Firenze is one of the most beautiful and historically rich cities of Italy and it is nowadays one of the most popular holiday destinations, chosen both by Italians and tourists that come from all over the world.
What to see when in Florence
Florence is never going to disappoint you: visiting the city leaves everyone with a desire to come back and discover more about its characteristic alleys, trendy shops and awesome museums. There are a few things that no one should miss when visiting the city and here is a comprehensive list of the main ones:
The bridge surely deserves a special mention: Ponte Vecchio is the most unique place in Florence, and only by visiting it you can understand why it is so loved by both the citizens and the tourists. Along the bridge you will find jewellery shops, that have replaced the previous butcher’s shops: shops along bridges were common before, but not now, which makes this bridge even more unique.
Santa Maria del Fiore
One of the most popular attractions of the city, Santa Maria del Fiore offers, from the top of the Dome, a spectacular view over Florence, at the price of 464 steps. It is not an easy climb, but the reward is definitely worth it! Along with the Baptistery and Giotto’s Campanile, which are all in the same square, the Duomo di Firenze, as the church is ordinarily called, is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Basilica di Santa Croce
The Basilica di Santa Croce is the biggest Franciscan church in the world and the legend tells it was founded by San Francesco himself. Here are the graves of many illustrious Italians, such as Galileo Galilei, Machiavelli, Foscolo and Michelangelo, and it is therefore known also as the Temple of the Italian Glories.
Palazzo Vecchio and Piazza della Signoria
Palazzo Vecchio is home to the city’s council and it overlooks Piazza della Signoria, one of
the biggest squares of Florence. Here, in front of Palazzo Vecchio (also called Palazzo del Popolo as it was a symbol of the Republic of Florence), there is a copy of Michelangelo’s David statue. On one side of the square there is Loggia dei Lanzi, an open-air sculpture gallery.
House of Dante Alighieri
Dante Alighieri’s house is located in the medieval part of the city and it is today a museum dedicated to the poet’s life and work. It is the best place if you are fascinated by Italian poetry and by the life of the man that is known as “Sommo Poeta”, in English, the Greatest Poet.
Palazzo Pitti is a grand palace called after Luca Pitti, a rich merchant and the biggest opponent to the Medici family. Located on the south side of the river Arno, at a short distance from Ponte Vecchio, the palace serves today as a huge museum and every year it hosts an important fashion event that makes it famous all over Italy.
Galleria degli Uffizi (the Uffizi Gallery)
The Galleria degli Uffizi is the most popular museum of the city and, as it has already been mentioned above, you will find here unique and inestimable works of art that have been preserved during the centuries, such as the Venus of Botticelli. The museum is adjacent to Piazza della Signoria and everyday it is visited by thousands of people.
Il Mercato Nuovo (The New Market)
The market itself is not big and you can find all sorts of tourist souvenirs, however the real attraction of the Market is the Fontana del Porcellino, a bronze statue of a wild boar. According to the legend, if you place a coin in the boar’s mouth and rub its nose you will return to Florence in the future.
Located in the Oltrarno district of the city, Piazzale Michelangelo is a large square and the best place from where you can have a spectacular overview of Florence. The square was built in 1869 and it is named after the famous painter and sculptor Michelangelo: in the square, you can find a replica of his masterpiece, the statue of the David.
Florence is only waiting for you to visit it and fall in love with its amazing atmosphere, where past and present blend perfectly. There is a reason why millions of tourists every year come to visit the city and wouldn’t like to leave. This year, you can be one of these millions.
- For more information, tips and advice regarding Italy, and a suggested itinerary for your next vacation, visit Discover Italy – A Two-Week Vacation.