Florence, once the home of the famous, and infamous, Medici family is a popular tourist destination. You’ll want to spend at least a week exploring the city. After your airport pickup, stay in a hotel which is close to the main sights so that you’re able to walk to all the historic landmarks. Although what to do and see in Florence can be overwhelming, so here is the top 5 things to do in Florence.
1. Piazzale Michelangiolo
Undoubtedly the best place to have a full view of the city, Piazzale Michelangiolo was built in 1869 as part of the Risanamento or the Renovation which changed many parts of the city. The panoramic view encompasses the majority of the city, from Forte Belvedere to Santa Croce and is a wonderful place to see the dome of the Florence Cathedral. There is also bronze copies of several famous sculptures, including Michelangelo’s David.
2. Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore
Start saving money for your trip to Florence now, because you won’t want to miss out on this beautiful sight. Widely known for its massive brick dome, the largest in the world, the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore or Florence Cathedral visually dominates the centre of Florence. Replacing the 5th century church there before, the Cathedral took some 140 years to build starting in 1296 and finishing in 1436. Part of a larger complex the Florence Cathedral was designed in the Italian Gothic style, with its façade done in the Gothic Revival style in 1887. The completion façade, a polychrome marble panels in shades of pink and green, signalled the true finish of the building of the structure, the outer decoration never finished during original construction.
3. Boboli Gardens
One of the first formal 16th century Italian gardens, Boboli Gardens covers 111 acres and includes the famous Fountain of Neptune and Isolotto. Originally solely for the use of Medici family now the massive Boboli Gardens is an open air museum for many pieces of sculpture. Luckily unlike their original state, where not even parties had been held there, in the modern day the gardens are open to the public.
4. Uffizi Gallery
Another travel tip for Florence is to visit more art galleries, and certainly the most visited Uffizi Gallery is home to many pieces of art, particularly Renaissance pieces but the massive gallery also includes sculptures, jewellery and many other types of art as well. Renovations, started in 1989 and continuing today, have more than doubled the floor space of this 16th century complex. Though the construction continues the gallery is still open, only having necessary rooms closed, with what artworks can be moved located elsewhere in the complex. Attempting to list even a fraction of the artworks in this gallery would be a futile task, but there is no doubt that everyone will find something that interests them in the Uffizi Gallery.
5. Galleria dell’Accademia
Home of many of Michelangelo’s artworks, including the famous statue of David (a copy now stands in its original place in the Piazza della Signoria), the Galleria dell’Accademia or Gallery of the Academy of Florence is smaller than the Uffizi Gallery and houses a more specialized collection. That collection, which includes several unfinished Michelangelo sculptures and paintings by Bottecelli, mostly consists of work by Florentine artists from the 13th to 16th centuries. Though far smaller than Uffizi, the Galleria dell’Accademia was the second most visited museum in Italy.
With its famous museums and expansive and scenic views Florence is a wonderful destination for art lovers around the world, but anyone could have a great time in the capital of Tuscany.