Country: Italy Language: Italian Currency: Euro (€)
Florence is an unforgettable city with a long and fascinating history. As the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, it is brimming with inspirational art, architecture, and world famous museums. Enjoy walking in the footsteps of the Medici family who were so influential during the period of the Renaissance. The city can easily be explored on foot and can be walked multiple times in a day. However, to do it justice, you need to allocate time to explore inside its treasured buildings. Florence is also the home of delicious Tuscan cuisine. Treat yourself to some of the finest fresh gelato in the world and eat mouthwatering Florentine paninis made with fresh, crispy bread, stuffed with Tuscan salami, cheese, or vegetables. Florence might be smaller than many other Italian cities, but it is a city of sensory overload.
CTW Must See
Piazza del Duomo
Florence’s main square is something out of a storybook. The magnificent Florence Duomo, Giotto’s Campanile, and Florence Baptistery with its famous gilded doors sit in the heart of the city’s historical center. Florence Cathedral, engineered by Brunelleschi and completed in 1436, is not only the 4th largest church in Europe, it is the largest building of medieval Europe. Entry to the cathedral is free however, a ticket is required for entry to the Baptistery, the bell tower and the roof of the cathedral. You can climb 463 steps to the top of the Florence Cathedral dome to experience a majestic view of Florence and a close-up of Giorgio Vasari's fresco paintings on the dome’s interior.
Piazza della Signoria
Piazza della Signoria, another popular square in Florence, is full of impressive and historic buildings. Palazzo Vecchio, the town hall, is the centerpiece of the square, dominated by its tall bell tower. In front of the town hall sits the Fountain of Neptune, and a replica of Michelangelo’s David. Along the side of the square, Loggia dei Lanzi features many sculptures in an open-air gallery.
The Uffizi Gallery sits just beside Piazza della Signoria. It is one of the most important museums in Italy and hosts works of art by Botticelli, Giotto, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Raffaello. The gallery holds some of the most renowned works from the Italian Renaissance and earlier. Originally built in 1560, it was used as an administrative building, but slowly transformed into the gallery we know today.
Pitti Palace is the main feature of this square, and is important to Italian history. The palace was built around 1460 and was purchased by the Medici family in 1549. Today, the palazzo is the largest museum complex in Florence, and one of the most important.
‘Ponte Vecchio’ translates to ‘Old Bridge’. It is a medieval bridge that crosses the Arno River. They say the bridge was originally built in 996, but was destroyed a few times over the years due to floods and other disasters. The bridge has always featured a large number of shops and merchants atop it selling goods, as it does today.
The view of Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo, high above the city, is incredible. The walk from the city center is well sign posted, so you will likely not get lost. However, there are a lot of steps to get to the top. If you are fit, the walk is simple. But if you are looking to save time and energy, you can catch a local bus from the train station. A single-ride ticket costs around €1.20, and tickets must be purchased in advance from a tabaccheria. At sunset, the viewpoint will likely be filled with people drinking wine and relaxing, but don’t worry, there is plenty of room up there to sit down and enjoy the sunset over Florence.
This gallery features Michelangelo’s famous Statue of David, and many other works of art. The galleria is open Tuesday-Sunday 8:15am to 6:50pm. We recommend purchasing your tickets online at the official website www.accademia.org/buy-tickets/ to avoid wait times!
Basilica di San Lorenzo - the Medici Chapels
The basilica is one of the oldest churches in Florence and also the burial place of the Medici family. The church was completed in 1470 and features some classic Italian Renaissance architecture. The impressive Renaissance style cathedral is located just beside the San Lorenzo Market, where you can discover some delicious local cuisine.
More Italian Adventures...
Italy is an enchanting country with a lot to explore! Check out our city guides for some of the most popular Italian cities...