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Duomo / San Marco

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In this small area you can enjoy masterpieces such as Piazza del Duomo with the Cathedral topped by the magnificent dome of Brunelleschi, the Giotto’s bell tower and the Baptistery with Ghiberti’s Gates of Paradise, Piazza della Signoria with Palazzo Vecchio and the Uffizi Gallery, Palazzo Medici-Riccardi and the Basilica of San Lorenzo, the old market of San Lorenzo, the San Marco church and convent and the Gallery Academy where there is the David statue by Michelangelo.

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From the train station, first-time visitors inevitably gravitate towards Piazza del Duomo and the adjacent Baptistery. Their colourful patterned exteriors make a starling contrast with the dun-toned buildings around. Each of those great buildings is remarkable inside as out, and an ascent of the Cathedral's Dome will give you astounding views over the city to the hazy Tuscan hills beyond.

After exploring the cathedral, you can escape the crowds by climbing the Campanile of Giotto, the Duomo's belltower, or visit the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, a repository for works of art removed over the centuries from the Duomo, from the Baptistery and from the Campanile.
Next to it you can explore the Loggia del Bigallo. It contains a tiny museum relating to one of the city's oldest philanthropic institutions.
If you're in need of a break after this architectural and artistic overload, you can recharge your batteries at one of the cafés nearby Piazza della Repubblica, a square that was plannd as a showcase for the Florence Capital City at the end of the XIX century, of the newly united Italy.

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