Florence is on the bucket list of every traveller, or at least it should be. Romantic city full of history and culture, Florence is ready to welcome every curious visitor. To get the best out of your visit, we’ve selected a few must-visit spots for your trip to Florence. And if you’re in need of a car to easily move around Florence, see some rental car deals at RentalPort.
Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
Visiting the Cathedral of Florence is a must! The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore is a real gem built by the best architects of the time (from Giotto to Brunelleschi, Vasari, Lorenzo Ghiberti …).
You should definitely not miss climbing up the famous Cúpola di Brunelleschi (be careful, 436 steps await you). Brunelleschi’s dome is the roof of the cathedral with a cross on its top.
Did you know that at the time of its construction it was the largest dome in the world? Today, it still holds the record: it is the largest brick dome ever built, with a maximum internal diameter of 45.5 meters. A real masterpiece by Philip Brunelleschi. Without any doubt, this place must be on your list!
The Uffizi Gallery is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful museum complexes in the world. It attracts tens of thousands of tourists every year thanks to the prestigious art collections on display.
The Uffizi is located inside a building designed by Giorgio Vasari, near Piazza Della Signoria. Inside, there are works from the Middle Ages to the Modern Age and you can see some of the most famous works in the world, such as The Birth of Venus and Spring by Botticelli, the Urbinus Venus by Titian, The Annunciation by Leonardo da Vinci and other works by Giotto, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, and other famous artists.
Giotto’s Bell Tower
Enjoy a wonderful view of Florence from the top of Giotto’s Bell Tower! With a height of almost 85 m, it is the best evidence of Florentine Gothic architecture of the fourteenth century. The exterior, like the cathedral, is covered with beautiful white, red, and green marble and is considered by many to be the most beautiful bell tower in Italy.
As the name suggests, the project began in 1334 by Giotto, who unfortunately did not see it completed. He died in 1337 when only the first part of the project was completed. The construction was then carried out by Andrea Pisani, according to Giotto’s instructions. Do not miss the top – after 400 steps there is a large terrace, from which you will have a wonderful view of the city.
Baptistery of San Giovanni
It is also located in Piazza Duomo, in front of the Cathedral entrance, and is one of the oldest churches in Florence. You can easily recognize it: it has an octagonal floor plan, from the outside it is covered with the same amazing tiles as the Cathedral and the Bell Tower. The Baptistery is older than the rest of the complex: what we see today is actually the result of the expanding a pagan temple transformed into a church and then restored.
Bargello National Museum
In 1865, it was recognized by The Royal Decree as the first Italian museum dedicated to medieval and renaissance art, along with a collection of renaissance sculptures considered the most important in the world. It is located inside the ancient Palazzo del Podestà in Florence, near Piazza Della Signoria.
The museum is spread over three different floors. Enter from the courtyard and explore then the first and second floors. The most beautiful rooms include the Sala di Michelangelo and the Sala di Donatello decorated with works by these two artists! Then you can visit the Sala degli Avori, the Chapel of Mary Magdalene, the Sala del Verrocchio, and many more.
Basilica of Santa Croce
Florence is a city full of beautiful churches. Basilica of Santa Croce in the eastern part of the historic center is definitely a must-see spot! It is one of the oldest and most impressive Franciscan basilicas ever built in Italy.
When you arrive in Santa Croce Square, the beauty of the Basilica’s façade immediately catches your eye. The Dante Alighieri Monument is also nearby. Inside you will find an extensive collection of artworks and Michelangelo’s Tomb, which is surrounded by three sculptures representing painting, sculpture, and architecture.
Basilica of Santa Maria Novella
Another church that is definitely worth a visit is the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, in the western part of the historic center, near Florence Santa Maria Novella Station. It is one of the most beautiful and important churches in Florence. This Dominican church is located in the square of the same name and dates back to the 15th century. Its façade made of white and green marble was designed by Leon Battista Alberti.
BONUS: Central Market
The meeting place for tourists and residents are markets, the most famous of which is the Central Market from the 19th century. The market is spread over two floors: if you want to buy food and wine of excellent quality, just explore the lower level of the market. On the top floor, it is possible to stop at local bars and clubs for a cheap breakfast or aperitif.
Tip: During your Florence trip, do not forget to get the ice cream in La Carraia: undoubtedly one of the best ice cream parlors in Florence in which you can choose from a wide range of flavors.
How To Move Around Florence?
In Florence, you can rent the legendary Vespa and see the city from a different perspective. However, if you would like to explore the surrounding cities, we recommend you rent a car in Florence. This way, you do not need to follow the bus schedule and you can set off any time as well as stop if something appeals to you halfway. Bologna is just two hours from Florence, from there you can head to San Marino.