The capital of Tuscany and undoubtedly the place to engulf yourself with art, culture and history. Florence has so much to offer that it can get overwhelming if you don’t have enough days, so make sure to give enough time to this wonder of a city. Florence is not only popular in Italy but also attracts people from around the globe, plenty of movies have been shot here and it is also an inspiration for many writers who have been influenced by the beauty of this city or the mysteries surrounding it.
Being in Florence is like a dream, surrounded by some of the most stunning buildings, and indulging in the best Tuscan food one can ask for. My trip to Florence was short but I still dream about visiting it again, soon!
Some of the places to visit here to enhance your Florence trip are as below and can be easily visited over a two-day itinerary.
Cathedral di Santa Maria del Fiore – Dominating all the major attractions of the city is this bewitching cathedral. The architecture of this gothic duomo is astonishing, it is built on the site of a 7th-century church and the remains of this church can be found in the crypt. The ‘Last Judgement’ fresco here is quite intricate and impressive. You can even climb the dome and the bell tower but that would require a ticket. Don’t forget to check out the Baptistery and the museum alongside.
Piazza Della Signoria – One of the main squares of the city, especially after the Piazza del Duomo, is this one, indeed. Here you can relish a good Tuscan meal as there are plenty of restaurants after which it’s time to explore the famed Galleria degli Uffizi (art museum) which houses some of the best artworks, this place is a treasure of knowledge. Initially, this place was meant to be an important government building, it is only since 1769 that this place was open to the public to marvel at the collectables.
Another highlight of this square is the castle-shaped Palazzo Vecchio which is the town hall of Florence and once housed the influential Medici family. To see more sculptures head to the Loggia dei Lanzi which is an open-air museum just beside the town hall. Even in the square itself, you can see a few quintessential structures like the Perseus with the Head of Medusa, Fountain of Neptune, and a replica of Michelangelo’s statue of David.
Oltrarno District – Most of the times people just stick to the touristy streets of a city and don’t make the effort to venture beyond the usual but if you did that you see the more real side of a city and it will be less busy. In Florence you should consider visiting Oltrarno district where you can find the Pitti Palace, it houses over 500 paintings from the Renaissance era, has collections of silver, porcelain and fashion. Another calming place to spend the afternoon is at the Boboli Gardens which are just a few steps from the Palazzo Pitti. It is a gigantic park and has some interesting sculptures to marvel at. Piazzale Michelangelo, dedicated to the world-renowned artist Michelangelo, the view from this hill is phenomenal and especially during sunset many locals and tourists gather around here to see the magic of the sunset.
Piazza Santa Croce – This square gets its name from the famous basilica located here which contains the tombs of Michelangelo, Pier Antonia, Giovanni Gentile and a couple of more prominent Italians. Another important feature of the Basilica of Santa Croce is his frescoes. The square also has a fountain from 19th Century and a palace called Palazzo dell’Antella, which is now used as houses on the upper levels and below are restaurants and shops.
Mercato Centrale ( San Lorenzo’s market)– A haven for foodies is this oldest food market in the city, here you can try some true florentine delicacies and buy some delicious produce. This place is a must-visit for all people who would want to savour on some tempting dishes from around town, it’s generally busy with people and has some pretty good restaurants, cafes and bars.
Ponte Vecchio – This renowned old bridge in Florence has been a part of its history for quite some time and either side of the bridge there are shops attracting visitors till date. This iconic bridge has even survived World War II, and the best way to enjoy this bridge is by taking a walk over it or by taking a boat ride on the Arno river and relishing its view.
Florence has always been that city which has an abundance of history and art, it is a robust destination and that’s one reason why it attracts a number of tourists from around the globe. You would be blissfully content to add this city in your Italy itinerary, it is one of my favourite places and I cannot wait to explore more of its neighbourhood on my next trip.