10 + 1 Things to see absolutely in Florence

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Joel Fulleda

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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Strolling through its alleys we can only be struck by its beauty, a successful mix of art, culture and worldliness. Florence is one of the local destinations most targeted by Italian and foreign tourists that, inevitable camera in hand, immortalize its thousand attractions, as if to stop every moment of a stay that could become unforgettable.
Here 10 places not to be missed in Florence.


  1. Old Bridge
  2. Palazzo Vecchio
  3. Uffizi Gallery
  4. Boboli Gardens and Pitti Palace
  5. Piazza Duomo complex: Cathedral, Dome, Bell Tower and Baptistery
  6. Church of Santa Maria Novella
  7. Central Market
  8. Piazzale Michelangelo
  9. Basilica of the Holy Cross
  10. Galleria dell'Accademia and Michelangelo's David
  11. Rose Garden
  12. User questions and comments

1 - Ponte Vecchio

It is considered in its own right one of the most beautiful bridges in the world. We are talking about the very famous Ponte Vecchio, a suggestive passage that overlooks the Arno river and acts as a link between the historic center of Florence and the "Diladdarno", or the eastern area of ​​the city, as the natives call it. Once home to butchers and fruit and vegetable shops, today the Ponte Vecchio is a kind of chic little neighborhood: the most refined goldsmith shops, in fact, have replaced the old butchers, leaving an open area in the center of the bridge to offer tourists the opportunity to admire the fabulous panorama of the poetic Florence.

  • from the center in 4 minutes on foot, continuing west on Piazza della Signoria towards Chiasso dei Baroncelli - Get directions
  • always accessible
  • free, free visit

2 - Palazzo Vecchio

So "monumental" that it cannot be immortalized in a single photo. As imposing on the outside as it is elegant and refined in its immense rooms, the Palazzo Vecchio is an obvious example of fourteenth-century civil architecture. Today this attraction is home to some municipal offices, it is the residence of the First Citizen of Florence and houses a museum that can be visited, along with some fabulous rooms containing works by Michelangelo and Donatello and the extraordinary Arnolfo Tower, 94 meters high, from which it is possible to enjoy a crazy view of the Tuscan capital.

  • one minute walk from the center. It can be reached by continuing east on Piazza della Signoria - Get directions
  • Fri-Wed from 09:00 to 19:00; Thursday from 09:00 to 14:00
  • the museum + tower visit costs € 14,00 full price, € 12,00 reduced

3 - Uffizi Gallery

The varied artistic collection of the Medici available all over the world. It is worth undergoing a grueling line at the ticket office to access the paradisiacal Uffizi Gallery, inside which masterpieces by Cimabue, Giotto, Botticelli, Caravaggio, Titian, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci are preserved. A real journey through time through the paintings and sculptures of some of the most important artists and scholars of our country.

  • two minutes walk from the center, proceed east on Piazza della Signoria towards Via Vacchereccia - Get directions
  • Tue-Sun from 08:15 to 18:50
  • € 12,50

4 - Boboli Gardens and Pitti Palace

Two attractions connected to each other, to be viewed with extreme attention. The vast and suggestive Boboli Gardens, with its flowers, plants, statues and fountains, frame the elegant Palazzo Pitti. Inside it is possible to admire the sumptuous royal rooms and its varied collections, ranging from rooms adorned with modern art pieces to a collection of clothes from the sixteenth century to the present day.

  • bus 11 from Florence Santa Maria Novella station in 10 minutes - Get directions
  • Palazzo Pitti Tue-Sun from 08:15 to 18:50; Boboli Gardens Mon-Sun 08:15 to 19:30
  • Pitti Palace full price € 13,00 - reduced € 6,50; Boboli Gardens full € 10,00 - reduced € 5,00

5 - Piazza Duomo complex: Cathedral, Dome, Bell Tower and Baptistery

Known as the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, for the Florentines it is simply the Duomo. It is the fourth largest church in Europe, with its three naves, the external façades in white and green marble and its interiors bare of furnishings but dominated by a cycle of monumental frescoes made between 1572 and 1579 by the artists Giorgio Vasari and Federico Zuccari.

One of the strong points of this huge complex is the Brunelleschi's dome: an attraction within the attraction, with its masonry roof, divided into eight segments, the golden ball that supports the cross at the top and the lantern, placed at the top, completed posthumously on the death of the great artist.

A visit to the rest of the complex which includes the Giotto's Campanile, 84,70 meters high, and the Baptistery of San Giovanni, the oldest monument in the square.

  • from the center on foot in 10 minutes proceeding south-west on Largo Fratelli Alinari towards Piazza della Stazione - Get directions
  • Dome Mon-Sat from 10:00 to 17:30; Duomo: Mon-Wed-Fri from 10:00 to 17:00. On Thursday the Duomo opens at 10:00, while the closing time differs according to the seasons or holidays
  • € 15,00

6 - Church of Santa Maria Novella

A real masterpiece of Romanesque-Tuscan art it stands near the famous station of Firenze Santa Maria Novella. We are talking about the church of the same name (for some the religious structure is even considered a basilica) known for its polychrome marbles and for hosting one of the most important works of Tuscan and Italian religiosity: the "Trinity" by Masaccio.

  • from the center in four minutes on foot, proceeding in a southwest direction on Largo Fratelli Alinari towards Piazza della Stazione - Get directions
  • Mon-Thu from 09:00 to 17:30; Fri from 11:30 to 17:30; Sat from 9:00 to 17:30. On public holidays or Sundays, the church can be accessible to the public from 12:00 or 13:00, always until 17:30
  • € 5,00

7 - Central Market

Florence is not just museums and religious buildings. The capital of Tuscany is a metropolis always in turmoil, thanks above all to its streets, its clubs, its squares. Another fundamental meeting point for tourists and inhabitants are the markets, the most famous of which is the Central Market, dating from the th century. Spread over two floors, to make excellent quality food and wine purchases, just explore the lower level of the market; on the upper floors, however, it is possible to stop in the clubs and bars in the area, for a low cost breakfast or aperitif.

  • from the center in 4 minutes on foot, continuing north-east on Largo Fratelli Alinari towards Via Fiume - Get directions
  • Mon-Sun from 08:00 to 24:00
  • free, free visit

8 - Piazzale Michelangelo

Unmissable half of every tourist it is precisely the Piazzale Michelangelo, the subject of countless postcards and the most famous place where you can admire a wonderful panoramic view of Florence.
Built by the architect Giuseppe Poggi in 1869, the year in which Florence became the capital of Italy, the Piazzale it houses copies of the most important works of the Renaissance sculptor of the same name: The David and the four allegories of the Medici Chapels of San Lorenzo made in bronze.
Piazzale Michelangelo is easy to reach both by car, through the tree-lined Viale Michelangelo, and on foot, along the steps of Piazza Poggi called Rampe del Poggi. We recommend visit the Piazzale at dusk to admire the city in a magical way to say the least.

  • from the center 10 minutes by car - Get directions
  • always accessible
  • free, free visit

9 - Basilica of Santa Croce

Located in the homonymous square, the Basilica of Santa Croce is considered one of the oldest and most impressive Franciscan basilicas ever built in Italy. Inside, in addition to a vast collection of works of art, we can admire the tomb of Michelangelo, surrounded by three statues (Painting, Sculpture and Architecture), the Cenotaph of Dante and the monument dedicated to Vittorio Alfieri.
Inside the basilica we can also find others tombs of personalities of Italian art and culture, including that of Galileo Galilei.

  • on foot continuing east on Piazza della Signoria towards Via Vacchereccia - Get directions
  • Mon-Sat from 09:30 to 17:30; on Sundays and public holidays, the Basilica is accessible from 14:00 to 17:00
  • € 6,00

10 - Galleria dell'Accademia and Michelangelo's David

The name derives from the fact that the Gallery was built to introduce the students of the nearby Academy of Fine Arts to the masterpieces of Florentine art. Commissioned by the Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo, it is also known as the "Michelangelo Museum" due to the large presence of masterpieces by the Florentine genius. Among all, of course, the David, exhibited first in Piazza della Signoria, replaced by a copy to avoid decay.
The statute portrays David, the biblical hero who clashed with the giant Goliath. The allegory is meant to signify the victory of intelligence over brute force, but it is also a monument to courage. The impressive expressiveness of the face in fact shows David resolute and not at all hesitant just before throwing the stone with his slingshot.

Made between 1502 and 1504, Michelangelo used a single block of marble. The artist's extraordinariness and genius was accentuated even more by the fact that the marble block had already been used by two artists, Agostino di Duccio and Antonio Rossellino. Both, however, rejected it because they considered it too fragile to bear such a weight. The perfection that Michelangelo brought out was impressive: a statue of 4 meters and 10 of immeasurable proportions and beauty.

  • on foot from the Duomo taking via Ricasoli - Get directions
  • from Tuesday to Sunday from 8:15 to 18:50. Closed on Mondays, New Year's, 1st May and Christmas.
  • Full € 12,00, reduced € 6,00. Free for minors and the handicapped.

11 - Rose Garden

It is little known, but it is absolutely worthwhile to treat yourself to a stop, and perhaps a pleasant picnic, in the suggestive Parco delle Rose. Inside this green area, lush roses of every color bloom, as well as a thousand other botanical varieties, a characteristic Japanese garden and, starting from July 2011, a series of bronze sculptures by the Belgian artist Folon. A real piece of heaven in the city!

  • by bus from Florence Largo Alinari station (bus n ° 12) - Get directions
  • Mon-Sun from 08:00 to 20:00
  • free, free visit

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