Florence is famous for its history: a centre of medieval European trade and finance and one of the wealthiest cities of the time, it is considered the birthplace of the Renaissance, and has been called "the Athens of the Middle Ages". A turbulent political history includes periods of rule by the powerful Medici family, and numerous religious and republican revolutions. From 1865 to 1871 the city was the capital of the recently established Kingdom of Italy.
We had a ten minute walk from where our coach dropped us off through streets lined with fascinating architecture,
Continuing the tour we passed the Duomo, the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore ("Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower") the main church of Florence.
The House of Medici was an Italian banking family, political dynasty and later royal house that first began to gather prominence under Cosimo de' Medici in the Republic of Florence during the late 14th century.
The family originated in the Mugello region of the Tuscan countryside, gradually rising until they were able to fund the Medici Bank. The bank was the largest in Europe during the 15th century, seeing the Medici gain political power in Florence — though officially they remained citizens rather than monarchs.
The Medici Palace overlooks the square where its copy of Michelangelo's David statue as well the gallery of statues in the adjacent Loggia dei Lanzi stand, it is one of the most significant public places in Italy, and it host cultural points and museums.
We stopped for a quick lunch before venturing into the Medici Palace, through it's magnificent courtyard,
only to be even more amazed and thrilled by the interior with it's beautifully decorated ceilings,
apartments and chapel of Eleonora,
artefacts, like the Putto with Dophin by Andrea del Verrocchio.
One can only marvel at the huge doorways,
the audience chamber,
The doors of the cabinets were decorated with 53 remarkable maps of scientific interest, oil paintings by the Dominican monk Fra Ignazio Danti (1563–1575), brother of the sculptor Vincenzo Danti, and Stefano Buonsignori (1575–1584). They are of great historical interest and give a good idea of the geographical knowledge in the 16th century.
Those are just a few of the sights you will see if you ever get the chance to visit this magnificent place for yourself, not to mention the view over Florence from one of the palace balconies.