The top 10 things to see and do in Florence, Italy
Florence, one of Italy’s most romantic cities, offers visitors a vast range of things to see and do. The capital of Tuscany, Florence is spread out along the banks of the Arno and is easily accessible from other parts of Italy and all major towns in Europe. The area of Chianti, situated between Florence and Siena boasts stunning countryside, is famous for wine production and wine tours. Our top 10 list of things to see and do in Florence include:
Whatever you enjoy eating you will be well catered for in Florence. Meat eaters should try the fabulous Florentine Steak – many restaurants serving it up by the kilo. Delicious local pasta and fish dishes are also offered in most restaurants, and daily specials menus offer value and quality.
The Uffizi Gallery
An incredible display of Renaissance art which attracts art lovers from all over the world. Arrive early and try to pre-book to avoid disappointment. Guided tours and also audio tours are available. Not to be missed if you want to make the most of art and culture in Florence.
Offering free concerts and opera performances throughout the year, take the time to visit St Mark´s English Church. An admission fee is charged for performances of the St Mark´s Opera Company. Also worth a visit are the magnificent churches of Chiesa di Santo Stefano al Ponte Vecchio and Chiesa di Orsanmichele.
Sample organic wines
Visit Vivanda which offers a wine list with over 120 organic wines from Italy and the rest of the world. Great choice of local foods and pastas also on offer with a wide choice of vegetable dishes. Even the cutlery and plates are biodegradable, which makes Vivanda a huge hit with the environmentally-conscious.
Shopping in Florence
If you are something of a shopaholic, Florence is the perfect city for you. Well known for its’ out of town shopping centres, selling many designer names including Armani, Gucci and Valentino, shoppers can bag some great bargains, and enjoy huge discounts if they shop around. Check out The Mall.
Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore
Known locally as the ´Duomo´ this architectural masterpiece is the result of over 600 years of continuous work, and the cathedral dominates the skyline over Florence. Admission to the cathedral is free but if you want to make the most of your visit, go up into the Dome and the bell tower (small charge for admission).
The Galleria dell´ Accademia
Home to many famous works of art, including Michelangelo´s David and other masterpieces lining the walls, plus unfinished sculptures from the early 1500´s. Many of the sculptures were intended for Pope Julius ll´s tomb, but had to be abandoned when Michelangelo was ordered to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome.
Boboli Garden and Pitti Palace
Cross over the Ponte Vecchio and you will find the beautiful park of Giardino di Boboli just behind the Pitti Palace. A lovely place to stroll around with large open garden areas and fountains plus spectacular views of Florence. Also enjoy the 8 galleries within the Pitti Palace, once the seat of the Medici family.
Santa Croce, Florence
The Santa Croce is home to the largest Franciscan church in Italy. Several tombs are situated inside the church including that of Michelangelo. The interior contains important works by Brunelleschi.
Not to be confused with Florence ´Pizzas´ which are also pretty good, the Piazzas in Tuscany´s capital city are well worth a visit. Take a stroll around the squares of the city which include beautiful statues, fountains and works of art. Some of the best include: Piazza del Duomo in the heart of the historic centre of the city, Piazza dell Repubblica close to the palaces and Piazza San Lorenzo, home to the famous basilica of the same name. The best way to explore Florence is to book a guided tour of the city before you leave home. Discover some of the hidden gems which make Florence one of the most beautiful cities in the world.