30 Best Things to Do in Florence, Italy
Florence, the capital of Italy’s Tuscany region, is a city steeped in history, culture, and art. Known as the “Cradle of the Renaissance,” Florence boasts a rich heritage that has left an indelible mark on the world. From its stunning architecture and world-renowned museums to its delectable cuisine and charming streets, Florence offers a treasure trove of experiences for travelers. In this article, we will explore the 30 best things to do in Florence, allowing you to make the most of your visit to this remarkable city.
Visit the Florence Cathedral (Il Duomo)
The Florence Cathedral, also known as Il Duomo, is an iconic symbol of the city. Its stunning Gothic architecture and the famous dome designed by Filippo Brunelleschi are must-see attractions. Climb the dome for panoramic views of Florence.
Explore the Uffizi Gallery
The Uffizi Gallery is home to an impressive collection of Renaissance art, including works by Michelangelo, Botticelli, and Leonardo da Vinci. Be sure to book your tickets in advance to avoid long queues.
Admire Michelangelo’s David
The Accademia Gallery houses one of the world’s most famous sculptures, Michelangelo’s David. This masterpiece of Renaissance art is a must-see, showcasing incredible craftsmanship and detail.
Stroll Across Ponte Vecchio
The Ponte Vecchio is a historic bridge lined with shops, including jewelers and art dealers. It’s a great place to take a leisurely stroll and enjoy the view of the Arno River.
Visit the Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens
Explore the grandeur of the Pitti Palace, once the residence of the powerful Medici family. The Boboli Gardens, located behind the palace, offer a peaceful escape with beautifully landscaped gardens and sculptures.
Discover the Bargello Museum
The Bargello Museum houses an outstanding collection of sculptures, including pieces by Donatello and Michelangelo. It’s a hidden gem that often sees fewer crowds than other museums in Florence.
Wander Through the Historic Center
Florence’s historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and for good reason. Stroll through its narrow streets, admire the architecture, and soak up the atmosphere of this enchanting city.
Visit the Basilica of Santa Croce
This Franciscan church is not only a beautiful example of Italian Gothic architecture but also the final resting place of many famous Italians, including Michelangelo and Galileo Galilei.
Experience the Medici Chapels
The Medici Chapels are part of the Basilica of San Lorenzo and house the mausoleums of the Medici family. The Chapel of the Princes is particularly impressive with its stunning decorative work.
Take in the Views from Piazzale Michelangelo
For breathtaking panoramic views of Florence, head to Piazzale Michelangelo. It’s especially beautiful during sunset when the city is bathed in warm, golden light.
Marvel at the Florence Baptistery
The Florence Baptistery, with its intricate mosaic-covered doors, is a stunning example of Florentine Romanesque architecture. Don’t miss the Gates of Paradise, a masterpiece by Lorenzo Ghiberti.
Visit the San Marco Museum
Located in the former convent of San Marco, this museum displays works by Fra Angelico, one of the most important painters of the early Renaissance. The serene atmosphere adds to the experience.
Explore the Palazzo Vecchio
The Palazzo Vecchio is Florence’s town hall and a remarkable example of medieval architecture. You can tour its opulent rooms and visit the Hall of the Five Hundred, where many important events in Florentine history took place.
Sample Tuscan Cuisine
Florence is known for its delicious Tuscan cuisine. Try local specialties like ribollita (a hearty vegetable soup), pappa al pomodoro (tomato and bread soup), and, of course, Florentine steak.
Take a Wine Tour in Chianti
Tuscany is famous for its wine, and Chianti is one of the region’s most renowned wine-producing areas. Join a wine tour to explore vineyards and taste the best local wines.
Visit the Leonardo da Vinci Museum
Discover the genius of Leonardo da Vinci through interactive exhibits and replicas of his inventions. It’s a fascinating experience for art and science enthusiasts.
Go Shopping on Via Tornabuoni
Via Tornabuoni is Florence’s upscale shopping street, lined with designer boutiques, luxury brands, and high-end jewelry stores.
Experience the Florence Opera
If you’re a fan of opera, don’t miss the opportunity to attend a performance at the Opera di Firenze (Florence Opera House). The stunning venue and world-class performances make for a memorable night.
Discover the Strozzi Palace
The Strozzi Palace is a prime example of Renaissance architecture. While it hosts various exhibitions and events, the building itself is a work of art.
Take a Gondola Ride on the Arno River
While not as famous as in Venice, you can still enjoy a romantic gondola ride along the Arno River in Florence, complete with beautiful views of the city.
Visit the San Lorenzo Market
San Lorenzo Market is a bustling market where you can find leather goods, souvenirs, clothing, and fresh produce. It’s a great place for shopping and sampling local treats.
Explore the Medici Riccardi Palace
This palace was once the residence of the Medici family. Its stunning architecture and frescoed chapel make it a must-visit for art and history enthusiasts.
Attend the Calcio Storico
If you’re in Florence during June, don’t miss the Calcio Storico, a historic soccer match that combines sport, pageantry, and tradition in Piazza Santa Croce.
Learn About Science at the Galileo Museum
Dedicated to the history of science and instruments, the Galileo Museum showcases the contributions of Italian scientists like Galileo Galilei.
Visit the Museum of Palazzo Davanzati
Step back in time at the Museum of Palazzo Davanzati, a preserved medieval palace where you can explore period rooms and learn about daily life in the Middle Ages.
Enjoy Gelato at Vivoli
Indulge in authentic Italian gelato at Vivoli, one of Florence’s most famous gelaterias. Their artisanal flavors are a true delight for your taste buds.
Admire the Vasari Corridor
The Vasari Corridor is a hidden gem that connects the Uffizi Gallery with the Pitti Palace. It’s lined with art and offers a unique perspective on the city.
Take a Cooking Class
Learn the art of Tuscan cooking by taking a cooking class in Florence. You’ll have the chance to prepare and enjoy traditional dishes.
Explore the Oltrarno District
The Oltrarno district is known for its artisan workshops, charming streets, and a more laid-back atmosphere compared to the bustling city center.
Attend the Florence International Film Festival
If you’re a cinephile, consider timing your visit with the Florence International Film Festival, which showcases a diverse selection of films and attracts filmmakers from around the world.
Florence is a city that captivates the hearts and minds of travelers with its unparalleled beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture. Whether you’re an art aficionado, a history buff, a food lover, or simply seeking a romantic getaway, Florence offers a myriad of experiences to suit every traveler’s preferences. From iconic landmarks and world-class museums to hidden gems and culinary delights, this city invites you to immerse yourself in the timeless allure of the Renaissance. So, pack your bags, book your tickets, and get ready to explore the 30 best things to do in Florence, Italy. You won’t be disappointed by the magic that awaits you in this enchanting Tuscan treasure.