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To those who want to know the real Florence is suggested to leave the streets and squares of the most famous center and cross the Arno to achieve the most authentic heart of the city : the Oltrarno.
Here you can feel the atmosphere of the real Florence, the city of small shops , workshops of craftsmen and artists ( silversmiths , painters , printers , caterers, shoemakers ... ) , the ` trattoria` and cafes with their tables along the streets at night are filled with the voices of many Florentines who live in older homes quarters of Oltrarno San Niccolò , Santo Spirito, San Frediano.
The Oltrarno is the Garden District , the most beautiful of the city, and breathtaking panoramas of the city, those that can be enjoyed from Piazzale Michelangelo , the romantic Rose Garden or the ancient church of San Miniato al Monte , with its beautiful facade of white and green marble.
The tour starts from the top, from Piazzale Michelangelo , where the eye is free to wander over the whole city and the green hills that surround it : the Jewish Synagogue with its green copper domes of the Cathedral Campanile , the Medici chapels of Santa Croce church, the Ponte Vecchio to the old ramparts of the medieval walls which climb the hill up to the imposing Forte Belvedere.
The series of breathtaking views does not end here but continues along the path that leads to Monte alle Croci , the hill dominated by the ancient Basilica of San Miniato al Monte , the most beautiful - in our opinion - among all the churches of Florence, lush green marble and stone that keeps in its interior, true masterpieces.
Before leaving San Miniato we recommend a stop in monumental cemetery surrounding the church , made ??in the mid -nineteenth century. That of San Miniato al Monte is one of the cemeteries are buried , even today, members of the great families of Florence. It reveals a secret that few know : it is here that buried the `father` of Pinocchio : Florentine writer Carlo Lorenzini , better known as Carlo Collodi (1826-1890).
It 's time to get in the picturesque district of San Niccolò : a few meters down the Piazzale Michelangelo we take the entrance of the Garden of Roses with its 1000 plant species including 350 species of old roses and a harmonious sequence flowerbeds, you will be surrounded by one of the best views of the city, like a curtain of flowers.
Available during all the year