Florence is one of the most beautiful cities in Italy, and there are plenty of things to see and do there. Some of the must-sees include the Duomo, which is an incredible example of Gothic architecture, and the Ponte Vecchio, which is the oldest bridge in Florence. The Uffizi Gallery is also a must-see, as it houses some of the most famous works of art in the world, including paintings by Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. Of course, no trip to Florence would be complete without indulging in some of the city’s delicious food. Florentine steak, homemade pasta, and gelato are just a few of the culinary delights that await you in this wonderful city.
1- Visit the Duomo Cathedral
The Duomo, otherwise known as the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, is one of the most iconic landmarks in Florence, Italy.
It is also one of the largest cathedrals in the world, with a diameter of 140 meters and a height of 90 meters. The Duomo was originally built in the 13th century, but it wasn’t completed until the 19th century.
The exterior of the cathedral is adorned with pink, white, and green marble, and the interior is decorated with frescoes, mosaics, and stained glass. The Duomo is also home to the famous statue of David by Michelangelo.
Every year, millions of tourists flock to Florence to see the Duomo for themselves.
2- Check out the Palazzo Vecchio
The Palazzo Vecchio is one of the most iconic buildings in Florence, Italy. The structure was originally built in the 13th century as the seat of government for the Republic of Florence.
In the 15th century, the building was renovated in the Gothic style, and it has remained largely unchanged since that time. Today, the Palazzo Vecchio is open to the public as a museum, and it remains an important symbol of Florentine history and culture.
Visitors to the Palazzo Vecchio can explore the exterior of the building, which features a number of statues and reliefs, or take a tour of the interior, which includes the Grand Council Chamber and other significant rooms.
For anyone interested in Italian art and architecture, a visit to the Palazzo Vecchio is a must.
3- Walk Through the Ponte Vecchio
The Ponte Vecchio is one of the most iconic landmarks in Florence, Italy. The bridge spans the Arno River and is lined with shops and vendors selling everything from jewelry to leather goods.
The Ponte Vecchio is also one of the oldest bridges in Florence, with a history that dates back to the 13th century. While the bridge has been rebuilt several times over the centuries, it has always kept its unique character and charm.
Today, the Ponte Vecchio is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Florence, and a must-see for anyone visiting the city.
4- Climb up Giotto’s Campanile
Giotto’s Campanile is one of the most famous landmarks in Florence. The elegant Gothic structure was built in the 14th century to serve as a bell tower for the nearby cathedral.
Over the centuries, the Campanile has become an iconic symbol of the city, and its impressive height (nearly 84 meters) makes it a popular spot for visitors to enjoy panoramic views of Florence. While the exterior of the Campanile is certainly impressive, its interior is equally fascinating.
A winding staircase leads up to the top of the tower, and along the way, visitors can see Giotto’s original frescoes. These beautiful paintings depict scenes from the Bible, and they are considered to be some of Giotto’s finest work.
Today, the Campanile is one of Florence’s most popular tourist attractions, and it continues to inspire visitors with its beauty and history.
5- See the Basilica of Santa Croce
The Basilica of Santa Croce is one of the most iconic landmarks in Florence. It is the largest Franciscan church in the world, and it houses the tombs of some of Italy’s most famous figures, including Michelangelo, Galileo, and Machiavelli.
The basilica is also known for its magnificent façade, which is adorned with statues and frescoes. Every year, thousands of tourists flock to the Basilica of Santa Croce to admire its beauty and soak up its history.
6- Visit Uffizi Palace and Gallery
The Uffizi is one of the most famous museums in the world, and for good reason. Located in Florence, Italy, the Uffizi houses an incredible collection of art, with works by Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and other masters on display.
The museum itself is a work of art, with stunning architecture and beautiful views of the Arno River. Even if you’re not a huge fan of art, the Uffizi is worth a visit for the sheer experience of being in such an iconic place.
7- Visit the Basilica di San Lorenzo
The Basilica di San Lorenzo is one of the largest churches in Florence, Italy. It is located in the historic center of the city, close to the Florence Cathedral.
The basilica was begun in 393 AD and completed in time for the funeral of Saint Lawrence in 459 AD. The church was originally built in the Byzantine style, but it was later redesigned in the Gothic style.
The exterior of the church is made of brick and stone, and it is decorated with numerous sculptures and reliefs. The interior of the church is extremely spacious, with a nave that is over 60 meters long.
The Basilica di San Lorenzo is home to many famous works of art, including Michelangelo’s Medici Chapel and Leonardo da Vinci’s unfinished painting of The Adoration of the Magi.
8- Soak up the Charming Vibe in Piazza della Signoria
Piazza della Signoria is one of the most iconic squares in Florence, Italy. It is situated in front of the Palazzo Vecchio and is home to a number of important statues, including Michelangelo’s David.
The piazza has a long history dating back to ancient Rome, and it has been the site of many important events over the centuries. Today, it is a popular gathering place for locals and tourists alike, and it is one of the best places to people-watch in the city.
Whether you’re admiring the beautiful architecture or simply soaking up the atmosphere, Piazza della Signoria is definitely worth a visit.
9- Explore the Rich History of Palazzo Pitti
The Palazzo Pitti is one of the largest palaces in Florence, and was once the home of the ruling Medici family.
The palace is built in the Renaissance style, and features a grand entrance hall, sumptuous state apartments, and an extensive art collection. Today, the Palazzo Pitti is a popular tourist destination, and visitors can explore the state apartments, art galleries, and grounds of the palace.
The Palazzo Pitti is also home to the Pitti Boutique, which sells a range of luxury goods from clothing to jewelry. With its opulent interiors and rich history, the Palazzo Pitti is a must-see for anyone visiting Florence.
10- Get Magnificent Views of Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo
Piazzale Michelangelo is one of the most famous sites in Florence, Italy. The square was designed by architect Giuseppe Poggi in 1869 and is situated on a hill in Oltrarno, offering stunning views of the city below.
Visitors to the square can enjoy views of the Duomo, Palazzo Vecchio, and Ponte Vecchio, as well as the surrounding Tuscan hills. On a clear day, it is even possible to see all the way to the sea. The square is also home to a replica of Michelangelo’s David sculpture, which was originally located in front of Palazzo della Signoria.
The original statue now resides in the Accademia Gallery, but the replica provides visitors with a chance to see one of Michelangelo’s most famous works up close. Piazzale Michelangelo is a must-visit for anyone travelling to Florence.
11- Stroll Around the Piazza del Duomo
Piazza del Duomo is one of the most iconic squares in Florence, Italy. It is home to the city’s magnificent cathedral, as well as a number of other important buildings.
The square is a popular gathering place for both locals and tourists, and it is often bustling with activity. The cathedral, which is dedicated to Santa Maria del Fiore, is the centerpiece of the square. It is one of the largest churches in the world, and its imposing facade is a sight to behold.
Visitors can also explore the Baptistery of St. John, which was built in the early 11th century, and the Campanile, a medieval bell tower that offers sweeping views of the city. With its historic importance and beautiful architecture, Piazza del Duomo is a must-see for anyone visiting Florence.
12- Walk Through the Corridoio Vasariano
Florence is known for its art, culture, and cuisine, but it’s also home to one of the most unique sights in all of Italy: the Corridoio Vasariano. This corridor, built in the 16th century, runs for almost a kilometer between the Palazzo Vecchio and the Palazzo Pitti.
What makes it so special is that it’s lined with hundreds of paintings by some of the most famous artists of the Renaissance, including Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael. Visitors can stroll through the corridor and admire the artwork at their leisure.
And if you want to get a closer look, there are also a few museums along the way that offer more detailed information about the paintings on display. Whether you’re an art lover or just looking for something different to see in Florence, the Corridoio Vasariano is definitely worth a visit.
13- Check out the Forte di Belvedere
The Forte di Belvedere is a fortification located in Florence, Italy. The structure was designed by architect Bernardo Buontalenti and constructed between 1590 and 1595.
It housed the Medici family during their rule of Florence and served as a stronghold during times of war. Today, the Forte di Belvedere is open to the public as a museum and art gallery.
Visitors can enjoy views of the city from the fort’s ramparts, or take a stroll through the manicured gardens. The Forte di Belvedere is a must-see for anyone visiting Florence.
14- Gawk at the Gorgeous Statue of David
The Statue of David is one of the most iconic pieces of art in the world. Originally sculpted by Michelangelo between 1501 and 1504, the life-size statue depicts the Biblical hero David in a moment of triumph, standing over the defeated Goliath.
The statue quickly became a symbol of Florentine power and pride, and it remains one of the most popular tourist attractions in Florence today. Although replicas of the statue can be found in cities all over the world, there is nothing quite like seeing Michelangelo’s masterpiece in person.
For art lovers and history buffs alike, a visit to the Statue of David is a must-do while in Florence.
15- Marvel at beautiful art in Bargello Museum
The Bargello Museum is one of the most overlooked museums in Florence. Tucked away in a side street near the Palazzo Vecchio, it’s easy to miss if you’re not looking for it. But those who make the effort to find it are rewarded with a delightful collection of Renaissance art, housed in a former palace that was once the home of the city’s chief magistrate.
The museum’s Highlights include works by Donatello, Michelangelo, and Bernardo Rossellino. But my personal favorite is the room devoted to Pietro Lorenzetti’s frescoes from the early 14th century.
These beautiful paintings depict scenes from the life of Saint Louis of Toulouse, and they are simply stunning. If you’re planning a trip to Florence, be sure to add the Bargello Museum to your itinerary. You won’t be disappointed.
16- See the Lovely Church of San Miniato al Monte
San Miniato al Monte is one of the most beautiful churches in Florence. It’s located on a hilltop in the southern part of the city, offering stunning views of Florence and the Tuscan countryside.
The church was built in the 11th century and is a prime example of Romanesque architecture. The interior is equally impressive, with lavish decoration and a magnificent fresco by Giotto.
Visitors can also climb to the top of the bell tower for an even better view of Florence. Whether you’re a history buff or just looking for a breathtaking setting, San Miniato al Monte is definitely worth a visit.
17- See More Art at Galleria dell’Accademia
The Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence is home to some of the world’s most famous works of art, including Michelangelo’s statue of David.
The museum was founded in 1784 and originally housed the collection of the Accademia di Belle Arti, an academy of fine arts. In 1873, the collection was moved to the Uffizi Gallery, and the Accadema was closed.
The gallery reopened in 1986 after a major renovation, and today it features a wide range of artwork from the 13th to the 16th centuries. In addition to Michelangelo’s David, visitors can see paintings by Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, and Giotto, as well as a number of sculptures and other works.
The Galleria dell’Accademia is one of Florence’s most popular tourist attractions and is sure to impress any art lover.
18- Discover the Lovely Giardino Bardini Gardens
Giardino Bardini is one of the hidden gems of Florence. Nestled atop a hill in the Oltrarno district, the gardens offer breathtaking views of the city below.
The gardens were created in the late 19th century by horticulturist Stefano Bardini, and today they are home to a wide variety of plant life, including camellias, cypresses, and magnolias.
Visitors can also see sculptures by artists such as Donatello and Michelangelo, as well as a beautiful terraced garden. Bardini Gardens is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of Florence and enjoy some time in nature.
19- Rub Il Porcellino’s Nose
Il Porcellino is a bronze statue of a wild boar that resides in the Mercato Nuovo in Florence, Italy. Visitors to the market rub the statue’s snout for good luck, and it is said that if you manage to make the statue’s nose shiny, your wish will come true.
The statue is based on a pagan character known as “the Green Man,” who was believed to have powers over nature. In addition to being a popular tourist attraction, Il Porcellino has also become a symbol of Florentine culture and pride.
Every year, the city holds a festival in honor of the statue, and locals often leave flowers and other offerings at its feet. For many, Il Porcellino is not just a statue – he is a part of their city’s history and identity.
20- Visit the Brancacci Chapel
The Brancacci Chapel is a must-see for any art lover visiting Florence. The chapel, located in the church of Santa Maria del Carmine, is home to a stunning cycle of frescoes by the early Italian Renaissance artist Masaccio.
The paintings tell the story of the life of Saint Peter, from his call to discipleship to his martyrdom. They are notable not only for their beauty, but also for their realism and use of perspective.
The Brancacci Chapel is a remarkable example of early Renaissance art, and an essential stop on any trip to Florence.
21- Giardino delle Rose
Nestled in the heart of Florence, the Giardino delle Rose is a tranquil oasis. With over three thousand roses of a hundred different varieties, the garden is a riot of color and fragrance.
The garden’s central fountain adds to the air of tranquility, and the surrounding benches provide a perfect spot for enjoying the peaceful atmosphere.
The Giardino delle Rose is a popular destination for both tourists and locals alike, and it is easy to see why. Whether you are looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city or simply want to enjoy a few moments of peace and beauty, the Giardino delle Rose is sure to please.
22- Try Delicious Food at Mercato Centrale
Mercato Centrale is one of the most popular attractions in Florence. Located in the heart of the city, it is home to a wide variety of shops and restaurants.
Visitors can find everything from fresh produce to handmade clothing, and the prices are very reasonable. The market is open every day except Sunday, and it is worth taking a few hours to explore all that it has to offer.
In addition to the many stalls, there are also a number of cafes and bars, making it the perfect place to take a break from sightseeing. Mercato Centrale is a must-see for anyone visiting Florence, and it is sure to leave a lasting impression.
23- Check out the Baptistry Doors of Florence,
The Baptistry Doors of Florence, also known as the Gates of Paradise, are a pair of bronze doors located in the Florence Baptistery.
They were commissioned by the Guild of Wool Merchants and designed by Andrea Pisano. The doors depict scenes from the life of Christ and other biblical figures.
The doors were completed in 1336 and have been widely praised for their beauty and craftsmanship. Today, they are one of the most popular tourist attractions in Florence.