If you’re a fine arts enthusiast, then the following places most probably will ring a bell: the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., Le Louvre in Paris, The Prado in Madrid, the State Hermitage Museum in Russia’s St. Petersburg. But when it comes to entire cities which are living, breathing, centuries-old works of art, Italy’s Florence is a must visit.
Those who are interested in art should definitely put down Florence on their travel wish list, and in this piece, you can find out which other things are simply unmissable when it goes down to touring Florence. There’s no denying it, there are tons of places to see in Florence! For starters, this city is the beating heart of the world-famous Italian Tuscany region, noted for its delicious high-quality wines, charming historical villages, tiny towns (including Pisa and its Leaning Tower), as well as extensive vineyards. Judging by that alone, among the top things to do in Florence, apart from sightseeing, is joining wine tours in the city’s wineries (or reserving a day for going to authentic cellars that are outside of town) to learn more about the local traditions and, of course, to have perhaps the best wine you’ll ever taste in your life, sided with yummy Italian cheese and snacks. Sounds great, huh?
Well, the city of Florence has more to offer than just gastronomic treats, it has much to please your eyes too. Let’s take a closer look. The Uffizi Gallery First and foremostly, the legendary Uffizi Gallery is a place which cannot be left unmentioned. Set in a historical building dating back to the 1560s, the gallery is home to such mesmerizing works of art as Leonardo da Vinci’s “Annunciation”, Sandro Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus”, Michelangelo’s “Doni Tondo”, among others. Note that on Mondays the Uffizi is closed.
Tip: in order to safeguard yourself from the tickets being completely sold out and to avoid long queues to the ticket office when buying directly on the spot, it is wise to purchase your entrance tickets to the gallery in advance to your trip on the official Uffizi Gallery website. This may cost you several extra euros but you’ll surely save a bunch of your vacation time and won’t have to worry as the tickets will be sent to you practically right away. Florence Cathedral Dominating the city’s skyline, the Duomo is another place to put on your Florence tour plan. The designer of the final look of the building was Brunelleschi himself and the well-preserved landmark is over 700 years old! Also referred to as the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, it boasts a jaw-dropping facade, an enormous dome made of over four million bricks, and a charming bell tower. The Piazza, square by the cathedral, is a great place for an evening stroll as well.
Florence Baptistery Named in honor of Saint John, the Battistero di San Giovanni is one more interesting Florence landmark to be visited. It is believed that this basilica was erected on the very place where once was a Roman temple and is the oldest-dating religious monument in the entire city today.
Not only does it have lush interiors, but the facades are also appealing, plus the Baptistry has a unique shape. Ponto Vecchio & Palazzos As for other charming Florence attractions, make sure to check out the medieval bridge made of stone which crosses the River Arno.
This ancient bridge is a well-recognized Florence sight which was made during the Roman times and has withstood in its practically untouched form until today. The Palazzo Vecchio, which is actually used as a town hall, can be visited too for another touch of history. Not many people know this but if you get a ticket to tour this palace from inside, you may actually go up to the top of the building to get great town vistas. Nearby you can also find the Palazzo Pitti which is a fine example of authentic Florence Renaissance architecture. Accademia Gallery Another Florence museum not to be missed is the iconic Galleria dell'Accademia di Firenze.
In this art museum, you can see the precious statues “David” and “Prisoners” by Michelangelo as well as the beautiful "Madonna of the Sea" by Botticelli. The Accademia has several thousand exhibits in its remarkable collection, so if you’re not an expert in art yourself, it makes sense to tour the halls with a guide. Again, just as in the case with the Uffizi Gallery, a great lifehack for going to this museum is planning your visit and getting your ticket beforehand. If you’re still wondering what to do in Florence, we recommend spending your time tasting local delicious cuisine with all your might! Trust us, Italian food and Tuscany’s regional specialties won’t disappoint you.
In case you’re not too good at planning itineraries on your own but surely want to have things done right, there are many affordable tailor-made Italy travel packages which are entirely thought through for you, keeping in mind all your wants and likes.
And what’s for other ways to diversify your journey’s overall experience, consider setting off on one of the many available day trips from Florence. The number of options will surprise you from wine tours to 1-day getaways, say, to Pisa and Lucca, to trips to Cinque Terre towns, you name it.