Monuments & museums
Hotel Orto de’ Medici is located in the heart of Florence: all city's museums, art galleries and monuments are all within walking distance.
The Galleria dell’Accademia, just 5 minutes far from our hotel, hosts the famous sculptures realized by Michelangelo. First of all the stunning original David, carried here in 1873, but also The Prisoners and St.Matthews. Otherwise, other important works were collected in the adjacent rooms, once antique convents. Here you can admire beautiful paintings dating back to the 13th-16th centuries, a unique collection of gold-ground paintings, late gothic polyptycs, plaster sculptures and Russian icons. Recently the Gallery has acquired a collection of old music instruments originally belonging to the Medici and Lorena Families.
Projected during Renaissance age by Vasari and Buontalenti, the Uffizi Gallery was built 1560 with the purpose of hosting all the administration offices of the Grand Duchy. 21 years later, in 1581, the Palace was converted into a museum, to become one of the most important ones in Italy and the World. The outdoor space, with its peculiar horse-shoe shape, hosts sculptures of the most influential men in Florence, whereas the great Medici collections are exhibited in the indoor majestic rooms. Uffizi Gallery is currently the largest museum collection in the World, hosting real masterpieces from the finest artists such as Cimabue, Giotto, Gentile da Fabriano, Paolo Uccello, Piero della Francesca, Botticelli, Leonardo, Perugino, Correggio, Mantegna, Michelangelo, Raffaello, Tiziano, Tintoretto, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Goya and many more. Overall, at the Uffizi you can admire nearly 5000 works including miniatures, tapestries, and sculptures.
The Basilica of Santa Maria del Fiore, built from 1296, is undoubtedly among the most beautiful monuments in Florence. The original project is merit of Arnolfo di Cambio, whose idea was to gift the city with a monumental gothic cathedral. However this architect could work at it only for six years. Other great artists came after him, such as Giotto, Andrea Pisano and Talenti, while Brunelleschi took care of the planning and execution of the wonderful Dome. The bare interior of the cathedral reflects the stern Christian spirituality of the Middle Age. In spite of that, it contains important masterpieces such as the marble floor from the 16th century and the Paolo Uccello and Vasari’s frescoes. Michelangelo’s famous Deposition is kept in the apse chapel.
The most famous bridge in the World dates back to Etruscan times. It was built in a strategic point, where the Arno is narrower. Along the course of centuries, the bridge got destroyed and re-built many times; until it was finally made in stone, taking the shape we still can admire today. At the early times, the bridge used to host mainly butchers and greengrocer’s shops. Later on those were converted into jewelers’ and goldsmiths’ boutiques, mainly thanks to Ferdinando I de’ Medici‘s idea to give the bridge a more glamorous air. The bridge shows such a stunning beauty that even the German Army during the Second World War saved it from the bombings they initially planned.
Situated in the area of San Lorenzo, these chapels were built to host the graves of the most important members of the Medici family, such as Lorenzo the Magnificent, Giuliano de' Medici, Lorenzo Duke of Urbino and Giuliano Duke of Nemours. Both Vasari and Michelangelo were involved in the execution of this majestic project, which was meant to celebrate the lives of the members of most influential Florentine family of all times. Inside the chapels stand out the splendid statues of the Virgin by Michelangelo and the statues of Cosma and Damiano, the family’s saint protectors.
Palazzo vecchio | Piazza della signoria
Initially established in 1299 as the seat of the Priors of Arts and Craft, Palazzo Vecchio became, at a later stage, the Grand Duke’s Palace. Since then, this magnificent building has always represented the symbol of the political and economic power of the town. Faithfull to its antique roots, even today, it hosts Florence Town Hall. Its large halls and reception rooms are truly magnificent. Leonardo Da Vinci itself might have contributed to the beauty of the palace; in fact some art critics think that his famous Anghiari Battle could be still lying under Vasari’s paintings, located at the Salone Dei Cinquecento. Palazzo Vecchio overlooks Piazza della Signoria, the historic beating heart of the city since the end of the 13th century. At the center of the Piazza, stand out Giambologna’s equestrian statue of Grand Duke Cosimo I and Ammannati’s monumental Fountain. The remains of the Roman’s thermal baths and dyer workshops, testify the old tradition of Florence’s commercial vocation, which would mark the prosperous future of the city along the centuries.
Santa Maria Novella
The Church of Santa Maria Novella, located just behind city’s central railway station, is mainly famous for its wonderful Romanesque façade by Leon Battista Alberti. Completed in the second half of the 15th century, the church contains many masterpieces worth visiting; among them we point out the famous fresco by Masaccio, a crucifix by Giotto, another one by Brunelleschi and the frescoes by Ghirlandaio. Through the gateway on the left, you can access the cloister, where Paolo Uccello’s wonderful frescoes are kept.
Palazzo Pitti | Boboli Gardens
If you want to immerge deeply into the magnificence of Florence’s past ages, a visit to Palazzo Pitti is strongly advised. This majestic work was commissioned in 1440 by the powerful bankers’ family to Filippo Brunelleschi. In 1550, the palace was took over by Cosimo de’ Medici, who decided to finance a substantial enlargement’s work of the building. He then made it the residence of his family and asked Ammannati to build the Courtyard with the peculiar windows and the wonderful Boboli gardens at the Tribolo. Palazzo Pitti hots today various museums and collections such as Silver Museum, Costumes Museum, Coaches Museum and the Gallery of Modern Art. The Palatina Gallery exhibits masterpieces by Tiziano, Raffaello, Tintoretto, Caravaggio, Botticelli, Perugino, Canova, Rubens.