Best Things to do in Florence
If you’re preparing for a brisk trip into the heart of Tuscany, you’re in for a treat. Florence, or Firenze as the Italians kindly call it, is one of the many Italian cities where history, art, and food live in harmony. However, once you get here, choosing the things to do in Florence may be a bit challenging. Since a world of experiences is practically at your fingertips, how do you know what to go for?
This is exactly why I’ve created a guide for the top 10 things to do in Florence! You will learn all there is to know about this amazing city, and with my insight, you won’t miss a thing during your trip.
Explore the Uffizi Gallery
If there is one thing you must do in Florence, it is to visit the magnificent Uffizi Gallery! Recognized as one of the best museums in the world, The Uffizi is home to many masterpieces created by renowned artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Botticelli. Here, you can see the development of the Renaissance and immerse yourself in the historical treasures of Italy. As one of the best things to do in Florence, this museum is busy year-round. That said, book your tickets in advance to avoid never-ending crowds.
The Uffizi Gallery in Florence houses an unparalleled collection of Renaissance masterpieces, making it a must-visit for art enthusiasts and history lovers alike. – Left photo credit – Wikipedia
Admire the Florence Cathedral (Duomo)
The Duomo, or the Florence Cathedral as most tourists refer to it, stands proudly as one of Florence’s most iconic landmarks. The construction first began all the way back in 1296 and was finally completed two centuries later in 1436. One thing you’ll immediately notice is the dome which was designed by Filippo Brunelleschi, making this cathedral a work of art. As you first lay eyes on it, you will be amazed by the detailing on the facade. Don’t bother pinching yourself whenever you marvel at the Duomo, as the architecture is as real as it gets! Don’t worry – I was the same way when I first saw it!
Walk Over the Ponte Vecchio
One of the things to do in Florence, Italy is visit Ponte Vecchio, a historic bridge over the Arno River. Just like most Italian landmarks, the bridge is steeped in history, dating back all the way to the Roman era. This magnificent structure has offered picturesque views of the city ever since the 14th century. On top of that, you can also find a wide array of jewellery pieces, as well as artwork created by local craftsmen. However, one thing you must do in Florence while visiting Vecchio is check out the shops on the side that cling like barnacles!
The Old Bridge in Florence, known as the Ponte Vecchio, boasts centuries of history and remains a captivating symbol of the city with its unique shops spanning the Arno River.
Visit the Accademia Gallery
When art lovers think of things to do in Florence, Italy, checking out the Accademia Gallery is a non-missable experience. At its heart lies the crown jewel of Renaissance sculpture – Michelangelo’s David. To this day, I’m still in awe of how a piece of marble can feature so many details! Believe me – once you look at it, you’ll feel the same way. Beyond David, the gallery houses an array of other noteworthy artworks, offering a comprehensive journey through Italy’s artistic heritage.
Wander Through the Boboli Gardens
Escape the hustle and bustle of Florence by venturing into the serene haven of the Boboli Gardens. These magnificent Renaissance gardens boast a captivating blend of lush greenery, intricate sculptures, and enchanting fountains. If you’re having a romantic trip, the Gardens are perfect for a lovely stroll after exploring the city’s wonders. Alternatively, another Florence thing to do is to bring a picnic basket and unwind amidst the carefully manicured lawns. In these gardens, history and tranquillity exist in harmony, providing a breath of relaxation from the vibrant city just beyond its gates.
Indulge in Tuscan Cuisine
In addition to amazing artwork, Florence is known for its delicious Tuscan cuisine. Be sure to try dishes like ribollita (a hearty soup), pappa al pomodoro (tomato and bread soup), and of course, the famous Florentine steak. Moreover, pair your meal with a glass of Chianti, a wine from the local vineyards. Florence’s culinary scene offers many other treasures. When thinking of things to do in Florence, be sure to explore trattorias and osterias (traditional Italian eateries) to sample regional specialities. E.g., pici pasta with wild boar ragu, gnudi (ricotta and spinach dumplings), and the famous lampredotto sandwich.
Take a Local Food Tour
When thinking about things to do in Florence, Italy, consider joining a local food tour if you want to experience the city’s gastronomic culture to the fullest. These trips frequently include stops at local markets, restaurants run by families, and gelato shops, giving visitors a taste of real Italian food. In the heart of Florence, the temptation of gelato, Italy’s favourite frozen treat, is too great to resist. Florentines takes its gelato seriously and provides a variety of flavours, like many other Italian cities. In the city’s gelaterias, everybody can find a flavour they enjoy, whether they prefer classics like pistachio or more adventurous concoctions like fig and ricotta.
Discover the Bargello Palace
The Bargello Palace is a lesser-known gem, yet another thing to do in Florence worth your time. It houses an impressive collection of sculptures, including works by Donatello and Michelangelo. The museum offers a quieter and more intimate experience compared to the Uffizi.
Find a Local Tour Guide
Exploring things to do in Florence with a knowledgeable guide can elevate your experience in ways that guidebooks and smartphone apps cannot. They breathe life into the city’s history and culture, providing unique insights and uncovering hidden gems. Whether you choose an online tour guide or one in-person, their expertise will enrich your understanding of Florence and help you discover things to do in Florence you might have otherwise missed.
Cross the Arno to Visit Oltrarno
Although Florence’s old heart is lovely, you should also cross the Arno to view the Oltrarno area. Known for its artist studios, quaint streets, and a more authentic, less commercialised atmosphere, this area is beautiful. You’ll come across several hidden treasures, from boutiques selling local crafts to trattorias providing authentic Tuscan food. It’s nice to retreat into Florence’s true essence.
What do you think of our list of things to do in Florence?
The compelling mixture of art, history, and culinary delights of Florence, Italy, is unmatched. Now you have an agenda that reveals the city’s cultural intricacies and beauty thanks to this list of the top 10 things to do in Florence. Florence offers memorable experiences, from seeing Michelangelo’s David to enjoying gelato’s delicious perfection.
So, go ahead and begin your adventure in Florence. No matter if you enjoy the arts, history, or just the basic pleasures of life, there are tons of things to do in Florence. This ensures that your exploration of this Italian treasure will be nothing less than extraordinary.