Best things to do in Florence

Florence Cathedral: An Architectural Marvel

Start your Florentine adventure at the iconic Florence Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. This architectural masterpiece, the fourth largest church in Europe, is a symbol of the city’s rich history. Don’t miss Brunelleschi’s Dome, the largest masonry dome ever built. Climbing Giotto’s Campanile offers a breathtaking panoramic view of Florence, rewarding your effort with a stunning vista. Across from the cathedral, admire the Baptistery of San Giovanni with its renowned Gates of Paradise by Lorenzo Ghiberti.

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Piazza della Signoria and Palazzo Vecchio: The Heart of Florence

Next, head to Piazza della Signoria, the political and historical heart of Florence. Marvel at the statues in the Loggia dei Lanzi, including the famous Perseus by Benvenuto Cellini. Visit Palazzo Vecchio, the seat of the Florence City Hall, to explore its frescoed halls and the towering Arnolfo Tower. Don’t forget to find the Porcellino Fountain nearby and rub its nose for good luck.

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Ponte Vecchio: A Bridge Steeped in History

A short walk brings you to Ponte Vecchio, the city’s oldest bridge, famous for its goldsmith workshops. As you stroll across, take in the beautiful views of the Arno River and the bustling lungarno promenades.

Uffizi Gallery: A Treasure Trove of Art

The Uffizi Gallery is a must-visit for art lovers. This renowned museum houses masterpieces by Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and more. Be sure to admire Botticelli’s Primavera and The Birth of Venus. To avoid long lines, purchase your ticket online in advance.

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Bargello National Museum: Sculptural Splendors

For a deep dive into Renaissance sculpture, visit the Bargello National Museum. Here, you’ll find works by Michelangelo, Donatello, and Verrocchio. Don’t miss Michelangelo’s first large-scale sculpture, David, and the beautiful Bargello Chapel.

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Basilica of Santa Croce: A Pantheon of Great Minds

The Basilica of Santa Croce is one of Italy’s most important Franciscan churches, home to the tombs of Michelangelo, Galileo Galilei, and other luminaries. The church is adorned with frescoes by Giotto, Cimabue, and Taddeo Gaddi. Also, visit the Pazzi Chapel, a Renaissance architectural gem.

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Piazzale Michelangelo: A View to Remember

For the best panoramic view of Florence, head to Piazzale Michelangelo. The vista at sunset or sunrise is particularly breathtaking. Here, you’ll also find a replica of Michelangelo’s David.

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San Miniato al Monte: A Peaceful Retreat

San Miniato al Monte, a Romanesque basilica, offers another stunning view of the city. The basilica’s facade of white and green marble and the mosaic apse are remarkable. Inside, the crypt frescoed by Taddeo Gaddi adds to the basilica’s charm.

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Boboli Gardens: A Historical Oasis

Behind Palazzo Pitti, you’ll find the Boboli Gardens, a historical park perfect for a leisurely stroll. Explore its avenues, statues, grottoes, and fountains, including Neptune’s Pool and the Fountain of Oceanus.

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Palazzo Pitti: An Artistic Hub

Palazzo Pitti is a monumental complex that houses several museums, including the Palatine Gallery, the Royal Apartments, the Gallery of Modern Art, and the Silver Museum. Admire works by Titian, Botticelli, Caravaggio, and Rubens.

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Brancacci Chapel: A Fresco Masterpiece

The Brancacci Chapel in the Church of Santa Maria del Carmine is famous for its Renaissance frescoes by Masaccio, Masolino da Panicale, and Filippino Lippi. The scene of the Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise is particularly striking.

Palazzo Strozzi: A Renaissance Gem

Palazzo Strozzi is known for its rusticated stone facade and hosts temporary art exhibitions. Be sure to check out the current exhibition during your visit.

Basilica of Santa Maria Novella: Gothic Grandeur

Santa Maria Novella is a Gothic church with a facade by Leon Battista Alberti. Inside, admire the Crucifix by Giotto and the Holy Trinity by Masaccio. The Green Cloister is also worth a visit.

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Medici Chapels: Tombs of the Grand Dukes

The Medici Chapels in the Basilica of San Lorenzo are the final resting place of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany. The New Sacristy, designed by Michelangelo, is particularly noteworthy.

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Central Market: A Culinary Delight

Visit the Central Market to sample typical Tuscan products and dishes. It’s the perfect place to experience the local cuisine.

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Accademia Gallery: Michelangelo’s David

The Accademia Gallery is home to Michelangelo’s original David, a masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture. Other notable works include pieces by Michelangelo and other Renaissance artists.

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Palazzo Vecchio Museum: Medici Splendor

Explore the Palazzo Vecchio Museum to get a glimpse into the private chambers and grand halls of the Medici family, showcasing their opulent lifestyle.

Museo Galileo: Scientific Wonders

Delve into the world of science and astronomy at Museo Galileo, which showcases Galileo’s inventions and scientific discoveries.

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Seven Unmissable Experiences in Florence

Eat a Panino at Antico Vinaio: Don’t miss the famous schiacciata from Antico Vinaio, a must-try!

Enjoy a Fiorentina Steak:  Find an authentic place to savor a real Fiorentina steak.

Rinascente Terrace: Visit the rooftop terrace at Rinascente for a marvelous view of the Duomo.

Gelato from La Carraia: Indulge in some of the best gelato in Florence.

Chianti Tasting: Take a trip to the Chianti region to sample local wines. Best tour here

Calcio Storico Fiorentino: Watch this historic football match if you visit during the feast of San Giovanni in June.

Planning Your Stay

Getting There: Florence’s airport makes it accessible from southern Italy and the islands. From the north, it’s convenient to travel by car, bus, or train.

Getting Around: Save these points above on Google Maps a great way to start. 

Accommodation: Stay in the city center to explore on foot. For a quieter area, opt for Santa Croce or San Niccolò.

Dining: Florence offers affordable street food and some splurge-worthy dishes.With its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant art scene, Florence promises an unforgettable travel experience.

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