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Where exactly is the "historic center"?

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USA
posts: 330
reviews: 30
Where exactly is the "historic center"?

In looking at a map, I can't discern the actual boundaries of the historic center. Is it "Piazza Del Duomo", the Uffizi area or something else? Also, how long of a walk is it from Santa Croce to the historic center? Thx.

north carolina
posts: 5,072
reviews: 114
1. Re: Where exactly is the "historic center"?

This is probably open to considerable debate and interpretation. My view, after reading some history of the city, is that it is mainly the area of what was a walled city on the right (North) bank of the river, around the original Roman fortress area. In very rough terms that might extend two or three hundred metres upstream and two or three hundred downstream from the Ponte Vecchio. That puts Santa Croce just about on the northern edge of the historic center. Another point of view is that the area of historic, artistic and architectural interest extends over both sides of the river around all of the principal churches and palaces of the quatrocento and cinquecento. For instance the first view might leave out the Pitti Palace, the second view might include it. In either case you want to see it. The Duomo and Uffizi are certainly included in any case.

You can search out numerous good web sites that describe the history of the city.

USA
posts: 330
reviews: 30
2. Re: Where exactly is the "historic center"?

Thx, roadgard. We're staying in Santa Croce and the accommodations are said to be in the historic center. However, it's supposedly a 20 minute walk to the main sites as well. There is a bus that runs to the Duomo and the other sites, but I'd rather walk, if it's not too far.

north carolina
posts: 5,072
reviews: 114
3. Re: Where exactly is the "historic center"?

If you are accustomed to walking twenty or thirty minutes at a time, then it is easy to walk everywhere - plus a large assortment of interesting places to shop and snack along every route. For me, Santa Croce (the church) is the very soul of Florence. I never cease to get very high when we go in there. Enjoy.

Liverpool
posts: 8
4. Re: Where exactly is the "historic center"?

It's easy! If you have a good map, you'll notice that there is a ring-way around the city center. Mostly, the "historical center" is within the ringway.

Or you can look at the map and consider Piazza Signoria/Piazza Repubblica/Il Duomo the center of the center. If you move around as a tourist, you'll probably not go much further than Piazza San Marco to the North, Piazza della Stazione/Santa Maria Novella to the West, Piazza Santo Spirito to the South, and Piazza Santa Croce to the East. Most attractions are within these boundaries.

glasgow
posts: 7
reviews: 3
5. Re: Where exactly is the "historic center"?

for me the historical centre ranges from palazzo pitti just over the river to the Museum of the Belli Arti where you can see Michelangelo's David

i stayed at the hotel Athenaeum which is a lovely 4 star hotel only 10 minutes walk from the Duomo. They have a great deal on at the moment 115 euro a double room including a lovely buffet breakfast

www.hotelathenaeumflorence.com

Asti, Italy
posts: 904
reviews: 2
6. Re: Where exactly is the "historic center"?

My bet would be the Piazza della Repubblica, formerly it was Il Mercato Vecchio or the “old market”. Florence being historically a trading city, it’s logical that this location would be the heart and soul of the city and apparently legend has it that the ancient Fesuleans, ancestors of Florentines, came down from their hill-city outside modern Firenze to trade at this spot. How far to walk to Santa Croce? Maybe 15-20 minutes.

USA
posts: 330
reviews: 30
7. Re: Where exactly is the "historic center"?

Thanks, all. We are definitely a walking family. A 20-minute walk from Santa Croce each day will be great exercise. This will be our first family trip to Italy, so we're very excited.