Florence, Italy, is a picturesque city that’s hailed as being the birthplace of the Renaissance. With an entire historic city center deemed a UNESCO World Heritage site — not to mention a metropolis filled with quaint and romantic hidden spots just waiting to be discovered — this Tuscan paradise is a prime travel destination for many Americans. Here are six reasons why you should plan a trip to one of our favorite cities in the world.
1. The River
Strolling along the river in many cities is a lovely experience, but the riverfront in Florence has an ethereal quality to it, setting the vibe for the entire city — you might say the Arno River breathes life into Florence.
Are you ready to explore nature? It’s something of an official pastime in Alaska, particularly in the summer.
Alaskans, though, are a curious lot — even beyond hiking up one more hill or rafting down one more river. It’s a big world “Outside” and learning about a region’s cultural heritage helps bring us closer to the people who live there. That’s part of the mission behind the United Nations’ educational, scientific and cultural organization, or UNESCO, World Heritage sites.
There are more than 1,000 designated sites around the world, divided into natural sites and cultural sites. If you are looking for an “ultimate bucket list” for travel destinations, this might be a good place to start.
Alaska only has one designated site, but it’s a doozy. In fact, the site spans the border into Canada.
Tourists in Florence were hit with a wet warning by the city’s mayor yesterday as part of a crackdown to restore ‘decorum’ at historic sites.
Visitors to Florence’s Santa Croce basilica were ordered to stop snacking on the steps before a squad of street cleaners hosed them down. The move has been introduced to prevent people picnicking at the Renaissance jewel, as growing numbers of tourists have led to trails of rubbish lining the streets.
“By washing the steps every lunchtime we hope they will be too wet for tourists to lounge on, but we also hope the cleaning will encourage tourists to treat them with more respect,” a city spokeswoman said. “We don’t aim to hose down the tourists themselves.”
Dario Nardella to discourage people from ‘camping out’ by hosing down steps of Basilica of Santa Croce and other sites.
The mayor of Florence has told tourists they will “get wet” if they settle down for lunch on the steps of some of the city’s prized churches as he is turning to hosepipes to restore “decorum” among visitors to the Renaissance city.
The steps of the Basilica of Santa Croce, the burial place of Michelangelo, will be the first to be hosed down, taking place at about lunchtime, in order to stop visitors from eating on them, followed by the Chiesa di Santo Spirito.
“We have nothing against tourists. We know that they are a great resource for our city,” the mayor, Dario Nardella, told The Guardian.
“But there is a problem with respecting decorum. The majority of visitors are respectful and elegant.”
The fast-food giant’s plans for an outlet on the Piazza del Duomo were rejected by the Italian city.
Global fast-food chain McDonald’s is suing the Italian city of Florence for €18m (£16m, $19.8m) after it was stopped from opening a new restaurant on a historic plaza. The US chain planned on opening a branch on the Piazza del Duomo in the centre of the city.
The plaza boasts the stunning Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, once the largest building in medieval Europe, which began construction in 1296, as well as the Baptistery of Saint John and Giotto’s Campanile. Much of the centre of Florence is a UNESCO world heritage site.
In June, the chain’s plans were rejected by Florence’s mayor Dario Nardella. This decision was then upheld in July by a panel charged with preserving the city’s ancient roots.