When speaking of Tuscany the same question arises: what are the things to see in Florence? The answer is with toscanainside.com! Florence is the capital of the region, the city symbol of the Renaissance and which has the largest number of art works, important monuments and Tuscan places. Visiting Florence is the ideal destination of many trips, holidays or a just a simple weekend in Florence. But what are the most important places and things to see in Florence, Italy? Follow our guidelines to learn about its beauty and special places!
A visit to Florence, Italy will be a unique opportunity to learn about the history of art and to finally see incredible works of art in Florence famous throughout the world. Whether you are Italian or foreign, anyone will tell you that Florence must be seen, at least once in your life! There are many things to see in Florence and the selection on toscanainside.com that we have done for you will be a valuable aid to include in your program of things to do and see in Florence.
HISTORY. Florence is the homeland of famous people and was called by the Etruscans' Florentia'- indicating its flourishing appearance. In the Middle Ages it became one of the first municipalities for size and economic power. You will realize, on reading and choosing what to visit in Florence Italy, that the most famous thinkers, artists and philosophers of the most exciting period of human history have lived here. Does the name of Leonardo da Vinci mean anything to you? His paintings and masterpieces such as the Mona Lisa, were created in Florence. And where do you think Michelangelo has studied? You already know the answer. We do not want to give you a history lesson, but how about another figure like Dante Alighieri? Florence was his city and, despite his exile, we think he would agree with us about its incredible beauty and prestigious history. This city was the true jewel of the Renaissance, and you... are you not curious to learn about the things to see and do in Florence?
At this point, we must tell you about what to visit in Florence in a day and teach you about the monuments of Florence to get in touch with its past and its immense artistic wealth.
WHAT TO SEE. At this point, all we have to do is tell you which are the main attractions of Florence in order to get you in touch with its past and its huge artistic heritage.
- First of all, the Duomo (or Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore), in green and white marble, impresses with its majesty and the bell tower, designed by none other than Giotto, stands on the profile of the city along with the Dome of the Brunelleschi. Wonders of this kind make you understand why this is enough to fall in love with Florence and its monuments. In this first group of architectural works we must mention the Baptistery of St. John, whose doors are full of images of the gospel (including that of Paradise). Dante shared the beauty of this place in his Inferno: " Non mi parean men ampi né maggiori/che que' che son nel mio bel San Giovanni,/fatti per loco de' battezzatori " ... just to give you an idea of the poetic level of places to see in Florence!
- After seeing these wonders, hasten your pace and arrive in Piazza Santa Croce, where you will find the eponymous Basilica which houses the tombs of Michelangelo, Machiavelli, Galileo, Foscolo ... all surrounded by the frescoes of Giotto and Cimabue’s Crucifix. Beautiful place, right? Well, let’s continue to discover this astonishing city of art.
- For the next stage, we suggest that you prepare your camera and enjoy the show. Rain, clouds, sun, Ponte Vecchio really takes you back to the time of Dante! To visit Florence also means to browse through the goldsmiths and high quality craftsmanship shops. Note that the Vasari Corridor runs over them connecting Palazzo Vecchio with the Uffizi to reach Palazzo Pitti, about a kilometre! If you focus far away from the bridge you will have a full view and wonderful photos as a memento of your holiday or weekend in Florence.
- Speaking of the corridor, we have mentioned Palazzo Vecchio. This building dates back to the 14th century and is one of the main reasons to visit Florence. The Arnolfo tower, which you can also walk up, can be recognized for the clock on its facade and the flag flying from the top with the city's symbol, the lily, overlooking the splendid Piazza della Signoria. If you want to feel like a Florentine, we suggest you stop for a moment: this place is perfect for enjoying an early morning coffee and to visit the streets, including Via Calzaiuoli, of course! You'll notice comings and goings in this area because Palazzo Vecchio is the municipal seat: if you are lucky you might even see a newlywed couple coming down the steps or maybe your partner will want to organize the wedding in the fantastic Tuscan city.
- Florence is a city of art and, therefore, it is impossible not to mention the Uffizi Gallery. There is no need to be art lovers to enjoy these masterpieces, just a look makes one feel in harmony with these wonderful works of art. A visit to this gallery is, even for those who live in Florence, not be missed for anything in the world! Think back to your school books, as the paintings are more familiar than you think and you'll be happy to find them in front of you. Take some time and do not check your watch, this moment is a gift for your soul. By this stage you will be truly satisfied with your visit to Florence and to enjoy the experience even more, a visit to the Uffizi Gallery with a guide is highly recommended: as the explanations will be useful to understand the many works on display better, and the historical era in which they were created. This will also make it easier for you to find your way among the works of Giotto, Cimabue and the masterpieces by Botticelli, (you will be fixated by the Spring, we're sure!) Leonardo and Caravaggio, are just some of the important names! Oh, one last thing on the Uffizi Gallery: remember that it is closed on Monday!
- As for the art and monuments, things to do and see in Florence, Italy do not end here. Are you curious? Do you like Michelangelo? Is it possible to say no? Then you cannot miss a visit to the Accademia Gallery. Discover the museum that houses most of his works including the famous statue of David in Florence, Italy: in front of you is the original of the copy that is located in Piazza della Signoria. Voilà! In all its glory there it is David, the hero who defeated the formidable Goliath!
- We conclude the tour for art lovers (and others) by adding another of the essential places to visit in Florence, Italy: the Palatine Gallery of Pitti Palace. The works housed in this museum are divided into several rooms inside a building dating back to the 15th century of enormous architectural value. The gallery has paintings from the Renaissance and Baroque periods, among which some of the biggest names in the history of art: you'll find yourself in the company of Raffaello, Titian, Rubens, Van Dyck. That is an interesting afternoon activity, don’t you agree?
- And there's still more, rest assured, as the atmosphere changes and you're lucky enough to find yourself in the Pitti Palace because this noble building overlooks one of the best places to visit in Florence: the Boboli Gardens, also of noble origins, is a historic park and a sort of open-air museum. The Medici family loved to spend the spring in what today is called one of the perfect examples of an Italian garden. It is a very big place where you can relax and happily get lost among the statues, fountains, gardens, islands, caves and much more. You will certainly be left with a beautiful memory and have space to entertain your children! We remind you that the gardens are a quiet place, in fact, you will often see many students reading, while locals respect the place for its high artistic and historical value.
- Other things to see in Florence in 1 day includes the old town with its stationery shops of Florentine printing paper, libraries and other shops; and if you love antiques you may find some bargains at the market in Piazza dei Ciompi not far from the Cathedral (enquire when it is on!).
Last but not least: the Central Market of St Lorenzo! Get ready to experience a tasty lunch break with infinite possibilities! This recently refurbished property is covered and is home to stalls of food for all tastes and different palates. Florentine steak (rare for true connoisseurs!), Garlic bread (strictly Tuscan doc oil), tripe, lamprey, pappa al pomodoro, ham, black cabbage soup... and for those looking for an alternative meal such as vegetarian and much more. We also advise you to try a slice of schiacciata alla fiorentina (homemade sweet served with whipped cream). As for the culinary delights you will be spoiled for choice; you may however, want to learn how to cook these delicious specialities so you could even join a Tuscan cooking class! Imagine your friends reactions when you prepare a dinner of Tuscan recipes and Chianti wine? Open your taste buds, have fun and enjoy a relaxing holiday in Florence!
SURROUNDING AREAS. If you do not have the problem to visit Florence, Italy in a day, you can take the opportunity to move to visit its surrounding area and nearby towns. If you have, in fact, a weekend in Florence, Italy you could for example, weather permitting, enjoy a beautiful day trip to Pisa and Lucca from Florence. After that, if you have some time left, we suggest you to visit the section dedicated to the tours in Tuscany in our portal: here you will find several day trips from Florence, not only to Pisa and Lucca or to the Chianti wine area, but also in other important Italian cities. In fact, toscanainside.com organizes high-speed trains tour like the day trip from Florence to Rome or the one from Florence to Venice.
At this point, after having advised about the best things to see in Florence, it is now up to you to decide your holiday and how to live it and enjoy it the way you like. Fans of the Divine Comedy can find around the city plaques containing verses of the poet, see if you are able to find them all? And fans of art or architecture? Finally you will see the works of art you have studied so hard for your exams!
Florence by night will offer entertainment including restaurants, bars, ice cream parlours and squares that at sunset, during happy hour, are filled with students and young people.
The city of art, Florence, during the Renaissance period was at its greatest and no doubt you will be fascinated and impressed by the world-renowned works that it houses!
Need help choosing
Taxis & Transfers in Florence and Tuscany
Location: Florence and Tuscany
- Starting from
- € 38.00
Florence City Sightseeing 24, 48 or 72 hours
Duration: 24, 48 or 72 hours
- starting from
- € 23.00
Tours & Activities
Guided visit to the Accademia Gallery in Florence
Duration: approx. 1 hour and 15 minutes
- Per person
- € 40.00
Tours & Activities
Food and wine walking tour of Florence at sunset
Duration: approx. 2 hours
- Per person
- € 51.00
Tours & Activities
Fresh pasta making course in Florence
Duration: approx. 3 hours
Tours & Activities
Florence walking tour and guided visit to the Uffizi Gallery
Duration: approx. 3 hours and 45 minutes
- Per person
- € 54.00
Tours & Activities
Day trip to the Cinque Terre from Florence with lunch
Duration: approx. 13 hours
Location: Cinque Terre - La Spezia
- Per person
- € 115.00