Sights in Tuscany
Tuscany is visited by millions of tourists every year. Below we present some of the special sights of Tuscany in a little more detail.
The Ponte Vecchio bridge in Florence is probably one of the most famous and beautiful bridges in the world. The current bridge was built in 1345 on the narrowest part of the river. What it makes special is the building with small overhanging bridge shops. In the past it was mainly meat that was sold. This changed when the ducal family moved into the nearby Palazzo Pitti at the end of the 16th century, drove out the meat traders because of the smell and settled jewellers. Many of whom can still be found in the small shops today.
In 1299, the Florentines decided to build a palace as the official seat of the Republic. Arnolfo the Cambio began the construction, which, as with almost all great buildings of this time, was accompanied by different generations until completion. Initially, the Palazzo Vecchio with its 94-metre-high tower was the official residence for the highest officials in Florence. Later it was converted into the Medici residence. Today, the magnificent palace houses Florence’s city hall.
The Piazza della Signoria is the most famous and largest square in Florence. The many statues spread all over the square are impressive. The imposing Neptune Fountain by Bartolomeo Ammanati stands out in particular.
The square takes its name from the Signoria, the name given to the government of a lord (signore) at the head of an assembly of decision-makers (from the nobility or often from the local pacificiate) between the 13th and 15th centuries.
Palazzo Pitti is the colossus of Florence’s many palaces, with a façade over 200 metres long and 36 metres high. Luca Pitti began building the Renaissance palace in 1458, which was closed down after his participation in the Pazzi conspiracy. After 1549, renovations and extensions began and the Boboli Gardens were laid out with grottos, garden temples and even an amphitheatre with an Egyptian obelisk.
The world-famous Leaning Tower of Pisa is the free-standing bell tower of the Cathedral of Pisa. Its construction began in 1173 and had to be interrupted in 1183 after the 3rd floor because of the sinking of the foundation. This was the birth of the “Leaning Tower”. It was not until 100 years later that the remaining 4 floors were built. The original intention was to compensate for the inclination, but this did not work. It was not until another 100 years later that the building with the belfry was completed in 1372.
The Cathedral of Santa Maira Assunta is located right next to the Leaning Tower in the Piazza dei Miracoli. Construction began as early as the 11th century. The façade consists of many columns and arches made of white marble. Inside, the cathedral is somewhat reminiscent of the Arabic-inspired buildings in Andlusia and the golden ceiling is probably the highlight.
The cathedral or Duomo di San Marino in Lucca was built in the 12th century. A special feature is the front view with its façade of multi-level arcaded arches and the three-nave sacred building. The interior is very simple. Most of the works of art are now in the Museo della Cattedrale di Lucca (Cathedral Museum) directly opposite the church. The 69-metre-high, six-storey bell tower can be visited.