion. An pillar reveals the identity of the architect responsible for creating the structure known as “Diotisalvi”. This architect also built the Church of the Santo Sepolcro housed in central Pisa. Moreover, the inside of the structure boasts perfect acoustics enabling a visitor to experience sound that travels around the dome for several seconds. Applause too fosters a splendid echo effect demonstrated often by the staff of the institution.

Photographers have the opportunity for great views and shots from the upper balcony of the space with vistas of the the Leaning Tower, the Duomo Cathedral and the rest of the Piazza dei Miracoli. Legend maintains that the private citizens of Pisa founded the construction of the structures beginning in the early 12th century with each family to pay one denaro for the building. In addition, most visitors are surprised to learn that baptistry like the cathedral and the tower also leans slightly 0.6 degrees towards the cathedral. This and other surprising curiosities await visitors of the Baptistry of St John.


Piazza dei Miracoli, Pisa Italy


One of the most iconic architectural structures of Italy is part of this famous Piazza dei Miracoli, Pisa Italy or la Piazza del Duomo. That iconic building is the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The historic piazza is spectacular with its lovely green grass and treasured architecture. The hallowed features of the piazza that draw visitors from all over the globe are the baptistery, the duomo, the bell tower and the cemetery.

People come to see this lovely place for many reasons from just desiring to step foot in such a famous location to needing to photograph the site for extra credit on a school report or multi-media presentation. When they arrive, the scenes before them are captivating. Therefore, visitors soon understand why the square is considered the most beautiful piazza in Italy and even the world.Duomo Pisa, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Piazza dei Miracoli, Pisa Italy

This square has been a World Heritage Site since 1987. In Pisa, Italy, the spot is named la Piazza del Duomo or the “Cathedral Square.” However in 1910, an Italian author and poet wrote concerning the piazza describing it as a field of miracles under Heaven. The thought took hold and the piazza has become known as Piazza dei Miracoli.

Those visiting observe the Romanesque design style and the architectural details on the buildings’ exteriors and interiors. The Duomo was constructed starting in the mid-1060s. The Baptistery began rising in the mid-1100s. The Bell Tower, Campanile or the Leaning Tower of Pisa as it is better known was built in the late 1100s. Then, the Campo Santo or monumental cemetery building in Gothic style was constructed beginning in the late 1200s.

The spacious green grassy areas and the dominating historic structures are impressive. No matter how many people are in the square at the same time, no one feels crowded because of the immensity and the presence of the sacred edifices. Although the features are placed in opposition to the natural order of time as exists in the pathway of the sun across the sky from east to west, the west to east layout of the piazza represents the seasons of life.

Consequently, visitors can take the journey of birth to death as they tour the square. The baptistery represents birth, the duomo is the lifetime, the bell tower is like life’s culmination and the cemetery is death. The inspiring walk can bring new inspiration and perspective on living.