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Amazing Things to Do in Florence, Italy (Insider’s tips)

In search of recommendations on issues to do in Florence?

As part of our city guides collection, we interviewed Laurel Perry Turner who owns and operates an genuine Tuscan tour firm, specializing in experiencing Tuscany, not simply visiting.

Since her first go to to Italy, virtually 6 years ago, she was hooked and has traveled the region extensively since.

Laurel shares with us her insider recommendations on the perfect issues to do in Florence.

Why visit Florence?

Florence can very properly be thought-about one of the artwork and cultural centers of the world.

Your first step into the town, will probably be back in time.

Permit yourself to be swept away into the Renaissance as you’re surrounded by superbly preserved, architecturally good, historical buildings and breathtaking art at every flip.

Each few steps you’ll be taken by the smells wafting from the trattorias, osterias, cafes and pizzerias! You may be surrounded by the sounds of the vigorous conversations in one of the lovely languages in the world!

Even the complaining youngsters sound lovely! (Though, the Italians might not agree!)

In the long run, it’s the tradition of hospitality and the kindness of the Italian folks that make you by no means need to depart.

Florence also makes for a wonderful selection for a place in your Italian honeymoon itinerary.

The Florence Museum Gold Cross will assist you to skip the queues and arvel at the Statue of David, explore Uffizi Gallery and luxuriate in views from the top of Brunelleschi’s Duomo with out problem and with an audio guide. Get your move here.

Prime 10 “on the beaten path” issues to do in Florence

Duomo/Baptistry/Bell Tower

Generally generally known as, “The Duomo”, Cattedrale de Santa Maria del Fiore is inconceivable to miss.

It’s the skyline of Florence. Building began on the large Gothic duomo in 1296 and it was consecrated in 1436.

Inside Brunelleschi’s Dome you will see that one of the crucial breathtaking items of art you’ll ever see.

It’s nicely well worth the stairs you’ll climb to walk across the inside partitions to see the paintings up close and to see a tremendous view of the town from the surface.

things to do in florenceInside view of Brunelleschi’s Dome

The Campanile, bell tower, is in Piazza del Duomo.

You possibly can climb the 414 stairs to get an unimaginable view, however in case you are choosing between climbing the duomo and the tower, go together with the dome.

The Baptistery is from the 11th century and one of the oldest buildings in Florence.

Here you will see that Ghiberti’s famous bronze doorways, the “Gates of Paradise” (they are reproductions, the originals are in the Duomo Museum).

Uffizi Gallery

The Galleria degli Uffizi holds the world’s most necessary collection of Renaissance art.

It’s essential to purchase reservation tickets before going to avoid the long line. Trust me on this one, the line might be hours, as they solely permit so many individuals in the museum at one time.

Your reservation shouldn’t be a ticket, just a move to get in the a lot shorter line to enter.

In the museum you will notice works from Michelangelo, Giotto, Botticelli, da Vinci, and Raphael.

Accademia Gallery

Florence’s Galleria dell’ Academia, holds Michelangelo’s David, simply probably the most famous sculpture in the world.

One among my favorite elements of this museum is the collection of musical instruments, I never tire of this exhibit. Additionally it is quite advisable to get reservations for this museum.

The famous David in Florence.

Boboli Garden

On the other aspect of the Arno River, you can find Giardino di Boboli, an exquisite and sprawling English fashion backyard on a hillside behind the Pitti Palace.

It’s a pretty place to decelerate and enjoy the greener aspect of Florence.

Palazzo Pitti

Palazzo Pitti, Pitti Palace, is Florence’s largest palazzo, once owned by the Medici household. You possibly can go to eight totally different galleries in the palace.

Be ready, it’s large and may put on you out shortly.

Piazza della Signoria

Piazza della Signoria, the historic and political middle of the town, is just off of the River Arno and next to the Uffizi Gallery.

Right here, you can see statues together with the Fountain of Neptune and a reproduction of the Statue of David.

I really like watching as vacationers stand in awe, clicking away on the breathtaking show of art filling the piazza! It was this square the place the well-known Bonfire of the Vanities was held.

Piazzedella Signoria

La Basilica di Santa Croce

Protected by an imposing statue of Dante, it sits with its lovely facade in entrance of a modest piazza.

The Santa Croce was built for the widespread citizens of Florence, just a 15-minute walk from the rather more grand Duomo.

This is my favourite church in Florence. It homes tombs of the likes of Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli, Foscolo, Gentile, Rossini and the empty tomb of Dante.

Because of this, the Santa Croce is also called the Temple of the Italian Glories (Tempio dell’Itale Glorie).

Florence retains the empty tomb of Dante in hopes that someday it shall be crammed together with his decayed stays. They’re presently housed in the town of Ravenna, his remaining resting place, after being exiled from Florence.

things to do in florenceDante’s empty tomb in Santa Croce

Piazzale Michelangelo

It is a should to see the solar setting over the town from Piazzale Michelangelo!

That is, by far, probably the most famous view overlooking the town and has been reproduced on numerous postcards and pictures. You will also find a bronze duplicate of David that is thought to be safeguarding the town.

You possibly can both take the hike up to the highest, take the bus, or rent a cab.

Should you choose to stroll to the Piazzale, ensure you wander by way of the Oltrarno, the neighborhood on the opposite aspect of the Arno river from the duomo, which is all too typically ignored.

At the very least, attempt to walk down after the sun units.

View of Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo

The Ponte Vecchio

The Ponte Vecchio was Florence’s first bridge to cross the Arno River and is the only surviving bridge from Florence’s medieval days.

Lined with outlets promoting gold and silver jewelry, you’ll have an excellent view of the town alongside the Arno River.

This bridge is a true landmark of the town of Florence.

At night time, it can be fairly romantic to take in an area musician busking at the middle of the bridge, while gazing upon the town lighting up the river.

The Bargello

The Bargello is the nationwide sculpture museum, situated in Florence.

The castle-like building was built in 1255–1350 as the original seat of presidency. It accommodates the greatest assortment of Renaissance sculpture in Florence and is likely one of the greatest collections in Italy.

What it’s essential to see right here is the large room full of Donatello’s masterpieces.

Greatest Neighborhoods to Explore in Florence

You will hit most all of Florence’s major neighborhoods while exploring the sites, however it is the neighborhood across the river you don’t want to miss.

The Oltrarno, “Across the Arno” is the artisans’ neighborhood, crammed with quaint streets and fantastic outlets and restaurants.

It’s, by far, probably the most missed gem by vacationers in Florence.

The Oltrarno’s energetic tree-filled middle, Piazza Santo Spirito, is exclusive unto itself. Lined with bars and a more bohemian type crowd, this is the place you will see that the locals.

The place to Eat in Florence

  • Gusta Pizza – These guys are so busy, they don’t even want an internet site! The strains can typically be lengthy, but it is going to be nicely well worth the wait. A few of the greatest pizza in town! You get see critiques and get info on them on Tripadvisor.

things to do in florencePizza Love Letters from underneath the glass table at Gusta Pizza

  • Genuine Tuscan Delicacies – La Beppa Fioraia- Tratoria Storica Fiorentina is a favorite of the locals. It’s a bit on the higher end, but not outrageous. This pretty restaurant is well worth the walk to the opposite aspect of the river. The meals is unimaginable and the employees fairly pleasant.
  • Gelato – Is there anything extra necessary in Italy? You should know that not all gelato is identical! Don’t be fooled by the beautiful shows, go together with the suggestions and the place you see a line, there’s a cause for it. Keep in mind, it’s essential to eat at the very least 2 scoops a day!
  • My favourite gelateria is La Carraia. Situated throughout the river, but right on it, La Carraia just isn’t only scrumptious and recent, but you will get a scoop for only one euro!

things to do in florenceLa Carraia Gelateria

You Can’t Visit Florence Without Eating …

The bistecca alla Fiorentina, the Tuscan t-bone!

This mouth-watering piece of meat won’t ever permit you to taste steak the identical again!

Whereas I’m a bit biased, as that is the place the place my vacationers keep, Bellavista Impruneta Lodge Ristorante is understood for having one of the best Florentine bistecca round.

It is a stunningly lovely 30-minute bus journey by way of the Tuscan countryside to the small village of Impruneta where you can find this gourmand deal with.

Additionally they supply gluten-free options.

things to do in florenceBistecca alla Fiorentina- Bellavista Impruneta

Where to Drink in Florence

Dolce Vita – I really like this place! Situated in the Oltrarno neighborhood across the river, that is really a “locals” place to be.

It is quite hip and the award-winning bartender turned proprietor, Dario, can be positive to take excellent care of you! The gang right here is 20’s-50’s and feels really snug for everyone.

things to do in florenceDario at Dolce Vita Bar

Zoe – Zoe is a vigorous place to have a drink with nice music and a little bit of a younger crowd. The bartenders are friendly and eager to exhibit their expertise!

Negroni – A couple doorways down from Zoe, this can be a place liked by guests and locals alike! In case you are in search of a fantastic drink and good quality food for an aperitive, that is your home!

Greatest Place for a Night time on the City in Florence

My favorite thing to do in Florence at night time is to explore the websites! Go to the museum in Palazzo Vecchio at night time and you’ll get a deal with such as you never imagined!

No strains, no crowds, and a superbly quiet view of a few of the biggest masterpieces in the world!

Plus, there’s nothing like seeing all the buildings and statues lit up in the night time sky!

Stop into Dolce Vita for a cocktail and somewhat aperitivo and luxuriate in a stunning tour of the town beneath the celebs!

things to do in florenceView from the top of Palazzo Vecchio

Where to Stay in Florence

Lodging in Florence

Lodge David – That is a completely pretty lodge that’s conveniently situated. It isn’t central, so you possibly can keep away from the crowds and all the night-time noise.

The rooms are spacious and cozy. There’s WiFi, free parking and gluten-free menu options. Household owned and operated, it is really an exquisite place to stay.

For a singular and local expertise guide with Airbnb. From luxurious houses to metropolis flats with sweeping metropolis views they have you ever coated! Click on right here to see what’s obtainable on your trip to Florence.
Reserving.com

The place to keep Outdoors of the Florence

Bellavista Impruneta Lodge Ristorante – If you need to get slightly taste of the countryside whereas still being shut to the town, that is the place for you. Bellavista is situated in the quaint village of Impruneta, just a 30 minute countryside drive or bus journey from the town.

Owned and operated by the Becucci household for over 100 years, authentic Tuscany is what one can find here.

There’s all the time someone ready to reply any of your questions and assist you in any approach. Snug rooms, gourmand delicacies, and because the identify implies, lovely views! The village of Impruneta is a gem all to itself!

things to do in florenceTerrace view from Bellavista Impruneta

Markets and Buying in Florence

Piazza Santa Trinita – This piazza sits just off the river, By way of de’ Tornabuoni, is house to Gucci, Armani, Ferragamo, Versace, and lots of extra.

Here, you can see superbly quaint streets lined with the most important names in high trend. Even when haute couture isn’t your factor, it’s well worth the window-shopping stroll.

San Lorenzo and the Mercato Centrale – Centered on the Medici’s previous church of San Lorenzo, between the practice station and the Duomo, these streets are crammed with markets!

Right here you will discover the huge indoor food market, and San Lorenzo’s well-known leather markets.

It is a enjoyable and vigorous place to visit and don’t be afraid to haggle with costs.

things to do in florenceFood market

Occasions and Festivals in Florence

For a complete calendar of major events, go to the events web page in Life in Italy. This is where I get all my Italian information and knowledge. That is an extremely informative website in case you are planning a go to.

Getting round Florence

Florence is a superbly walkable city.

Virtually any website may be reached on foot. Simply be certain to put on your most snug footwear, will probably be well worth the funding! The brick streets and uneven walkways are usually not conducive to small heels.

The bus system is sort of reliable. Getting around by bus is fairly straightforward too, you simply need to know the place to get your tickets and what the routes are.

You will get all of that on the ATAF website.

The Santa Maria Novella practice station is conveniently situated in the town and pretty straightforward to navigate. As with all practice station, concentrate on your belongings at all times.

things to do in florenceLaurel in Florence

Finding WiFi in Florence

I’ve by no means had any drawback discovering a bar (the Italian identify for cafes) that provide free wifi to clients. I often just get a espresso and a pastry and have a seat outdoors.

The town of Florence now gives free WiFi in 12 piazze and parks. Access is by way of password in compliance with Italian laws, and restricted to one hour a day.

Unfortunately, to get the password you’ll need an Italian cellphone. I’m hoping it will change soon.

Greatest time to go to Florence

Little question, spring and fall.

The summers might be quite scorching and horribly crowded. The winter is a bit chilly, however you’ll not encounter many tourists in any respect.

Visiting in the off-seasons offers you a a lot deeper experience to not have to struggle the crowds and it is going to be considerably inexpensive all the best way around, particularly the airfare!

Favorite Aspect trip from Florence

Taking a drive by way of the Chianti, residence to probably the most well-known Italian purple wine in the world is something every Tuscan customer should do.

Extending over the provinces of Florence and Siena and masking all the space between, Chianti gives a singular panorama with green, rolling hills coated with fields of vineyards and olive groves, small stone villages, and countryside houses in stone.

Driving through the Chianti

You want to end up in Sienna at the finish of your drive. Second only to Florence in significance in the history of Italian art, Siena is a should see in Tuscany.

Cease and other people watch in Piazza del Campo, one of the crucial lovely piazzas in all of Italy, as you soak in all that Siena has to supply.

Take a virtual tour of Siena and get a taste of how magnificent this city actually is!

If you don’t want to rent a automotive and drive yourself, you’ll be able to take a bus or hire a day excursion driver to convey you there.

Siena Italy

Getting There and Away

You possibly can both fly immediately into Florence or into Pisa and take the practice into the town.

I want to fly Luthansa. With layovers in Germany, I discover the airports to be accommodating and straightforward to navigate and the airline to be reliable.

I attempt to keep away from a layover in Paris each time I can, getting stuck in an enormous airport can easily make you miss your connection.

My favorite 3rd social gathering journey booking website is Skyscanner, I have saved lots of of dollars reserving by way of them.

You can even take a bus or a practice in, which can deliver you to the Santa Maria Novella station, right in the center of the town.

Greatest insiders tip for travel to Florence

Get misplaced! I really like walking down random streets and experiencing the true quaintness of less-traveled paths.

Simply keep in mind to be protected and all the time carry a map! In the event you get actually misplaced, simply ask anybody to lead you to the Duomo.

Palazzo Strozzi– Here one can find a continuing rotation of reveals. It’s typically ignored as a result of the present reveals won’t be listed in the guide books.

I attempt to never miss an exhibit here when I’m in city!

Mixing the traditional with the fashionable, Palazzo Strozzi has by no means dissatisfied me.

With all reveals in english in addition to Italian, the breathtaking shows are definitely an underrated gem of the town.

things to do in florencePalazzo Strozzi

Style Florence – In case you actually need to find out about eating in Italy, take time for this Florence meals tour! You will not be dissatisfied!

Don’t overlook to cease into one (or a couple of) of the numerous wine outlets (enoteca) to find out what Tuscany is admittedly famous for!

I really like Florence as a result of…

I am in love with falling in love!

Every time I visit this exceptional metropolis, I fall in love once more! From the meals to the tradition, the architecture and the artwork, the language and the individuals.

Florence is a city that you’ll hold in your coronary heart ceaselessly!

Plan Your Journey to Florence

We’ve been touring 20  years and have come to depend on a couple of trusted websites that save us time and cash when reserving accommodation, flights, and automotive rental. Under are our most popular companions. Should you guide by way of these links, we do obtain a small commission at no additional value to you. It helps us proceed to present inspiring and useful travel content material free of charge on this website.

Accommodation in Florence

Flights to Florence

  • Skyscanner is a comparison website that searches tens of millions of flights. Once you discover your greatest deal, e-book immediately by way of the airline (no additional charges). Download the Skyscanner App. It’s an all in one flights, lodge and automotive rent search engine app and makes it simpler for you to discover the most effective journey deals!

Tours in Florence

Automotive Rental in Florence

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Is Florence on your bucket list? Great insider tips here on what to see & do, where to eat, sleep, drink, shop, explore and much more!Image: Shutterstock.com

BIO – Laurel Perry Turner lives together with her three youngsters in Clearwater, Florida. She is a journey and portrait photographer, author, and owner of Capturing Tuscany, an authentic Tuscan touring firm. Laurel is at present writing a ebook concerning the individuals of Giglio Island, Italy and their experience with the Costa Concordia disaster. You’ll be able to comply with her blog, Capturing la Vita. It’s also possible to join with Laurel on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest

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