Florence, the city of art and culture, is a dream destination for many travelers. It’s home to some of the world’s most magnificent works of art and architecture, as well as an incredible food scene and vibrant nightlife. It’s no secret why so many people flock to Florence each year. Whether you’re visiting for a weekend or a week, there is plenty to see and do in this incredible city. From museums and galleries to parks and churches, here are the top 10 things you must not miss when you visit Florence!
The Duomo, or Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, is Florence’s most iconic building. Construction on the massive Gothic structure began in 1296 and was completed over a century later in 1436. The exterior of the church is covered in pink, green, and white marble, while the interior is decorated with frescoes by some of the most famous artists of the Renaissance period.
Although many sculptures from the Duomo are now housed in the Museum of the “Opera del Duomo,” some remain in place, including the lunettes by Luca Della Robbia above the doors of the Sacristy, the bronze door of the Mass Sacristy, and the great Pietà by Michelangelo.
Do not overlook the magnificent stained glass windows, which were created primarily between 1434 and 1445 based on the designs of artists like Donatello, Andrea del Castagno, and Paolo Uccello. The wooden inlays on the Sacristy’s cupboards are particularly impressive, as they were crafted in accordance with the designs of Brunelleschi, Antonio Del Pollaiolo, and others.
Visitors to the Duomo can explore the church at their own pace or take a guided tour. For those interested in learning more about the history and architecture of the cathedral, there are also a number of informative exhibits located within its walls. Additionally, visitors can climb to the top of Brunelleschi’s Dome for stunning views of Florence and the surrounding Tuscan countryside.
The Baptistery of Florence, or the Baptistery of Saint John, is a religious building in Florence, Italy. It is one of the oldest buildings in the city, having been constructed between 1059 and 1128. The baptistery is a notable example of Florentine Romanesque architecture.
The exterior of the octagonal building is faced with white and green marble in alternating stripes, with a portico of three arches supported by columns. The interior is equally ornate, with mosaics on the walls and ceiling depicting scenes from the life of Saint John the Baptist.
The Baptistery is also home to the original bronze door by Ghiberti known as the “Gates of Paradise”. These famous doors were commissioned in 1401 and took Ghiberti 21 years to complete. They are considered to be masterpieces of Renaissance art.
The Uffizi Gallery
The Uffizi Gallery is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Florence, and for good reason. The gallery houses an impressive collection of Renaissance art, including paintings by Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, and Michelangelo. Visitors can also see a number of ancient Roman sculptures and Greek artifacts.
If you’re interested in art history, the Uffizi Gallery is a must-see. Even if you’re not particularly interested in art, the gallery is worth a visit for its stunning architecture and beautiful setting overlooking the Arno River.
The Uffizi is open seven days a week, with late opening hours in the evening during the summer months. Admission tickets can be purchased from the ticket office at the gallery or online in advance.
The Accademia Gallery
The Accademia Gallery is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Florence. It is home to some of the world’s most famous paintings, including Michelangelo’s David. The gallery is located in a former convent and includes a series of artworks from the 13th to 16th centuries. Visitors can also see a number of Renaissance sculptures, as well as an extensive collection of ancient coins.
The Accademia Gallery was founded in 1784 by Pietro Leopoldo, Grand Duke of Tuscany. Since its opening, the museum has become one of the most visited attractions in Florence and is renowned for its art collection. Admission to the Accademia Gallery is free, although there may be special tickets to access certain sections of the gallery.
The Boboli Gardens
The Boboli Gardens are one of the most popular tourist attractions in Florence. Located behind the Pitti Palace, the gardens offer visitors a chance to see some of the most beautiful scenery in the city. The gardens are divided into several sections, each with its own unique features. The Boboli Garden is a great place to spend a day exploring all that Florence has to offer.
The Boboli Gardens were first created in the 16th century by Cosimo I de Medici. The gardens feature a mix of classical and Renaissance design elements, including sculptures, fountains, and even an amphitheater. Visitors can enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the garden while viewing its various features. In addition, the Boboli Gardens offer guided tours that provide more information about the area’s history and art.
The Boboli Gardens are open to visitors year-round and are a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. Whether you’re looking for a place to relax or explore some of Florence’s most beautiful sights, the Boboli Gardens should be your first stop.
The Palazzo Pitti
The Palazzo Pitti was the home of the Medici family in the 16th century and is now a museum. It is located in the Oltrarno district of Florence and is one of the largest palaces in the city. The Palazzo has a long history and was originally built for another family before being bought by the Medicis. It underwent a number of refurbishments over the years, most notably by Lorenzo de Medici in the 15th century.
The Palazzo Pitti is now home to several museums, including the Palatine Gallery, which houses paintings by Raphael, Titian, and other Italian masters; the Royal Apartments, which are furnished with 16th-century furniture and tapestries; and the Silver Museum, which contains a collection of silverware from the Medici family. Visitors can also explore the Boboli Gardens, which are located behind the palace.
The Palazzo Vecchio
The Palazzo Vecchio is one of the most iconic buildings in Florence. It is a massive fortress-like palace that was originally built in the 13th century. It has been the seat of government in Florence for centuries, and it is now a museum. The Palazzo Vecchio is open to the public and it is definitely worth a visit. You can learn all about the history of Florence and see some amazing art inside the palace.
The Palazzo Vecchio is also home to a number of important works by Michelangelo and Donatello. The palace features frescoes, sculptures, and other artworks that date back to the Renaissance period. It is definitely a must-see when you visit Florence!
Also, the Palazzo Vecchio is located in the heart of Florence and provides a great view of the city. You can see all the major attractions from its tower and take in the beauty of Florence.
The Ponte Vecchio
The Ponte Vecchio is one of the most iconic landmarks in Florence, and for good reason! This beautiful bridge spans the Arno River and is lined with picturesque shops. It’s a popular spot for tourists to take photos, but it’s also worth taking the time to simply admire the view.
The bridge is believed to have been built in the 14th century, and it has seen many renovations over the years. In 1593, Ferdinand I had all of the butchers on the bridge removed and replaced with jewelers and goldsmiths. This tradition remains today, as this area of Florence is known for its luxury jewelry stores.
The Ponte Vecchio is a great place to take a stroll during your trip to Florence, or even just visit for a few minutes. It’s sure to make an impression!
If you’re interested in learning more about the history of the Ponte Vecchio, there are several guided tours available. You can also visit one of the many museums in Florence that feature exhibits on the bridge and its construction.
Santa Croce Basilica
Santa Croce is the principal Franciscan church in Florence, Italy, and a minor basilica of the Roman Catholic Church. It is situated on the Piazza di Santa Croce, about 800 meters southeast of the Duomo. The site, adjacent to the church of Santa Croce, was donated in 1221 by one Folco Portinari. The design was conceived by Arnolfo di Cambio and approved by Pope Honorius III in 1226. Di Cambio was also the architect of the church of Santa Maria Novella nearby.
The first stone of construction was laid by Cardinal Francis of Assisi, a nephew of St Francis himself. The new church was consecrated in 1269 when Cardinal Giovanni di Ottone paid for part of the work to be completed; however, it was not until 1442 that it assumed its present-day form when Brunelleschi completed a major expansion scheme that almost doubled its size.
The Bargello Museum
The Bargello Museum is one of the most visited museums in Florence. It houses a large collection of Italian Renaissance art, including sculptures by Michelangelo, Donatello, and Ghiberti. The museum also has a beautiful garden with fountains and sculptures.
The building that houses the museum was originally a fortress built in 1255, but it was later converted into a government palace in 1560. Its large collection of sculptures and paintings was added over the centuries. Many of these works are masterpieces by some of the most famous Italian Renaissance artists.
The Bargello Museum is open to visitors every day except Monday. Admission tickets cost €8 (for adults) and €6 (for children). There are also special discounts for groups and senior citizens. Guided tours in English, French, Spanish, German, and Italian are available for an additional fee.
If you’re interested in Italian Renaissance art, the Bargello Museum is a must-see. Even if you’re not particularly interested in art, the museum is still worth a visit for its sheer beauty and its fascinating history.
Florence, Italy is full of exciting attractions and activities that you won’t want to miss out on. From admiring the art and architecture of this historic city to indulging in delicious Italian cuisine, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. We hope our list of the top 10 things to see and do in Florence has inspired you to plan a trip soon so that you can experience the beauty and culture this Italian city has to offer!