Ponte Vecchio, Florence

3 Places not to be missed in Florence

Florence is known is Ponte Vecchio, Palazzo Vecchio, Piazza Santa Croce, Michelangelo’s David, and always, those who come to Florence to discover our city certainly do not want to miss all this beauty known to the most.
But we who live in Florence know it well, it is not only these great internationally famous monuments, but it is also and much more.
For this reason, in this mini-guide we want to introduce you to 3 very special things that should not be missed if you come to Florence!

Rose garden Florence

1) The Rose Garden

The Rose Garden is a park/garden located under the famous Piazzale Michelangelo, in the upper part of the Oltrarno, precisely in Via Giuseppe Poggi 2.
A particular garden, which previously was not open to the public or in any case only for small periods during the year, but now can be visited all year round except for Christmas and New Year’s, until July 31st it will be open from 9 in the morning to 20 in the evening.
The garden was created by the famous architect Giuseppe Poggi who, on behalf of the Municipality of Florence, designed the urban aspect of the city in anticipation of the move of the Italian capital from Turin to Florence which took place in 1865, it was precisely in 1865 that it was inaugurated.
Enclosed between the current viale poggi, via di San Salvatore and via de Bastioni, it covers about one hectare of land and enjoys a fabulous vault over Florence, the famous skyline with all the magnificence of Florence, the Duomo, Giotto’s bell tower, Palazzo della Signoria, Ponte Vecchio and Santa Croce.
In 1895 the garden was opened to the public during the festival of arts and flowers, an event that was celebrated in the month of May, since 1998 it has housed a space dedicated to Japan created by the Japanese architect Kitayama, a Shorai oasis in honor of the twinning between Florence and Kyoto.
In the garden there are also bronze sculptures by the Belgian artist Jean Michel Folon, donated by his wife Marilena Pasquali, which arrived in the garden after the great exhibition held in 2005 at Forte Belvedere, as well as other areas of the city (see the rain man in the area South Florence) houses sculptures by the artist.
The garden now has about 1,000 botanical varieties, and as many as 350 of Roses, some of which are ancient species dating back to the 1500s, such as the Rosa mundi from 1560 with large, very fragrant, semi-double flowers, or the Foetida bicolor, from 1590, originally from Turkey . The Rose Garden is certainly one of the most romantic gardens in Florence and with free admission it becomes one of the stops not to be missed.

Cappella Brancacci Florence

2) Brancacci Chapel

The Brancacci chapel is one of those works of art that is located in the center of Florence but which is not visited by thousands of tourists a year.
As far as I’m concerned, the Brancacci chapel is one of the most beautiful works of all in Florence, just think that even in its small environment it contains works by Filippino Lippi, Masolino and the great Masaccio.
The chapel is located inside the church of Santa Maria del Carmine, founded in 1337 by Pietro di Piuvichese Brancacci, but only with his nephew Felice, a rich silk merchant, was the restoration and fresco work of the chapel at the Botteghe commissioned of the then “Artigiano” Masolino who together with his assistant, Masaccio, began the decoration together.
There are many conflicting stories about how the work continued, some speak of jealousy on the part of Masolino towards Masaccio, guilty of being better than the master, others who instead, dividing the work perfectly on a single scaffolding, carried out the works in perfect harmony helping each other, who knows, there are so many books trying to discover the truth, the fact is that the Brancacci chapel was not finished by the two of them, but by Filippino Lippi and only in 1480, after more than 50 years after the death of Masaccio , which took place in Rome in 1423.

Florence porcellino
Florence Mercato Centrale

3) Local markets

As far as local markets are concerned, I should consider talking about at least three markets, the three historic markets.

  • The Little Pig
  • The Central Market
  • The market of San Ambrogio

Let’s start from the first. The Mercato del Porcellino is the one located under the historic loggia del Porcellino which is more like a wild boar than a piglet, it must be said that the real name of the market is Loggia del Mercato Nuovo built by Cosimo I de’ Medici in 1547. This market is It has always been a place of sale of precious fabrics and jewelery and still today you can find some types of clothing and accessories, from ties to silk scarves, from tablecloths to genuine leather jackets up to bags and the famous Florentine paper.
One of the features is certainly the stone of scandal which is located in the center of the loggia,
at that point the insolvent debtors in Renaissance Florence were punished, The punishment consisted in chaining the debtor and throwing him to sit on the stone in the shape of a cart wheel several times, from here many classic Florentine sayings would also have arisen including “being with your ass on the ground”
The central market is more modern than that of the Porcellino, in fact it dates back to the time of Florence as the capital, the inauguration took place in 1875 with the international agricultural exhibition for the construction of this building the architect Giuseppe Mengoni was hired, already the architect of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in Milan.
The market became necessary as that of the Old Market was dismantled to make room for the Piazza della Repubblica.
Currently there are foodstuffs of various types and kinds, from Tuscan and Florentine food types to international foods, on the upper floor, reopened and inaugurated in 2014, there are many gastronomic activities and a famous cooking school. To be seen!
We must close with the smaller but very characteristic Sant’Ambrogio market which, as I said later, was built roughly together with the Central market.
This market too is part of Giuseppe Poggi’s project which saw, after the destruction of the old market, the construction of three new markets.
Currently the Sant’Ambrogio market is very active with a market with stalls also outdoors which takes place every day from 8.00 in the morning until 14.00.
Outside this market it is possible to find vegetables but also, in the back part of stock clothing and home accessories, very popular with citizens who live in the area, it is truly a gem to see.