Top 15 things to see in Florence


“The Accademia Gallery”

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Galleria dell’Accademia (The Accademia Gallery) it’s for sure one of the best attractions in Florence.

Certainly, is one of the most important museums in Italy and is a real temple of the Renaissance period.

The Gallery attracts visitors from all over the world thanks to its famous work of art Michelangelo’s David.

Above all, it preserves a lot of other wonders that are priceless.

For example, the work of Giambologna, Perugino, Filippino Lippi, Sandro Botticelli, Daniele da Volterra, Giotto and other talented national artists.

The story of Galleria dell’Accademia begins in 1784.

The main target was to bring together ancient and modern paintings, as well as various sculptures for the students of the Academy of Fine Arts.

A well known curiosity about the Michelangelo’s David is that you can find a copy of the sculpture in Piazza della Signoria.

Secondly, a part of the musical instruments comes from the private collection of Medici family.

Structured in twelve areas, divided in rooms, galleries and tribunes, hosts the greatest masterpieces made by Italian artists.

Top things too see at Galleria dell’Accademia:
  • Colosso Hall – “La Sala del Colosso” : Ratto delle Sabine (Rape of the Sabines), opera di Giambologna is the masterpiece of the room.
  • Hall of Prisoners – “Galleria dei Prigioni” : Michelangelo’s unfinished statues shows the struggle of the artist about carving a block of marble.
  • David’s Grand Gallery – “Tribuna del David”: Here you can find David of Michelangelo, probably the most famous sculpture in the world, built in white marble form Carrara.
  • Hall of Musical Instruments – “Strumenti musicali”: You’ll find a room dedicated to one of the most expensive instruments in history, including the Stradivarius viola.
  • Florentine Gothic Art – “Gotico fiorentino”: It houses a rare collection of religious paintings, most of them covered in gold.
  • Coronation of the Virgin, by Jacopo di Cione, restored in 2011.
  • Tree of Life, by Pacino di Buonaguida.

Tours and Experience from Florence


Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral” or “The Duomo of Florence”

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This amazing Cathedral is located in the city center, in the “Piazza del Duomo” and it represents the landmark of Florence.

Its construction began at the end of the 13th century and it was Arnolfo di Cambio who projected it.

After more than 100 years the building was finished.

The Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral is the third in the world as size.

Anyway, in the Renaissance period was the largest construction of this kind, with a capacity of 30.000 people.

The facade is decorated in neo-gothic style with a mix of white, red and green marble. What we see today was completed only in the year of 1887.

On the other side, the interior of the cathedral is less decorated. However, the floor seems to be a large carpet made of marble.

The Cathedral was built on top of another modest church. The remains of “Santa Reparata” are still there.

If you are up to a challenge, you can go all the way to the top of the Duomo.

There is an amazing view over Florence but be aware of the steps, there are over 400 of them.

You need to respect a dress code to go inside of the Cathedral.

In conclusion, Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral is a must see architectural wonder in Italy.


“The San Lorenzo Basilica”

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This is the most ancient basilica in Florence, it was built in the 4th century.

At some point, San Lorenzo was the Cathedral of Florence, before Santa Maria del Fiore.

The visitors can go inside the cloister and the crypt, into the Laurentian Library and inside the Church and the Old Sacristy.

Inside the crypt are the tombs of two important men, Cosimo the Elder, from the Medici family and Donatello, the famous sculptor.

In the Laurentian Library you can find the Medici’s thousands of manuscripts but first you’ll come across the stairs designed by Michelangelo.

The San Lorenzo Basilica is another treasure of the Renaissance style.

The walls are covered with beautiful paintings, so you can also admire some work of italian art.

In addition, next to the basilica is located the Mercato San Lorenzo, if you want to do some shopping.


“Basilica of Santa Croce”

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The Santa Croce is the largest Franciscan church in Florence and inside you’ll find many funerary monuments and chapels.

The church is known as the Phanteon of Florence.

The most famous chapel is Capella de Pazzi (Pazzi Chapel).

Some of the most important figures buried there are: Machiavelli, Galileo Galilei and Michelangelo.

Also, Dante has a monument here but his tomb is located in Ravenna because of his exile.

It is a beautiful church in neo-gothic architecture and is a must see attraction in Florence.


“The Santa Maria Novella Basilica”

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This is one of the most important churches in Florence but is not as visited as it should be.

The basilica is located next to the train station, in the square with the same name and it was built in the year of 1279.

The beautiful facade in white and green marble is made in Romanesque stile.

Inside of the basilica you can admire some work of art, like the Crucifix made by Giotto or the Trinity made by Masaccio.


The Leonardo Da Vinci Museum”

Leonardo da Vinci is one of the most famous Italian artists in the history of time.

He is mainly known for the Monna Lisa painting, as well as the Last Supper.

Beside that, he was an inventor and a designer.

In the Leonardo Da Vinci Museum in Florence you can admire large working machines, that are also interactive.

The workshops represents another interesting activity for the visitors.

The museum is located in center of the city so you can easily include it in your itinerary.


The Galileo Galilei Museum”

Galileo Galilei

This is a scientific museum that is located in Piazza dei Giudici, next to The Ufizzi Gallery.

Inside of the Museo di Galileo Galilei you can admire some of the instruments that he used on his discoveries.

For example, the tools that he used for the study of astrology or for navigation.

There is also a room full of instruments that once belonged to the Medici family.

The rest of the museum is filled with old maps, surgical instruments, microscopes and other scientific instruments.

On the third floor of the museum it’s a library that holds around 150.000 publications and a photographic archive.

In conclusion, it’s a must see place for the science enthusiasts.


The House of Dante Museum”

Casa di Dante Museum

Dante Alighieri was born in Florence in 1265 and he was a very important writer. His masterpiece, “The divine comedy” is recognized in the entire world.

He is also known as the founder of the modern Italian language.

Casa di Dante hosts the story of the life of Dante Alighieri and the aspects of the period that he lived in.

The 1st floor is an introduction into the life of the poet with an exposition of chronologic events.

There is also an interactive library that allows you to see some virtual volumes.

The 2nd floor is all about the Italian language and The Divine Comedy. However, you can admire a reproduction of Dante’s bedroom.

The 3rd floor is dedicated to the city of Florence, between past and present.

Casa di Dante museum is a must see for those who want to learn more about the Italian culture.


“The Signoria Square”

Palazzo Vecchio Firenze

Piazza della Signoria is one of the most important and frequented places in the center of Florence.

It is located between The Duomo and the Arno river.

The Piazza della Signoria gets its name from the Palazzo Vecchio, originally named Palazzo della Signoria.

The L shape square is the place where a lot of tourists gather to visit the Uffizi Gallery. However, the square itself looks like an open-air gallery of art.

The main attractions in the Piazza della Signoria are: the copy of the statue of Michelangelo’s David, the Fountain of Neptune, the statue of Cosimo I.

Also, there is the Loggia dei Lanzi with its beautiful statues. For example, The Rape of the Sabines and the spectacular Perseus with the Head of Medusa.

To sum up, this is one of the best places to admire the artistic part of Florence for free.


“The Republic Square”

Piazza della Repubblica Firenze

The Piazza della Repubblica is one of the major squares in Florence.

This is the meeting point for some main streets of the historical center.

In the center of the Piazza della Repubblica stands tall the Colona dell’Abbondanza (The Column of Abundance).

What we see today is the result of the urban modernization that took place in the 18th century.

You can find coffee shops and you can admire the street artists that are entertaining the square.


Michelangelo Square”

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Projected by the architect Giuseppe Poggi in 1869, Piazzale Michelangelo offers the best view over Florence.

In other words, this enters in the category of “must-see places” for tourists.

The square was designed to celebrate Michelangelo and his work of art.

Poggi built a lodge with the main goal to become a museum but that didn’t happened. Now is a famous restaurant with a panoramic view.

A bronze reproduction of the statue of Michelangelo’s David can be admired in the center of the square.

This place captures a view over the main attractions of the city, The Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral, The Ufizzi Gallery, the Arno river and many others.

Watching the sunset from Piazzale Michelangelo can be a memorable experience.


The National Library of Florence”

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This library is one of the most important Italian and European libraries.

Beside that, is the largest library in Italy.

Inside is a huge and precious collection for over 5 millions of printed books and so many others manuscripts and documents.

The beginning of the collection starts in 1700s with the legacy of Antonio Magliabechi composed of 30.000 books.

The library first opening to the public took place in 1747 with the name “Biblioteca Magliabechiana”.

The union of the Magliabechiana library with the Palatina library becomes gives life to the National Library of Florence.

Inside the building, the most common materials are marble, stone and wood.

Unfortunately, the library was affected by the 1966 flood when the Arno river made some severe damages.

Today, the library has an online catalogue that allows you to check the data base.


“Boboli Gardens”


The Boboli Gardens is one of the most beautiful and elegant garden in Italy, considered to be an open-air museum and an inspiration for another gardens in Europe.

This historical park is find behind the Pitti Palace and covers an area of approximately 45.000 m2 with a lot of magnificent alleys, trees, lawns, statues and fountains.

The garden was built between 16th and 19th century by the Medici family and nowadays is welcoming hundreds of thousands of visitors.

This authentic monumental garden is proclaimed Unesco Heritage since 2013.

Here is what you can see inside the Boboli Garden: the Amphitheater with the Fountain of the Ocean, the famous Bountalenti Cave, the Belvedere Fort , the elegant Kaffeehaus, the Knight’s Gardens and Casino that now hosts the Museum of Porcelain.

Another attraction is the Cyprus Road (Viottolone), an avenue full of statues that leads to the place called Isolotto.

The visit can take at least 2-3 hours or even more.


The statue of Porcellino” and its legend


The statue, which is in fact a fountain, is located in the “Piazza del Mercato Nuovo”, close to the Old Bridge and Piazza della Signoria.

The name of the statue is “Porcellino” (little pig) but the fact is that it represents a wild boar.

When you come across the fountain, you will notice that the nose of “Porcellino” has another color.

This happened because of all the hands that touches it.

The legend says that this statue will bring the good luck in your life.

But first of all, there’s a whole ritual.

It seems that is not enough just to touch the nose of the “porcellino”.

You need to place a coin in his mouth and only if the coin goes into the water, you will be blessed with good fortune.

For the most visitors of Florence, the Statue of Porcellino is a must see attraction.

However, the original one is held in The Uffizi Gallery.


The Strozzi Palace”


First of all, the Strozzi family was one of the richest in Florence, among the Medici family.

Between them was always a conflict that lead to the exile of Strozzi.

The biggest wish of Filippo Strozzi was to build a palace that can overcome the Medici’s residence.

In conclusion, that’s exactly what he did when he return to Florence.

The architecture of the building is an example of the Renaissance period, with a symmetrical aspect.

In the present, Palazzo Strozzi hosts temporary exhibitions, from ancient to contemporary art.

The Palace is situated in the city center, in the square with the same name.

Check another three attractions here: Florence – Ponte Vecchio, Uffizi and Palazzo Pitti in Florence 

Wine tours and out of town excursions:  


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