Not packed in a bus. Not herded with a group. Self guided walk is the SAFEST way to sightsee while observing SOCIAL DISTANCING!
Fort Belvedere (Forte di Belvedere), Florence

Fort Belvedere (Forte di Belvedere), Florence

A perfect sample of both Italian Renaissance and military architecture, Fort Belvedere was built at the end of the 16th century by Grand Duke Ferdinando I de' Medici to protect the city of Florence and to demonstrate the power and prestige of the Medici Family. In addition, it was used to hold the Medici's treasury, as well as to provide emergency shelter for the Grand Duke himself, should the city ever come under attack. For that purpose, the fort was connected to Palazzo Vecchio via corridor over the Ponte Vecchio, plus there were other passages connecting it to the Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens.

From a military standpoint, the fortress – largest in Florence – occupies a strategic vantage point over the city and surrounding area. Due to the nature of the Renaissance-time warfare, forts were paramount to the defense strategy and Belvedere served this purpose all too well as a citadel and garrison for troops for over 100 years after its completion. Its walls are purposely placed at angles to each other so as to allow good observation of and, if necessary, crossfire to defend the neighboring walls. Galileo Galilei, in turn, used it for astronomical observations and, after being sentenced to life imprisonment in 1633, used to live nearby at Villa Arcetri.

After five years of renovation to improve safety, the fort was reopened to visitors in July 2013, now serving primarily as an exhibition center. A small entry fee to the place is worth every penny of it and you can walk around the site freely, enjoying a beautiful panorama of Florence and the surrounding hills.

***MEDICI LANDMARK***
The opulent villa at the center of the fortress, Palazzina di Belvedere, predates the fort and was designed circa 1570. As the fort's secondary purpose was to house the Grand Duke in times of unrest or epidemic, it was built as a comfortable, luxurious palace. Not adhering to military purposes, it housed the Medici family's treasures at the bottom of a well that was well-protected by traps. Any intruders attempting to force open the lock would set off the lethal trap and survival was most unlikely!

Tip:
On the upper floor of the Fort, there is a nice cafeteria where you can have a decent meal or a cold drink.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sun: 11am-8pm

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Florence, Italy within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Fort Belvedere (Forte di Belvedere) on Map

Sight Name: Fort Belvedere (Forte di Belvedere)
Sight Location: Florence, Italy
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Florence, Italy

Create Your Own Walk in Florence

Create Your Own Walk in Florence

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Historic Centre Nightlife

Historic Centre Nightlife

Well known for its beautiful historic architecture and for its huge contribution to the Renaissance movement in Italy, Florence remains a vibrant, thriving center of activity that hosts not only a large tourism trade, but also attracts a lot of international students studying abroad. As such, Florence possesses a hot nightlife scene where guests from around the world can hear some amazing music...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
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Arno South Bank Walking Tour

Arno South Bank Walking Tour

The area south of Arno river, also called Oltrarno ("Beyond the Arno"), is a quieter place but not less interesting. Here you can find the Pitti Palace whose collection of paintings is second only to the Uffizi and the vast Boboli Gardens once enjoyed by the Medici and the royal family. This self guided walk takes you to these and other wonderful places, along the way passing by charming...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles
Duomo Souvenir Shopping

Duomo Souvenir Shopping

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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 Km or 0.9 Miles
Medici Landmarks

Medici Landmarks

The Medici family helped to establish Florence as the single most important art capital of Renaissance Europe. In order to prove wealth and power, they built numerous palaces, libraries, churches, chapels and personal residences. The Medicis were big lovers of art and they acquired huge, expensive collections, as well as supporting many sculptors and painters of the time. This self-guided tour...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles
Florence Palaces Walk

Florence Palaces Walk

Towards the end of the 13th century, Florentine families who had acquired power – both financial, through banking and trade, and political – began to build sizeable new palaces for themselves. The construction of the Palazzo del Popolo (now housing the Bargello museum) acted as an important catalyst in this process, having opened the translation into the private sphere. Early 14th century...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles
Duomo Walking Tour

Duomo Walking Tour

Duomo quarter is located in the very heart of the Florence Historic Center. This area is deservedly considered the religious and the civic centre of the town. Most of the historic sites Florence is famous for are to be found here. Take this self-guided walk to explore all the masterpieces of the Duomo quarter.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles

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