1. The Galleria degli Uffizi
The Uffizi is tremendously popular and rightly so. As one of the most impressive collections of fine Renaissance art in the world, the Uffizi is one of the busiest attractions in Florence, Italy. In the Uffizi Gallery, visitors can see first-hand the mastery of Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael and many other Italian masters.
2. Feast on Florentine steak
If you fancy eating something that is typical of Florence then you should definitely opt for a Florentine steak (Bistecca alla Fiorentina).
There are restaurants where it cost €5.50 for 100grams with a minimum order of 500grams – so it’s worth bringing a hungry friend! The beef from local Tuscan cows is served on the bone and cooked over woodchips to give a delicious smoky flavour. Enjoy with a delightful glass of Italian red.
3. Climb the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore
The Duomo’s (church’s) dome was designed by Brunelleschi and is one of the most visited pieces of Italian architecture. Brunelleschi was awarded the job of designing the dome after a competition held in 1419 by the Arte della Lana. With the help of Donatello, Brunellschi was awarded the task. It also features the stunning Giotto‘s Tower.
4. Sample the gelato
Gelato from a traditional gelateria in Florence. Italy Gelato – Italian ice cream – comes in a variety of interesting flavours from mojito to cherry and even coffee. The flavours are refined and the texture smooth due to its low air content. Go to lesser known local gelateria to avoid high tourist prices. You pay around €5-6 for three scoops.
5. The National Museum of the Bargello
The Bargello is located near the Piazza della Signoria and houses some of the most incredible sculptures from the leading artists of the Renaissance era. Such noted works from Michelangelo, Donatello, Ammannati, Bandinelli and others grace the interior of this great museum.
6. The Accademia
Home to Michelangelo’s David, the Accademia is a popular tourist spot and can get quite busy. Leave your camera at the hotel, because no pictures are allowed inside. Call ahead for a reservation and save yourself an hour wait in line for one of the most amazing Italy tours.
7. Pitti Palace
8. Walk across the Ponte Vecchio
Built in 1345, the Ponte Vecchio is the oldest bridge in Florence and one of the most popular tourist spots in the city. Interestingly, it’s one of the last serving bridges in Europe and still has shops and buildings along it. The bridge is a great spot for photographs and is two minutes from the Uffizi. Running along the top of it is the Vasari Corridor built by the Medici family so they could travel safely between Palazzo Vecchio and Palazzo Pitti.
The only bridge to survive World War II and the oldest bridge in Florence, the Ponte Vecchio is a sightseer’s and shopper’s delight as there is a number of fine jewelry stores located nearby the “old bridge.”
9. Santa Croce Basilica
10. San Lorenzo Basilica
No less than nine Michelangelo sculptures can be seen in the sacristy of this agrarian church. With a facade that was never fully completed, the church has a deceiving quality if viewed from the outside. But once inside, enjoy the Renaissance in all its glory.
11. Santa Maria del Carmine church
12. Ponte Santa Trinita
This bridge, near the church Santa Trinita, is the oldest elliptic arch bridge in the world and was designed and constructed by famed Florentine, Bartolomeo Ammanati. The original bridge was destroyed by German troops in August of 1944, but was later rebuilt in 1958 with most of the stones coming from the original construction.
13. Watch the sunset from Piazzale Michelangelo
Piazzale Michelangelo is a famous square dedicated to the renaissance artist Michelangelo. You’ll find an impressive statue of him in the middle of the square and you’ll also be treated to unbelievable views of the city. Go just before sunset to be blown away by beautiful panoramas as the sun goes down.
14. Experience Fiesole
If you want to get out of the city for a few hours then Fiesole is roughly 20 minutes by bus from the centre of Florence. On a clear day the views of Florence are impressive and the area is host to some historic archaeological ruins dating back to the 8th and 9th century.