Top Things to do in Florence | UItimate Guide

If you are thinking about exploring Florence then in this post we will be talking about Top Things to do in Florence then in this post I will be talking about the same.

It is funny that last year when I visited to Florence I touched the nose of Porcellino Fountain which has a story in Florence that if you touch the nose of this Pig then you will come back to Florence once again sometime in future. And I think I now have to trust on this because this year I am again going to Florence.

Florence is an Italian city that is the capital of the Tuscany region. It is famous for its history and its significance in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, especially for its art and architecture. A center of medieval European trade and finance and one of the wealthiest cities of that era, Florence is considered the birthplace of the Renaissance; it has been called “the Athens of the Middle Ages”.

A turbulent political history includes periods of rule by the powerful Medici family, and numerous religious and republican revolutions. From 1865 to 1871 the city was also the capital of the Kingdom of Italy.

The historic centre of Florence attracts millions of tourists each year, and Euromonitor International ranked the city as the world’s 89th most visited in 2012, with 1,685,000 visitors.

It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982. The city is noted for its culture, Renaissance art and architecture and monuments. The city also contains numerous museums and art galleries, such as the Uffizi Gallery and the Palazzo Pitti, and still exerts an influence in the fields of art, culture and politics. Due to Florence’s artistic and architectural heritage, it has been ranked by Forbes as one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

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Top things to do in Florence

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Piazza del Duomo

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If you love to explore new places, the Piazza del Duomo is an ideal place for you. This is one of the most beautiful and attractive places in Italy, which attracts visitors and tourists from around the world. This place is home to some of the famous attractions that are admired by visitors throughout the year.

If you have a small budget, you should explore this beautiful tourist spot in Milan. The Piazza del Duomo is situated in the heart of Milan City, which has countless attractions to explore. All these attractions are worth spending your time and money.

On the other hand, this place is an ideal destination for every type of traveler. If you want to enjoy shopping or dining in local restaurants, you can visit this place anytime. Everything is available here at reasonable rates.

It’s really difficult to describe all the beautiful attractions in words. You will surely get amazed after visiting this place because it’s more beautiful than your imagination.

If you have whatever amount of time available at your disposal, you should go there once in your lifetime and absolutely it is one of the top things to do in Florence.

You can also go inside Brunelleschi’s Dome by taking the entry ticket for the same or check out the complete Florence Duomo Ticket here.

Quick Tip: If you want a quick Printable Map of Top Things to do in Florence then I’ve got you covered for free.

Giotto’s Campanile

Giotto’s Campanile is a free-standing bell tower in front of the Basilica of St. Mary of the Flower (the Duomo) in Florence. The tower was designed by Italian artist Giotto di Bondone, and construction began on 7 August 1334. It was completed in 1359, exactly 100 years after the construction of the Duomo began.

In this part of Florence, there are other towers: Giotto’s Campanile, Arnolfo Tower, Bargello Tower and the tower of Spedale degli Innocenti.

Giotto’s Campanile is a popular location for tourists to go to in Florence. It offers a great view over the city and it is very beautiful with all its decorations. When you go up to the top you can make some beautiful pictures of the city and you can see a lot of things like Palazzo Vecchio, Ponte Vecchio etc..

Palazzo Vecchio

If you’re looking for a place to explore in Tuscany and relax, Palazzo Vecchio is the place to be. The palace was built in 1299, and has had many uses over the years, from a fortress to a prison. It is one of the oldest public buildings in Florence.

The palace has many things to see, like the Hall of the Five Hundred and the Studiolo of Francesco I. There are also two museums here, which were established by Leopold II. This is one of the most fun places to visit in Tuscany because there is so much history here and it makes sense to inlcude this in the Top Things to do in Florence.

If you are planning to visit this place then don’t forger to get the tickets online because usually the ticket get out of stock in Europe.

Ponte Vecchio

Top Things to do in Florence
Top Things to do in Florence – Source

I’ve never been to Florence before, but it’s said to have the most beautiful historical sites in Italy. I was right! The most beautiful and historical place that I visited was Ponte Vecchio.

Ponte Vecchio is a medieval stone closed-spandrel segmental arch bridge over the Arno River, in Florence, Italy. It has an excellent view of the city. It’s very nice to walk on this bridge and see the river from above. It’s an amazing place for romantic couples.

This bridge is full of shops, and most of them are jewelry shops! In fact, it is Europe’s oldest continually operating flea market. One of the few bridges in Europe that was not entirely destroyed during World War II, it is the only bridge across the Arno that was not rebuilt after its destruction by retreating German forces in August 1944.

Basilica of Santa Croce

Top Things to do in Florence
Top Things to do in Florence

Basilica of Santa Croce is the most important Franciscan church in Italy, and a minor basilica of the Roman Catholic Church.

It is situated on the Piazza di Santa Croce, about 800 meters south-east of the Duomo. The site, when first chosen, was in marshland outside the city walls. It is the burial place of some of the most illustrious Italians, such as Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli, Fosco Lorenzini (writer of Pinocchio), Gentile and Rossetti.

The Basilica is the largest Franciscan church in the world. Its most notable features are its sixteen chapels, many of them decorated with frescoes by Giotto and his pupils.

The construction design was by Arnolfo di Cambio and approved by city council in 1294; work began on this new church in 1296 but was stalled for several years due to financial difficulties. It was only in 1442 that the construction was resumed under Felice Brunelleschi. The design had been previously approved by Brunelleschi and Giotto di Bondone; however it was only after Brunelleschi’s death that work restarted. By 1443 there were already daily masses

Baptistery of St. John

Baptistery of St. John is a religious and historical monument in Florence, Italy. It is located in the Piazza del Duomo and it is one of the top things to do in Florence and it is one of the Top Things to do in Florence.

The Baptistery of St. John is located next to the cathedral which was built between 1059 and 1128. The construction of the Baptistery began in 1059 and this building was built mainly for baptismal purposes. Normally, baptisms were held in rivers but when it started to become harder to make these ceremonies, the Baptistery of St. John was built. This rectangular-shaped building stands at 54 meters high with a width of 34 meters.

Throughout history, many artists have worked on this building and they added some wonderful decorations such as mosaics on the floor, inside walls, vaults, doors and exterior walls. These decorations are considered as one of the most important examples of medieval art that can be found in Florence.

There are three bronze doors on the Baptistery of St. John and these doors are decorated with Biblical stories that include scenes from Adam and Eve’s story, Moses’ life and Jesus’ life. The Gospel side door was designed by Lorenzo Ghiberti in 1401-24

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Uffizi Palace and Gallery

The Uffizi Palace and Gallery is one of the most famous art museums in the world. It is located in Florence, Italy on the Piazzale degli Uffizi and it can be one of the things to do in Florence.

The building is a former administrative office for the Medici family. The word uffizi means offices. The palace took from 1560 to 1581 to build. The palace was designed by Giorgio Vasari and Cosimo I de’ Medici.

The Uffizi Palace was built in a square shape, with two courtyards at its center, and a large open terrace on its third floor where a garden used to be located. The gallery itself lies on the second floor of the building.

In 1737, the Medicis decided to open up the building as an art museum for the people of Florence after the death of Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici, their last surviving heir. The Medicis had collected many masterworks by this time, including works by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Giotto di Bondone which are now displayed in the museum’s collection.

You can check out the Uffizi Gallery Tour and don’t forget the prebook the ticket for Uffizi Gallery if you want to visit that.

If you are planning to visit this place then don’t forget to get the tickets online because usually the tickets get out of stock in Europe.

Basilica di San Lorenzo

The Basilica di San Lorenzo is one of the largest churches of Florence and is situated at the centre of the city’s main market district. It was one of the first great basilicas in Florence and was consecrated in 393. The church has an asymmetrical plan, with its principal façade dominated by its large dome that rises from a short tetragonal base. The dome was designed by Filippo Brunelleschi.

The interior, conceived as a single unified space, was decorated by Donatello and Michelangelo, who both worked on the Medici Chapel. The bell tower, located on the eastern side of the building, is also by Brunelleschi.

Piazza della Signoria

Piazza della Signoria is the best place to feel the pulse of Florence. It is the heart of this beautiful city and has a rich history and architecture.

Piazza della Signoria is one of the most famous and important places in Florence, if not in all of Italy. The square has been used as a political space since Roman times, when it served as a marketplace where Florentines would come to trade agricultural goods.

In medieval times, the Piazza was called Piazza di Mercato Vecchio (Market Square) and was used as a meeting place for government officials, who made many important decisions here. Two important buildings from that time are still standing: Palazzo Vecchio (the palace of Florence’s government) and Loggia della Signoria (an open-air gallery). The first was built by Arnolfo di Cambio in 1299, while the second was erected by Simone del Pollaiolo in 1485.

The Florentine Republic was overthrown in 1532 by powerful Duke Cosimo I de Medici and his successors became descendants of one of the most powerful families in Europe during Renaissance times. Palazzo Vecchio became their residence and they also commissioned new monuments

Galleria dell’Accademia

The Galleria dell’Accademia is one of the most important museums in the world for a very simple reason: it houses Michelangelo’s David, unquestionably the most famous, most imitated and most beloved sculpture ever created. It’s a must-see for any visitor to Florence and is for sure one of the top things to do in Florence.

But the Accademia is much more than just David. It contains a remarkable collection of early Florentine painting, sculpture and musical instruments – really an essential museum for anyone with an interest in art and history.

The Galleria dell’Accademia was founded in 1784 by Pietro Leopoldo, Grand Duke of Tuscany, to house the large collection of paintings and sculptures (many of them taken from churches and convents during the suppression of the monasteries) that were being stored in various parts of Florence. The original core collection was made up of works by Florentine masters from 1300 to 1600 – Ghiberti, Donatello, Filippino Lippi and Botticelli are all represented here.

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Palazzo Pitti

In the sixteenth century, Palazzo Pitti was built as the home of Luca Pitti, an ambitious Florentine banker. However, when he died in the fifteenth century, it was still unfinished and his heirs sold it to the Medici family.

It was then used as a residence by successive ruling families of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany: The Medicis (1549–1737), Lorraine (with interruptions 1737–1859), and Savoys (1860–1946). Currently it houses several minor museums, including the Palatine Gallery and the Modern Art Gallery

The palace is situated on the south side of the River Arno. Although the palace is far from various monuments and museums that form the historical center, such as Piazza della Signoria and Palazzo Vecchio, it can be reached by foot from there through the Boboli Gardens.

There are many reasons why people visit Florence. The Renaissance art, museums, churches and palaces are some of these reasons. However, one thing that many visitors forget is that Florence has a wonderful countryside that offers so many places to discover.

Boboli Gardens

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Boboli Gardens is a famous garden in Florence. It is very good for exploring.

The Boboli Gardens is a park in Florence, Italy, that is home to a collection of sculptures dating from the 16th through the 18th centuries, with some Roman antiquities.

There are two entrances: one on the south side and the other on the west side of the Pitti Palace.

The gardens were laid out for Eleonora di Toledo, the wife of Cosimo I de’ Medici. The name is a curruption of “Bogoli”, a family from whom land had been bought to construct the garden.

The Boboli Gardens as we see them today were laid out between 1550 and 1780 following designs of Giorgio Vasari and Pier Francesco Silvani at the behest of Cosimo I de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany for his wife Eleonora di Toledo. Other features include an amphitheatre; an open air theatre designed by Bernardo Buontalenti; a grotto (the “Buontalenti Grotto”); and the “Rotonda” or “Belvedere”, with statues by various artists

Piazzale Michelangelo

Piazzale Michelangelo is one of the most famous squares in Florence, Italy. It was designed by architect Giuseppe Poggi and dedicated to the Italian Renaissance artist Michelangelo Buonarroti.

The square offers visitors one of the most beautiful panoramic views in the city. It overlooks Florence from high above, offering breathtaking vistas of the Duomo, the Chianti hills, and all of the red-tiled rooftops of this historic city.

Piazzale Michelangelo is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike who come to enjoy the view, take pictures, and relax in this beautiful spot.

There is an abundance of cafes and restaurants in Piazzale Michelangelo where you can stop for a drink or a meal while enjoying the views of Florence below. The square also features a bronze copy of David by Michelangelo.

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Church of Santa Maria Novella

The Church of Santa Maria Novella is a church in Florence, Italy, situated just across from the main railway station named after it. Chronologically, it is the first great basilica in Florence, and is the city’s principal Dominican church.

The church, the adjoining cloister, and chapter house contain a multiplicity of art treasures and funerary monuments. Especially famous are frescoes by masters of Gothic and early Renaissance. They were financed through the generosity of the most important Florentine families, who ensured themselves of funerary chapels on consecrated ground.

This church was called Novella (New) because it was built on the site of the 9th-century oratory of Santa Maria delle Vigne. When the site was assigned to Dominican Order in 1221, they decided to build a new church and adjoining cloister. The church was designed by two Dominican friars, Fra Sisto Fiorentino and Fra Ristoro da Campi.

You can pre-book the tickets for Santa Maria Novella

San Miniato al Monte

When you visit Florence, you most likely want to see the “big three” sites: the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio and the Uffizi. While those are all well worth your time, you’ll get a much more authentic experience if you see the city like the Florentines do. When they’re not looking at those famous landmarks, they’re enjoying Florence’s amazing architecture, food and culture — with no crowds in sight.

San Miniato al Monte is a perfect place to start. Located on a hill overlooking the Arno River and just under a mile from Duomo Square, it’s still one of Tuscany’s most important cathedrals. It has spectacular views of Florence, too. The church is also famous for its green-and-white marble facade and mosaic decoration.

If you have time to make it outside of Florence, Pienza is a great option for an afternoon trip. The town center is about two hours south of Florence and was completely rebuilt by Pope Pius II in 1459 (the main square still bears his name). This UNESCO World Heritage Site feels like something out of a fairytale, with its cobblestone streets, 15th-century buildings and central cathedral.

Corridoio Vasariano

Corridoio Vasariano is an extremely interesting place to visit, but one that you’re unlikely to find on any other tourist itineraries.

In 1565, Cosimo I de’ Medici commissioned his architect Giorgio Vasari to build a raised passageway which linked the Palazzo Vecchio with the Palazzo Pitti. The Corridoio Vasariano allowed Cosimo and his family to move freely between the two palaces, without having to step out into the streets and risk attack from rival families.

The corridor is approximately half a mile long, and at its highest point is 28 metres above street level! As you can imagine, it provides some amazing views across the city of Florence.

Forte di Belvedere

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Forte di Belvedere is a massive fortress-like structure in Florence, Italy. It was designed by Bernardo Buontalenti and built between 1590 and 1595 to the order of Grand Duke Ferdinand I de’ Medici on a hill called Il Belvedere at the south side of the city. The fortress was built to protect the city from potential attacks from both sea and land and to serve as a Royal palace.

Forte di Belvedere is one of the most important examples of military architecture of the Italian Renaissance.

Forte di Belvedere also has an amazing view overlooking Florence. It’s definitely worth visiting especially if you are interested in military architecture, history, or views!

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Statue of David

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The Statue of David is the most famous work of art in the world. This statue was created by Michelangelo from 1501 to 1504 as a symbol of victory after defeating Rome. It is one of the things to do in Florence.

David is one of the most beautiful sculptures in the world and attracts many tourists to Italy every year. In addition, this statue also represents Florence’s most important works with its own style and beauty.

Bargello Museum

The Bargello Museum is one of the oldest buildings in Florence. It was originally a prison and government offices, but now houses some of the most important sculptures from the 14th to 17th centuries. These sculptures are by Donatello, Michelangelo, Ghiberti and more and mainly feature marble and bronze works.

If you’re not familiar with these Renaissance artists, this is a great place to learn about their work and how they created them.

The Bargello Museum also has rooms dedicated to different types of art like majolica ware and tapestries. There’s even a display on Dante Alighieri!

The museum also houses a few very special pieces that were created just for the Medici family, royalty who ruled Florence during this time period.

This museum is a bit out of the way compared to other places that you might want to see in Florence, so it will take a bit longer to get there. But if you love sculpture or Renaissance art, this is the perfect place to visit!

If you are planning to visit this place then don’t forger to get the tickets online because usually the ticket get out of stock in Europe.

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