Renaissance art. Tuscan cuisine. Hand-in-hand strolls along the Arno River. Florence is a city of culture and romance. And there’s so much to see and do in this walkable destination, that you’ll need to plan your time accordingly. To help you out, here are the attractions you shouldn’t miss in the capital of Tuscany.
Just off Piazza del Duomo is Piazza della Repubblica, where you’ll find a grand arch, a colourful old carousel, and fancy restaurants with outdoor seating. It’s a great spot for a drink and people-watching, which is why many locals come here.
This grand piazza is home to Palazzo Vecchio, the Fountain of Neptune and the Gucci Museum, plus it’s surrounded by bars and restaurants with outdoor seating and filled with the music of street musicians.
For a great photo, an unforgettable view and maybe even some great memories, take the short hike up to Piazzale Michelangelo and let Florence show off its beauty. The best time to go is at sunset, where the sun drops down behind the city, turns the sky into a watercolour painting and the city lights begin to twinkle.
Much like Rodeo Drive, this high-fashion street is full of great Italian and international brand stores. From Gucci and Prada to Tiffany’s and Cartier, Via dè Tornabuoni is shopping heaven.
Find Tuscan leather goods at this outdoor daily market and bring home a souvenir. Although most of the leather at this market is real, be careful not to overpay for something fake. Do your research beforehand to be a savvy market shopper and maybe you can score a bargain. Don’t forget to rub the nose of the boar fountain for good luck – put a coin in its mouth as you rub its nose and drop the coin down with a wish.
This little hilltop town sits on the north side of the city and can be reached by taking a bus. Just a short hike up the street from the main square is a lookout point where the view of the city below and the surrounding green Tuscan hills is to die for. There’s also a quaint church and an old monastery where you can go inside and see the rooms in which the monks lived. Two weekends a month, there is also a market that fills the main square.
Just a few blocks from the duomo, this square has equestrian statues, lots of history and a great view of the main cathedral down its narrow street. The main building is the old orphanage called Ospedale degli Innocenti. Now a museum, this is where poor families would leave their babies for adoption or come to give birth, while rich families would leave their children to board.
Book your tickets to see the world-famous statue at the Galleria dell’Accademia. Although David is the main attraction, stay a while in the gallery to admire the other amazing sculptures and statues. As always, get there early and be prepared to marvel.