Florence, Italy. The Tuscan Renaissance city full of amazing art, architecture and must-see landmarks.
Italy

First Timers to Florence – Top Things to Do

Florence, a small walkable city, offers visitors some of the best art and architecture in Europe. Art lovers will be in awe of the classic masterpieces that can be found here. Lovers of architecture will marvel at the historic churches, palaces, and soaring buildings shadowing the winding alleyways. Lastly, sunset lovers will be treated to the most beautiful golden hour casting an incredible glow over the entire city.  

Colpo di fulmine. That’s what Italians call love at first sight, and that’s exactly what happened to me. I immediately fell in love with Florence. For those visiting Florence for the first time (or it’s a repeat visit) here are  the best things to see and do. 

The Must-See Cathedrals

Santa Maria del Fiore

The Duomo in Florence is the city's most famous landmark
The building of the Cathedral began at the end of the 13th century and finished in the 15th century. It is the 4th largest in the world and a designated UNESCO World Heritage site. The exterior is covered in a decorative mix of pink, white and green marble. 

Campanile di Giotto

The Duomo in Florence is the city's most famous landmark
Although visiting the Cathedral is free, the tower is not. Climbing Giotto’s bell tower is among the most popular things to do when in Florence, all 414 steps. But the view is worth it!

The Basilica of Santa Croce

The Basilica of Santa Croce in Florence Italy
Santa Croce is the largest Franciscan church in the world. This 13th century church is the burial place for the greats in Florence. Michelangelo is buried in Santa Croce, as are Rossini, Machiavelli, to name a few. Notably, there are 16 chapels as well as beautiful cloisters.

The Must-See Piazzas

Piazza della Repubblica

Carousel, Piazza della Repubblica, Florence, Italy The famous carousel in the Piazza della Repubblica, a major town square in the old town section of Florence, Italy. florence carosel stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

Just off of the main Piazza del Duomo (each main cathedral in Italy is called the duomo) is Piazza della Repubblica where you can find a grand arch, a colourful old carousel and pricey restaurants with outdoor seating. This is a great square for people watching and having a drink. It’s bustling with activity all day long, and is a popular hang out spot in the evening.

Piazza della Signoria

The Renaissance city of Florence in Italy
This grand piazza is home to Palazzo Vecchio, the loggia of outdoor statues and sculptures, the Fountain of Neptune. The Gucci Museum is surrounded by restaurants with outdoor seating spilling out onto the square. It's filled with the music of local street musicians. Such a great atmosphere that this is not to be missed.

Piazza della SS Annunziata

Florence, Italy - the beautiful Renaissance city in Tuscany.
This is the most beautiful square in the city. It's elegant, graceful design and architecture features the Renaissance style in the loveliest shades of ochre-hued buildings. This is a peaceful square to visit. It's quiet, and almost tucked away from the main tourist sites, making it a gem to visit.

The Must-See Bridges

Ponte Vecchio

The oldest bridge in Florence, Pont Vecchio is a popular landmark while visiting Florence.
This famous landmark is hard to miss. It was the first of three main bridges built over Arno river in 1218. What makes it unique is the bridge itself is lined with jewellery stores from one side of the river to the other. It also draws many people, making it almost unbearable to visit. But you simply must.

Ponte Santa Trinita

The beautiful Renaissance bridges of Florence
This Renaissance bridge with its three elegant arches was rebuilt in the 1500s after the original wooden bridge was damaged during a flooding of the Arno river. The views from this bridge are incredible. Not only of Pont Vecchio, but also it's the best place for people and sunset watching.

Ponte alla Carraia

The beautiful Renaissance bridges of Florence
This Renaissance bridge features five elegant arches was also rebuilt in the 1500s after the original wooden bridge suffered the same fate as the bridge to the east, Pont Santa Trinita.

The Must-See Palaces

Palazzo Vecchio

The Palazzo Vecchio is the town hall of Florence, Italy. It overlooks the Piazza della Signoria, which holds a copy of Michelangelo's David statue.
This 14th century Romanesque style building was the city's town hall. It sits on the Piazza della Signoria. Leading up to the entryway are statues and fountains. Of most significance is the copy of Michelangelo's David, as well as, Medici lions, Hercules, and Perseus with the head of Medusa.

Palazzo Strozzi

Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, Italy
This 15th century Renaissance palace was once home to the richest family in Florence, the Strozzi family. It is the inner courtyard, with the second story balcony that is incredible. Today, the palace houses rotating art displays.

Palazzo Pitti & Boboli Garden

Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens Private Tour | Marriott Vacation Club

When visiting the Palazzo Pitti, it’s the garden that is main attraction. Boboli Garden offers over 11 acres of green space, full of statues, sculptures, art, hidden pathways and fountains. It offers a peaceful escape from the busy city.

The Must-Do Activities

Florence, Italy. The Tuscan Renaissance city full of amazing art, architecture and must-see landmarks.
Get lost in the city's maze of medieval streets. In Florence, the tall buildings soar and create these lovely narrow alleyways, almost always fully shaded. Eavesdrop on busy families, smell the delicious aroma of a meal being prepared and watch children play football (or soccer) in the laneways.
Florence, Italy is a cultural rich city to visit while in Tuscany
Take in some art. Constructed in 1580, the Uffizi Gallery houses some of the most amazing collections of ancient sculptures and paintings from the Middle Ages to the Modern period. One of those highlights is the Venus de' Medici, as the epitome of beauty, Venus is a Roman copy of a 2,000-year-old Greek statue.
Florence, Italy is a cultural rich city to visit while in Tuscany
Go shopping at Mercato del Porcellino! Find some Tuscan leather goods at this lively outdoor daily market. Although most of the leather at this market is real, not all leather is treated equal. Be a savvy market shopper, and maybe you'll score a bargain. Don’t forget to rub the nose of the boar fountain for good luck -put a coin in its mouth as your rub its nose and drop the coin down with a wish!
A guide to visiting Florence for the first time. What are all the important landmarks you need to visit. #Florence #Italy
Take a romantic stroll along the Arno river. The Arno flows east-west and divides Florence into the Centro Storico (historic center) to the north and the hillier, less crowded Oltrarno (“over the Arno”) to the south. This treelined spacious walk offers the best views of the city. Be sure to do this river walk in the early morning (before the crowds) or in the evening.

As a holidaymaker…

Have you fallen in love with Florence yet? This beautiful city is a must-see for your Tuscan intinery. Whether you are visiting Italy for the first time or the twentieth time, this beautiful city is a must-see on your Tuscan intinery. The next largest Tuscan city is Siena, which is only an hour away, makes for a great day trip.

A guide to visiting Florence for the first time. What are all the important landmarks you need to visit. #Florence #Italy
A guide to visiting Florence for the first time. What are all the important landmarks you need to visit. #Florence #Italy

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