In a country where charming cities, delicious cuisine and incredible artwork are par for the course, Florence continues to top the list of Italian holiday destinations—and for good reason.
If you’re planning a holiday in the Tuscan capital, be sure to work these top ten Florence experiences into your visit.
1. Climb the Duomo’s bell tower
Florence is a city of fantastic architecture, but its standout feature is undoubtedly its Duomo. The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, with its distinctive pink and green marble exterior, is a massive presence in the centre of town and touring its expansive interior is an absolute must. Be sure to climb the 84 metres up Giotto’s Campanile, its famous bell tower, for incredible views of the city.
2. Walk across Ponte Vecchio
One of the most iconic Florence sites is the medieval bridge over the Arno River. Ponte Vecchio, which translates to “Old Bridge”, isn’t only special because of its age. It’s unusual design, with shops built into its walls, makes it a rare architectural gem.
3. Tour the Galleria degli Uffizi
You don’t have to be a big art buff to be impressed by the Uffizi. Dating back to 1560, it’s one of the oldest and most well known art museums in the world. Among the famous works it houses are Botticelli’s ‘Birth of Venus’ and Raphael’s “Madonna of the Goldfinch’.
4. Marvel at the David
Yes, he’s just as handsome in person—scratch that, he’s more handsome in person. In fact, viewing Michelangelo’s David up close is the only way to truly appreciate the skill and talent that went into creating it. The marble statue, located in the Galleria dell’Accademia, never fails to make an impression.
5. Watch the sunset from Piazzale Michelangelo
Feeling up for a hike? Put on your walking shoes and climb the steps up to the Piazzale Michelangelo, which overlooks the city. The journey up the hill is entirely worth it for the stunning panoramic views you get at the top. Don’t forget your camera!
6. Shop in the leather markets
Treat yourself to some fine leather goods from Florence’s famous San Lorenzo Market. The city is known for its high quality leather products—from purses and wallets to belts and shoes—and the outdoor stalls around San Lorenzo church are a great place to find a bargain.
7. Grab a scoop (or three) of gelato
It’s not a visit to Florence without tasting some of the city’s best gelato. Whether you’re visiting in the summertime or in the dead of winter, give yourself permission to partake in the Italian ice cream whenever the mood strikes. The city is full of great spots, but Gelateria la Carraia on Piazza Nazario Sauro might just be the best.
8. Stroll around the Piazza della Signoria
One of the city’s most famous and picturesque squares, the Piazza della Signoria is the ideal spot for a post-dinner stroll. Be sure to check out its star feature, the Fountain of Neptune.
9. Book a foodie tour
As the capital of Tuscany, Florence is home to some of the best cuisine in the country. With so many restaurants and eateries to choose from, a foodie tour is one of the best ways to narrow down your options and enjoy a taste of everything. Companies like Taste Florence offer private, local-led tours of the city’s best eats.
10. Relax in Boboli Gardens
This scenic green space is far more than your typical park. The 16th-century Boboli Gardens, situated just behind Pitti Palace, are a romantic escape in the heart of the city. With ornate sculptures, lavish fountains, tree-lined paths and beautifully manicured vegetation, the gardens are the ideal place to recharge if you hit a mid-holiday lull.
Is Florence on your holiday hit list?