Florence is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and can be found on most itineraries for first time visitors to Italy. Full of churches, museums, and other historic buildings, the Historic Centre of Florence has been designated an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Not sure what to do in Florence? Here are the attractions you should not miss on your trip to Florence.
Top Things to do in Florence, Italy
1) Accademia Gallery
If there is one thing you must do in Florence, see Michelangelo’s David at the Accademia Gallery. Lines can be very long so make sure to purchase Accademia Gallery tickets online before your visit and skip the lines.
The Duomo (Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore), located in Piazza del Duomo, is the main church of Florence and one of the largest churches in Italy.
It was designed by Arnolfo di Cambio at the end of the 13th century but construction was only completed in 1436, when architect Filippo Brunelleschi added the dome. The Cathedral’s famous dome is the largest brick dome ever constructed and is considered the symbol of Florence. The exterior of the basilica has a beautiful marble facade in various shades of green, pink and white. The cathedral complex includes the Duomo, the Baptistery and Giotto’s Campanile (bell tower). You can climb the 463 steps to the top of the dome and/or 414 steps to the top of the bell tower for great views of the city.
3) Piazza della Signoria
Piazza della Signoria is Florence’s most famous square and is full of statues including the Fountain of Neptune. Michelangelo’s David originally was located here before it was moved to the Accademia Gallery but there is a copy at the square. Located near the Palazzo Vecchio, the square is the political focus of the city and a popular meeting place for locals and tourists. In addition to admiring all the great works of art, Piazza della Signoria is a great spot to people watch or take a break at one of the nearby cafes.
4) Uffizi Gallery
The Uffizi Gallery is one of the most popular attractions in Florence and is well worth a visit. It houses a large collection of Renaissance art including paintings from Botticelli, Giotto, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo and Rembrandt among other well known artists. Some famous paintings in the Uffizi Gallery, include Botticelli’s Birth of Venus and Primavera, Venus of Urbino by Titian and The Baptism of Christ by Andrea del Verrocchio. Like the Accademia Gallery, lines here are very long so it is best to purchase your tickets in advance.
5) Ponte Vecchio
The Ponte Vecchio is the most famous bridge in Florence. Ponte Vecchio means “Old Bridge” in Italian and it was the only bridge in Florence not destroyed by the Germans during World War II. The bridge has jewellery shops along both sides. The best times to walk on the Ponte Vecchio are early in the morning or during sunset.
While Florence has many wonderful attractions worth visiting, these are my top 5 must see attractions. Looking for more things to do in Florence? Here is a 3 days in Florence itinerary and a list of 22 things to see and eat.
Have you visited Florence? If so what are your top attractions for first time visitors?