The Renaissance city of Florence is choke-full of architectural gems, beautiful squares and unforgettable views. The city can be quite overwhelming for the first time visitors, so here is our list of top places to visit in Florence on yourItalian vacations.
Piazza del Duomo
The stunning square is dominated by the famous Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, or Il Duomo. It took more than 100 years to complete and today it is a real feast for the eyes: impressive pink, green and white marble exterior matches the grand vast interior with stunning frescoes and stained glass. You can climb 436 step up to the top of the cupola for an awe-inspiring panorama of the city. If you want to avoid the line, head to the Palazzo Vecchio Tower for breathtaking views without the hassle.
Galleria degli Uffizi
Immerse yourself in Renaissance art in one of the world’s greatest galleries. Book the tickets online to skip long lines. Decide beforehand what you want to see as you will be spoiled for choice with thousands of masterpieces by Rembrandt, Rubens, Michelangelo, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, and Raphael all around you.
The largest Franciscan basilica in Italy houses countless masterpieces, including fresco cycles by Giotto. Many famous people buried here, including Michelangelo, Dante, Machiavelli, and Galileo.
One the most photographed bridges in the world, the 14th century Ponte Vecchio miraculously survived bombings of the World War II. Just like in medieval times, there are shops along the bridge selling souvenirs, jewelry and antiques. It is a popular spot during sunsets for unforgettable views the Arno river. The next bridge to the west, Ponte Trinita, also has spectacular vistas, without the crowds.
The Oltrarno quarter
This old area of the city, located on the south side of the River Arno, feels like a small town. Stroll along the narrow streets to see local artisans at work: bookbinders, mosaic-makers, wood carvers, and goldsmiths have been preserving centuries-old traditional trades.
Florence’s famous square with a magnificent panoramic views of the city get packed with tourists during summer months, however the picture-perfect vistas are certainly worth your time.
Photos by: Rutger Blom, Nathan Rupert, Ricardo Zappata.