One of the bridges in particular stands out as being unique — The Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge), whose most striking feature is the multitude of shops built upon its edges, held up by stilts. The bridge also carried Vasari's elevated corridor linking the Uffizi to the Medici residence (Palazzo Pitti). First constructed by the Etruscans in ancient times, this bridge is the only one in the city to have survived World War II intact.
The San Lorenzo contains the Medici Chapel, the mausoleum of the Medici family - the most powerful family in Florence from the 15th to the 18th century. Nearby is the Uffizi Gallery, one of the finest art galleries in the world - founded on a large bequest from the last member of the Medici family.
The Uffizi ("offices") itself is located on the corner of Piazza della Signoria, a site important for three main reasons:
• In 1301, Dante was sent into Exile from here (a plaque on one of the walls of the Uffizi commemorates the event).
• In 1497, it was the location of the Bonfire of the Vanities (a plaque in the middle of the plaza commemorates that event), followed in 1498 by the execution of its instigator, Girolamo Savonarola
• In 1504, it was the original location of Michelangelo's David (now replaced by a reproduction as the original was moved indoors to the Accademia dell'Arte del Disegno), in front of the Palazzo della Signoria (also known as Palazzo Vecchio).
In addition to the Uffizi, Florence has other world-class museums:
The Bargello concentrates on sculpture, containing many priceless works of art created by such sculptors as Donatello, Giambologna, and Michelangelo.
The Accademia dell'Arte del Disegno (often simply called the Accademia) collection's highlights are Michelangelo's David and his unfinished Slaves.
Across the Arno is the huge Pitti Palace containing part of the Medici family's former private collection. In addition to the Medici collection the palace's galleries contain a large number of Renaissance works, including several by Raphael and Titian as well as a large collection of modern art, costumes, cattiages, and porcerlain. Adjoining the Palace are the Boboli Gardens, elaborately landscaped and with many interesting sculptures.
The Santa Croce basilica, originally a Franciscan foundation, contains the monumental tombs of Galileo, Michelangelo, Machiavelli, Dante (actually a cenotaph), and many other notables.
Other important basilicas and churches in Florence include Santa Maria Novella, San Lorenzo, Santo Spirito and the Orsanmichele.
The city's principal football team is AC Fiorentina.
Florence has been the setting for numerous works of fiction and movies, including the novels and associated films Hannibal, Tea with Mussolini and A Room with a View.
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