December 22, 2009

6 "Quartiere" Neighborhoods of Florence

Article written for APARTMENTSFLORENCE.IT


(Photo taken in Santa Croce)


Florence has 6 neighborhoods, all filled with rich history & charm! This will give you a better idea of where you want to stay during your time with us..

DUOMO
You cannot get more central than the area around Florence's enormous cathedral. It is the halfway point from the two other great churches of Florence, Santa Maria Novella, by the train station, and Santa Croce. The Duomo is also the midway point from the Galleria Accademia, where Michelangelo’s “David” is housed, and the Uffizi Gallery & Ponte Vecchio. In November 2010, the piazza adjoining the Duomo became pedestrian only, so visitors can enjoy the area free of buses & scooters.

On your walk from the Duomo towards the Arno River & the Ponte Vecchio you will enjoy numerous charming streets filled with shopping, cafes and restaurants. You will be central to the famous Piazza Repubblica, Palazzo Vecchio & Piazza Signoria.

SANTA CROCE
This eastern edge of the centro storico runs adjacent to the Arno River and north to the Sant’Ambrogio market. Many people consider this "the best market in all of Europe". The church itself is the resting place for Dante & Michelangelo. This church marks the central point to one of the most genuine “Florentine” neighborhoods. Many of the buildings are residential, apartments & shops. This area also boasts some of the best restaurants in all of Florence. If you want to feel like a local, stay here.

PONTE VECCHIO / PIAZZA TRINITA
This piazza sits just off the river at the end of Florence's shopping mecca, Via de' Tornabuoni, home to Gucci, Armani, Ferragamo, Versace, and more. Even the ancient narrow streets running out either side of the square are lined with the biggest names in high fashion. It's a very pleasant, upscale neighborhood in which to stay, even if you don't care about high fashion. But if shopping is your passion, there's no better place to be!

SANTA MARIA NOVELLA
This neighborhood is on the western edge of the historic centre, and has two distinct areas. One area is convenient to the train station. The other section of this neighborhood is delightful from the church towards the Arno River. One of most pleasant areas is by the Piazza Ognissanti, where you can find wonderful restaurants, cafes and small boutique shopping.

SAN LORENZO (MERCATO CENTRALE)
This small group of streets between the train station and the Duomo, centered on the Medici's church of San Lorenzo is 'market territory'. The Mercato Centrale is the largest market in Florence, and most of the streets are filled daily with hundreds of stalls selling leather jackets, scarves and other treats. This is a great place to buy your friend that special ,and affordable, gift from Firenze!

OLTRARNO "Across the Arno"
Santo Spirito & San Frediano is the artisans' neighborhood. This area is still filled with workshops where craftsmen hand-carve furniture and hand-stitch leather gloves & shoes. The Pitti Palace is located here, and behind it lays the landscaped baroque scenery of the Boboli Gardens, Florence's best park. The Oltrarno's lively tree-covered center, Piazza Santo Spirito, is a world unto itself, lined with bars and trendy restaurants. The Brunelleschi designed church faces away from the river and the rest of Florence.

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