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Things To See in Florence, Italy

Attracting three million tourists annually, Florence entices art lovers from all over the world and not without reason. Home to over a quarter of the world’s most important works of art, a visit to the former home of masters including Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, Brunelleschi, Raphael, Michelangelo, Giotto and Ghiberti as well as many others can only be described as a dream holiday for those who know even the least little thing about art.

Having served as a centre of artistic excellence for several centuries, evidence of this role can be seen throughout the city today. As well as the wealth of sculptures and paintings which are on display in various museums, galleries and churches, the buildings themselves are spectacular too. The most famous of them all is undoubtedly the Duomo or Santa Maria del Fiore which you will find in the heart of the city but don’t limit yourself to the big names when it comes to the host of historic buildings on offer. Quite often the smaller buildings are even more impressive as a result of their intimacy.

Because Florence is quite a small city, the excellent advantage is that all the major attractions are located within walking distance of each other. In fact it makes it all the more alluring because there seems to be an attraction to greet you around every corner. As a result the city itself resembles one huge museum where the lives of the greatest artists that ever lived are uncovered before your eyes, all you have to do is keep them wide open.

Attractions in Florence

  • Battistero di San Giovanni

    Piazza San Giovanni, Florence, Italy

    In a city which is home to a host of historical buildings, the Baptistery has a highly important role to play as the oldest building in Florence. Dating from the late fourth century the building also features some eleventh and twelfth century features compliments of a series of renovations and is a truly remarkable attraction which you really shouldn’t miss.

  • Duomo - Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore

    Piazza del Duomo, Florence, Italy

    One of the largest cathedrals on the planet, the main attraction of this particular Florentine building is the amazing red brick dome or cupola which was created by Filippo Brunelleschi back in the sixteen hundreds. When you get to the cathedral don’t leave without climbing the 463 steps to the top where you will receive unparalleled views of the city.

  • Galleria Dell'Academia

    Via Ricasoli 60/R, Florence, Italy

    There are three of Michaelangelo’s Davids in Florence but it is in this particular museum that the real one can be found. As well as this world-renowned sculpture you will also find the four prisoners which were never actually finished as well as an unfinished statue of Saint Matthew. And, as if that wasn’t enough there is a notable collection of paintings dating from the thirteenth to the eighteenth century.

  • Uffizi Gallery

    Loggiato degli Uffizi 6, Florence, Italy

    Undoubtedly one of the most impressive museums in the world, the Uffizi was originally built to house the private collection of the Medici family. Today the museum houses the largest collection of Italian Renaissance art in the world including works by Giotto, Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, Michaelangelo as well as further works by artists including Rubens, Van Dyck and Rembrandt.

  • Palatine Gallery

    Palazzo Pitti, Florence, Italy

    Another very important Florentine gallery where you will find works by Titian, Rapahel, Rubens, Tintoretto and Caravaggio as well as a multitude of works by other Italian and international artists. Along with this you can check out the Royal Apartments which house some wonderful tapestries, furniture, china, vases, gems, porcelains and fabrics. And, for a change of scene on the art front the Museum of Modern Art is also located in Palazzo Pitti so pay it a visit while you’re in the vicinity.

  • Boboli Gardens

    Palazzo Pitti or Pizaale di Porta Romano, Florence, Italy

    Another Medici, initiative these gardens are built at the Palazzo Pitti and are the largest open area in the city. Despite this, not every tourist that comes to Florence has heard about them so they are not as packed with visitors as you might think. As well as the wonderful scenery within the gardens, they also offer some breathtaking views of the city so stock up on film before you go.

  • Church of San Miniato al Monte

    Via di Monte alle Croci, Florence, Italy

    This is one of the finest examples of Romanesque churches in the country – and there’s quite a few of them – so it’s definitely one you want to see. Containing numerous treasures including some particularly impressive fourteenth century frescoes by Spinello Aretino, the green and white marble façade can be seen from the heart of the city so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding it.

  • Ponte Vecchio

    , Florence, Italy

    This remarkable bridge is one of five in the city centre region alone that span the Arno but Ponte Vecchio is the one which is recognised as a Florentine symbol. Dating back to the fourteenth century, the bridge spans the narrowest point on the river and the buildings which surround the bridge today date from this time too so it is a very traditional and historic area. As well as this, the views up and down the river are quite something so make sure you walk the whole bridge to get the whole picture – so to speak.

  • Church of Santa Croce

    Piazza di Santa Croce, Florence, Italy

    The final resting place for numerous famous Florentines, you will find the tombs of Michelangelo, Macchiavelli, Galileo and Bardi among the two hundred and seventy six tombstones which pave the floor of the interior of the church. As well as the tombs, the various chapels of the Church of Santa Croce features works by Giotto and della Robbia as well as cloisters designed by Brunelleschi and a crucifix designed by Cimabue.

  • Cappelle Medicee (Medicean Chapels)

    Piazza Madonna degli Aldobrandini, Florence, Italy

    Commissioned by the Medici family these chapels include the Chapel of the Princes or Cappella dei Principi, the Church of San Lorenzo and the Sagrestia Nuova which was actually the first architectural work carried out by Michelangelo. Known in English as the New Sacristy, the area is home to some of his most famous and most impressive sculptures including the much loved Madonna and Child.

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