I have a long standing love affair with Florence. I adore its historical, renaissance vibe mixed together with modern, fashionable flair. During the various visits I’ve made to the city (along with our wedding last year!), I’ve visited different parts of the city, its art galleries and restaurants which have helped me to collate this list of top things to do. I hope you enjoy it!
A fantastic collection of Italian art and home for Botticelli’s ‘Birth of Venus’ and ‘La Primavera’. Book your tickets online and secure a specific time slot for your visit to avoid excessive queuing under the hot Italian sun!
Get to know Florence’s royal history and visit the grand apartments of the former rulers, the Medici Family. Admire artwork from Raphael, Titian and Reuben or simply escape the heat of the city into the cool corridors of this Renaissance Palace.
Tour around the church to marvel at frescoes (see Gaddi’s Last Supper in the museum), stained glass, tombs of the city’s luminaries and the cloister gardens with sculpture exhibits. If you don’t have time to go in, it’s well worth seeing the cathedral at least from the outside. Particularly at night time the cathedral really stands out in its illuminated form.
One of the best known Florence symbols but also a great place for window shopping for some expensive gold jewellery and watches.
On balmy summer nights by far the coolest thing to do is to head to Giardino di Boboli to see an outdoor opera (see programme here). This is Florence, cradle of culture, after all.
For those wanting to bag Michelangelo’s David book early for a ticket or pick up an Amici degli Uffizi membership (link)
A 15-20 minute taxi or bus ride to the north of the city centre takes you to Fiesole which is a great day trip destination from Florence. The best view of Florence skyline is along the climb up to the monastery of San Francesco at the crest of the higher hill on which Fiesole sits on.
To travel to Fiesole by public transport, take the ATAF Florence city bus Number 7 to Fiesole central piazza which runs about every half an hour until almost midnight. The bus line starts at Via La Pira (on the side very close to Piazza San Marco) in Florence. A taxi ride will cost you about 10 euros.
Enjoy panoramic views over Florence and the Arno Valley from Piazzale Michelangelo designed by architect, Giuseppe Poggi. If you don’t fancy the walk up the hill, hop on the bus Number 12 or 13 from the city centre to reach this beautiful spot.
Leave the glitz and glamour of the historic city centre and cross the Ponte Santa Trinita bridge to the more humble but perhaps more hip south side of the river. There piazza Santo Spirito and streets spilling around it offer some cool little finds including smalls shops, wine bars and bakeries.
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