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A faint ray of sunlight appears above the city and slowly lights up the Florentine monuments, making the shadows smaller and giving a new birth to the splendours of the Medici family. Brunelleschi, Donatello and Michelangelo, as private guides and discrete companions, lead the way through the exploration of the historic centre.
Each alley, street and boulevard, coveys the atmosphere of the Renaissance when Florence used to be an influential city for art, literature and scientific research, the birthplace of such big names as Dante, Machiavelli and Galileo. Outstanding works including the Dome of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore by Brunelleschi, the statue of David by Donatello and the painting Tondo Doni by Michelangelo attract millions of tourists every year. The majestic Palazzos are historic homes with frescoed rooms and precious stone steps and hide sometimes modern interiors which perfectly blend into the Renaissance style and the local neighbourhood atmosphere.
The river Arno that comes from the Appennini mountains, flows across the city under the Old Bridge and then alongside the majestic Palazzos of the historic centre, before emptying into the Ligurian Sea shortly after Pisa. On the opposite bank of the river, there is the Oltrarno, a district of shops and antique boutiques, gardens and Palazzos, squares and narrow streets, trattorias and bars. Squares and streets breath everywhere the love for art and culture as well as the love for the authentic cuisine and the Italian dolcevita, making the old "Florentia" a perfect place where to live. Historic mansions with panoramic vistas over the city of Florence are nestled among the hills of Fiesole, Settignano, Arcetri, Poggio Imperiale and offer the perfect frame to the city's essence, former capital of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, then capital of Italy and recognized today as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
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