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Florence should definitely be on your itinerary. Full of history and well-known attractions - appealing for travellers of all ages.

A distinctive feature of Florence's skyline is the Duomo, Santa Maria del Fiore work on which started in 1296, and the Campanile (bell tower). Opposite the cathedral stands the Baptistery dating from 11th century. The Florentines commissioned a series of bronze doors with relief sculptures. The third pair of these doors, by Lorenzo Ghiberti, were of such rare beauty that Michelangelo christened them the ' Gates of Paradise.'

There are many galleries and museums in Florence; the most famous is Galleria dell'Accademia as it contains one of the most famous statues in the world, Michelangelo's David. Michelangelo's David originally stood in front of the Palazzo Vecchio at the beginning of the sixteenth century but in 1873 it was moved to the Galleria and was replaced by the copy, which now stands in its original location.

The De Medici family founded the Uffizi Gallery in Florence in 1581. It is one of the oldest museums in the world. Many important works of Italian and other schools, dating from between the fourteenth and eighteenth centuries are on view here, including the largest collection of Tuscan Renaissance paintings. The gallery features works by Botticelli, Canaletto Michelangelo, Raffaello, and da Vinci - to name but a few.

The Ponte Vecchio (old bridge) is unique because it is the oldest surviving bridge in Florence. Originally, It was used by blacksmiths, butchers, tanners and others who used the river as sewer. Towards the end of the Renaissance period, goldsmith's and other artisans established themselves there. Ponte Vecchio is the only bridge in Florence that survived W.W.II.

Traveller's Tip: Forget the queues outside Museums! Florence and its galleries can be crowded and the queues can sometimes stretch for over 2 hours. However, the Academia, Uffizi, Bargello, Medici's Chapels, Vassari's Corridor, San and others can be pre-booked either on line or by phone giving you time to see more. There are many shops and markets in Florence some more famous than others. One worth a visit is Farmacia di Santa Maria Novella.

The pharmacy dates back to the 17th century and is open to the public in its original form. When you go into the shop the aroma of the preparations, and the sight of this monumental environment immediately overwhelm you.

There are many other attractions both in the city and on the outskirts. These include gardens and villa, and just outside Florence is Fiesole well worth a visit