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Florence has charmed almost everyone I know. Don’t get me wrong, I love this city too. But it is not on my top places to visit. Or maybe I haven’t yet spent as much time to call it so.

I still love a lot of spots in this great Renaissance city and one that I especially love is the Palazzo Vecchio. Overlooking the Piazza della Signoria, Palazzo Vecchio is the town hall of the city and also a gem. The Palazzo’s entrance is flanked by a statue of David (a replica not the original of course) along with statues of Hercules and Cacus.

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A huge courtyard welcomes you and leads to the Hall of the Five Hundred (Salone dei Cinquecento). It is awe inspiring once you are inside standing next to the frescoes by Michelangelo, Vasari and Da Vinci. As it turns out, this very hall is not only impressive but also the largest room in Italy that can be used as a political gathering!!

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The entire chamber is spellbinding. There are many rooms too. But my favorite was the Hall of Geographical Maps (Stanza della Guardoroba). It was full of objects of curiosity for me- old maps and ornate designed objects from as far as the 16th century. It is believed that this is the same hall where the belongings of Medici Grand Dukes were kept. There is a 6 feet tall globe in here too!

I also saw the famed mask of Dante Alighieri highlighted in Dan Brown’s Inferno ( I won’t give it more than 3 stars). Known to be a symbol of Dante’s contribution to the town of Florence, the mask was made by Pietro and Tullio Lombardo in 1483. To me it was a little eerie!!

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