Florence charms visitors with its mix of majestic chapels and fortified palaces. Elegant gardens are spread out near museums that house Renaissance masterpieces. The Arno runs through Florence at the base of the Apennines, and picturesque stone bridges like the Ponte Vecchio cross over it, allowing you to easily explore both halves of this idyllic Mediterranean city.

    Throughout Florence’s public spaces and piazzas, almost everywhere you look there’s a magnificent marble Renaissance sculpture by a great Italian artist. When not exploring the city’s art-filled spaces and magnificent landmarks, you may easily find yourself pleasantly lost inside a lively Florentine flea market. Make your visit a memorable one with these 11 best things to see, do and try in Florence.

    What are the best things to do in Florence?


    Piazza Del Duomo

    Get a first taste of Florence around its majestic cathedral

    Piazza Del Duomo is Florence’s main public square, with the Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral (the Duomo) as its central landmark. Buzzing with pedestrians, it provides you with a good first sense of Florence’s mix of old and new – modern restaurants and shops border the square, housed in well-preserved Renaissance-style buildings. The cathedral’s Gothic frontage features 3 massive bronze doors and lunettes covered in coloured marble and reliefs. Inside, you’ll find a fine display of mosaics throughout. Access is free.

    Τοποθεσία: Piazza del Duomo, Florence, Italy

    Τηλέφωνο: +39 (0)55 230 2885


    Giotto’s Campanile

    View downtown Florence from atop its tallest tower

    Giotto’s Campanile is the bell tower right next to the Duomo, and is one of the tallest historical structures dominating Florence’s skyline. Together with the adjacent cathedral, the tower showcases one of the city’s best examples of Florentine Gothic architecture. It’s mostly a vibrant white colour, and all four walls below its midsection feature numerous sculptures. Most visitors to the Duomo spare enough time to climb up for panoramic views from around 84 metres high. You’ll need to walk up the 400 or so steps to the top, with pauses at its 3 middle floors for bonus views.

    Τοποθεσία: Piazza del Duomo, Florence, Italy

    Ώρες λειτουργίας: Daily from 8.15 am to 6.50 pm (hours may vary)

    Τηλέφωνο: +39 055 230 2885


    Michelangelo's David

    See a timeless icon of Renaissance art

    Michelangelo's David is a marble sculpture of the biblical figure of King David in Florence, widely acknowledged as a masterpiece of 16th-century art, the statue is 5.17 metres tall and carved from a single block of marble. You can see an extraordinary level of detail, including veins visible in David's hands and separate locks of hair.

    Take note of the sculpture's right hand, which is larger than the left – possibly as a symbol of David's strength and power. The sling over his left shoulder and the rock in his hand are weapons for his forthcoming battle with Goliath. Michelangelo's David originally stood in front of the Palazzo Vecchio, but it was replaced with a modern replica in 1910 and the original was moved to its current home.

    Τοποθεσία: Accademia Gallery, Via Ricasoli, 60, 50122 Florence FI, Italy

    Ώρες λειτουργίας: Tuesday–Sunday from 8.15 am to 6.50 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Τηλέφωνο: +39 055 098 7100


    Ponte Vecchio

    Cross over the Arno through a Florentine icon

    Ponte Vecchio is one of Florence’s oldest bridges crossing over the Arno, linking both halves of the city. The bridge is picturesque when viewed from the other bridge to its west, namely the Ponte Santa Trinita (Saint Trinity Bridge). Crossing Ponte Vecchio, you’ll find it’s lined with a variety of small jewellery and watch shops, and bustling with pedestrians around the clock. Prices in the shops tend to be touristy, though. The bridge is your main access for visiting two of Florence’s piazzas: the downtown Piazza della Repubblica and the Piazza dei Pitti on the Arno’s southern bank.

    Τοποθεσία: Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy


    Piazzale Michelangelo

    Admire a fantastic skyline from across the Arno

    • Ιστορία
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    Piazzale Michelangelo is a 19th-century hilltop square that offers a full and stunning view over Florence from across the Arno. A full-sized bronze replica of Michelangelo's David faces the city from the square’s centre (the original’s in the Galleria dell'Accademia art museum, downtown). You can reach the square either by going up the flight of stairs of “Poggi’s Ramp” from the lower Piazza Giuseppe Poggi, or on a 15-minute scenic drive from the city hub via the tree-lined Viale Michelangiolo. Access to Piazzale Michelangelo is free.

    Τοποθεσία: Viale Michelangiolo, Florence, Italy

    Ώρες λειτουργίας: Daily from 9.30 am to 1 pm and from 3 pm to 7 pm, Sundays from 3 pm to 7 pm


    Basilica of Santa Maria Novella

    Marvel at Italian Gothic architecture

    The 15th-century basilica of Santa Maria Novella is one of Florence’s most beautiful Gothic churches. Its façade shows spectacular examples of Italian Gothic style, featuring coloured marbles in a combination of green and white. Pay about €7.50 to get inside this vast church and you’ll find more colours through its central arches, plus masterpieces by some of Italy’s greatest. The highlight artwork is the Trinity, by Masaccio. Some consider the church’s frescoed interiors to be far better than the Duomo’s.

    Τοποθεσία: Piazza di Santa Maria Novella, Florence, Italy

    Ώρες λειτουργίας: Monday–Thursday and Saturday from 9 am to 5.30 pm, Friday from 11 am to 5.30 pm, Sunday from 1 pm to 5.30 pm (hours vary by season)

    Τηλέφωνο: +39 055 219257


    Oltrarno Quarter

    Go beyond the Arno

    The Oltrarno Quarter is worth exploring if you’ve covered most of Florence’s central hub. It’s considered one of the most beautiful parts of the city, and a historic cradle where you can find some of Florence’s grand monuments and palatial sites. These include the wondrous Palazzo Pitti and the linked Boboli Gardens, around a 15-minute drive west of Piazzale Michelangelo. You can cross over to the Oltrarno Quarter via several bridges, such as the landmark Ponte Vecchio, and most of the walks are pleasantly shaded along lush, tree-lined paths.

    Τοποθεσία: Oltrarno Quarter, Florence, Italy


    Uffizi Gallery

    Discover a treasure trove of arts

    The Uffizi Gallery is a 16th-century office building in the heart of Florence, where you can wander through a long row of rooms that house a vast collection of Renaissance artworks. The works are set in chronological order, and include religious artefacts that reflect the sense of piety of those ancient times. It’s home to some famous classical pieces, such as Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus, Caravaggio's Medusa and da Vinci’s Annunciation. Tickets are from about €6.50, but it’s good to pay a little extra for a guided tour – you’ll gain a better insights and, most importantly, skip the usually long lines.

    Τοποθεσία: Piazzale degli Uffizi, 6, Florence, Italy

    Ώρες λειτουργίας: Tuesday – Sunday from 8.15 am to 6.50 pm

    Τηλέφωνο: +39 (0)55 294883


    Mercato Centrale

    Eat, shop and mingle with locals at Florence’s famous flea market

    Mercato Centrale – Florence’s Central Market – is a fun and lively spot to visit. With the many food stalls to choose from, you can relax, eat and shop. It’s also great value, as the prices are reasonable for the fresh and authentic Tuscan food you get. You can sample the items from each vendor on display before you decide to buy anything, making it a great opportunity to discover the best flavours of the Tuscany region. Come early to witness how some of the dishes are prepared.

    Τοποθεσία: Piazza del Mercato Centrale, Via dell'Ariento, Florence, Italy

    Ώρες λειτουργίας: Daily from 8 am to midnight

    Τηλέφωνο: +39 055 239 9798


    Opera di Firenze

    Classical and live performances in a modern auditorium

    Opera di Firenze is a modern auditorium on the outskirts of Florence. It’s home to one of the world’s longest-running classical music and opera festivals, the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. Throughout every annual “festival season”, the venue shows performances and collaborations of some of Italy’s finest orchestras, theatre directors and artists. Operas include Giuseppe Verdi's melodramatic rendition of Shakespeare's Macbeth in four acts (seats range between €35 and €200). Opera di Firenze is around an 18-minute ride by Bus 22 from Santa Maria Maggiore, downtown.

    Τοποθεσία: Piazza Vittorio Gui, 1, Florence, Italy

    Ώρες λειτουργίας: Box office: Tuesday–Friday from 10 am to 1 pm and from 3 pm to 6 pm, Saturday from 10 am to 1 pm and two hours before the start of the shows. Closed on Mondays.

    Τηλέφωνο: +39 (0)55 277 9309

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