Florence in 360º

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Highlights

Top Things To See In Florence

Surrounded by world-famous art and enough historical intrigue to keep the most hardened history buffs on the tips of their toes, you’ll never run out of fascinating things to see in Florence. Indeed, from the ornate rooms of the Palazzo Vecchio – haunted by legends of political power-grabs – to the lush landscapes of the Boboli Gardens and the beautiful Botticellis in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence is one of the globe’s great destinations. To give you a sneak peek, we’ve put together a virtual guide offering 360° looks at some of Florence’s best spots. Just click through to explore this most magical of cities.

Santa Maria Del Fiore
  • Santa Maria Del Fiore
  • Florence’s most visited attraction, Santa Maria Del Fiore is the third-largest cathedral in the world, and one of the most beautiful. Of special note is Brunelleschi’s magnificent Renaissance dome, which has been adorning Florence’s skyline for nearly 600 years. The dome was unrivalled when it was first created – a true engineering marvel – and visitors who climb the 463 steps (there’s no lift) to the top of the dome are rewarded with fantastic views of the city. Entry is free so the queues can be long, but you can take a virtual look at Santa Maria Del Fiore here.
  • Florence’s most visited attraction, Santa Maria Del Fiore is the third-largest cathedral in the world, and one of the most beautiful. Of special note is Brunelleschi’s magnificent Renaissance dome, which has been adorning Florence’s skyline for nearly 600 years. The dome was unrivalled when it was first created – a true engineering marvel – and visitors who climb the 463 steps (there’s no lift) to the top of the dome are rewarded with fantastic views of the city. Entry is free so the queues can be long, but you can take a virtual look at Santa Maria Del Fiore here.
  • Guided Tour of Duomo Complex & Restoration Workshop
Palazzo Vecchio
  • Palazzo Vecchio
  • Serving as Florence’s town hall, Palazzo Vecchio has been the seat of Florence’s government since the 13th century. Although it still functions in a municipal capacity, much of the property has been turned into a museum, and visitors can now wander through the fountain-adorned courtyard, see the Salone dei Cinquecento where the Council of 500 once met, take in sweeping views of the Arno valley from the loggia, and marvel at the stunning fleur-de-lys in the Lily Room. The palace is packed with impressive Florentine art, and is a must-see for any history-minded visitor looking to get a glimpse of old-world Florence.
  • Serving as Florence’s town hall, Palazzo Vecchio has been the seat of Florence’s government since the 13th century. Although it still functions in a municipal capacity, much of the property has been turned into a museum, and visitors can now wander through the fountain-adorned courtyard, see the Salone dei Cinquecento where the Council of 500 once met, take in sweeping views of the Arno valley from the loggia, and marvel at the stunning fleur-de-lys in the Lily Room. The palace is packed with impressive Florentine art, and is a must-see for any history-minded visitor looking to get a glimpse of old-world Florence.
  • Skip-The-Line Palazzo Vecchio & Piazza della Signoria Tour
Galeria degli Uffizi
  • Galeria degli Uffizi
  • When drawing up a list of things to do in Florence, taking a tour of its famed museums should be near the top. Perhaps nowhere is the city’s rich artistic heritage on better display than at the Uffizi Gallery, a magnificent and surprisingly intimate museum adjacent to the Palazzo Vecchio. The Uffizi Gallery dates from 1581 and houses some of the world’s greatest masterpieces, including Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus” and Michelangelo’s “Doni Tondo”, as well as one of Da Vinci’s rare collaborations. The museum only admits small numbers of visitors and the queues can be long, so it’s advisable to book tickets in advance.
  • When drawing up a list of things to do in Florence, taking a tour of its famed museums should be near the top. Perhaps nowhere is the city’s rich artistic heritage on better display than at the Uffizi Gallery, a magnificent and surprisingly intimate museum adjacent to the Palazzo Vecchio. The Uffizi Gallery dates from 1581 and houses some of the world’s greatest masterpieces, including Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus” and Michelangelo’s “Doni Tondo”, as well as one of Da Vinci’s rare collaborations. The museum only admits small numbers of visitors and the queues can be long, so it’s advisable to book tickets in advance.
  • Skip-the-Line: Uffizi Gallery Tour with Audio-Guide
Ponte Vecchio
  • Ponte Vecchio
  • For all Florence’s ornate architecture, artistic masterpieces and magnificent feats of engineering, one of the city’s most famous landmarks is the modest Ponte Vecchio, a stone bridge crossing the Arno. This unassuming bridge has a fascinating history, as it dates from 1345, when it replaced another bridge lost to a flood. After its reconstruction, it became the only bridge across the Arno that survived the Nazis’ retreat – the soldier tasked with its destruction thought it too beautiful to destroy – and today it’s one of the more enduring symbols of the city, popular with locals and visitors alike.
  • For all Florence’s ornate architecture, artistic masterpieces and magnificent feats of engineering, one of the city’s most famous landmarks is the modest Ponte Vecchio, a stone bridge crossing the Arno. This unassuming bridge has a fascinating history, as it dates from 1345, when it replaced another bridge lost to a flood. After its reconstruction, it became the only bridge across the Arno that survived the Nazis’ retreat – the soldier tasked with its destruction thought it too beautiful to destroy – and today it’s one of the more enduring symbols of the city, popular with locals and visitors alike.
  • Small-Group Florence & Pisa Full-Day Tour
Pitti Palace
  • Pitti Palace
  • On the southern banks of the Arno river, the Pitti Palace is an expansive Renaissance palace that was occupied by Florence’s rulers until 1920. Today it houses an impressive museum complex, making it a must-see destination for curious visitors trying to figure out what to do in Florence. The Galleria Palatina showcases a range of 16th-century paintings, including work by Raphael, as well as an expansive collection of 17th-century European artwork with several notable Reubens. Some of the Medici family’s personal treasures are on display in the Treasury of Grand Dukes. Head behind the palace and you’ll find the Boboli Gardens, a beautiful spot to while away a summer day.
  • On the southern banks of the Arno river, the Pitti Palace is an expansive Renaissance palace that was occupied by Florence’s rulers until 1920. Today it houses an impressive museum complex, making it a must-see destination for curious visitors trying to figure out what to do in Florence. The Galleria Palatina showcases a range of 16th-century paintings, including work by Raphael, as well as an expansive collection of 17th-century European artwork with several notable Reubens. Some of the Medici family’s personal treasures are on display in the Treasury of Grand Dukes. Head behind the palace and you’ll find the Boboli Gardens, a beautiful spot to while away a summer day.
  • Medici Mile Walking Tour past Medici Residences & Vasari Corridor
Galleria dell'Accademia
  • Galleria dell'Accademia
  • The Gallery of the Academy of Florence (or Galleria dell'Accademia di Firenze) sits atop many visitors’ bucket lists for one reason: it’s home to the world’s most famous statue. But there’s much more to this charming museum than Michelangelo’s sculpture of David, and visitors who explore the less-trafficked corners of the gallery will find a range of fascinating exhibitions. Stop by the Musical Instrument Museum to learn about music’s role in the Medicean Court, head to the Hall of the Colossus to see Botticelli’s Madonna of the Sea, and check out Michelangelo’s unfinished “Slaves” in the Hall of the Prisoners.
  • The Gallery of the Academy of Florence (or Galleria dell'Accademia di Firenze) sits atop many visitors’ bucket lists for one reason: it’s home to the world’s most famous statue. But there’s much more to this charming museum than Michelangelo’s sculpture of David, and visitors who explore the less-trafficked corners of the gallery will find a range of fascinating exhibitions. Stop by the Musical Instrument Museum to learn about music’s role in the Medicean Court, head to the Hall of the Colossus to see Botticelli’s Madonna of the Sea, and check out Michelangelo’s unfinished “Slaves” in the Hall of the Prisoners.
  • Galleria dell'Accademia with Skip-the-Line Admission
Boboli Gardens
  • Boboli Gardens
  • Nestled behind the enormous Pitti Palace, the idyllic 16th-century Boboli Gardens not only provide the perfect spot to spend a summer day, they offer the chance to wander through one of Italy’s greatest open-air museums. The gardens are marked by tree-lined paths, elegant statuary and old-world fountains, as well as an amphitheatre with an Egyptian obelisk that was imported from Luxor in the 18th century. The property also houses a quaint porcelain museum, the Giardino del Cavaliere (the Knight’s Garden) and the Buontalenti Grotto, which is home to Giambologna’s “Bathing Venus” sculpture.
  • Nestled behind the enormous Pitti Palace, the idyllic 16th-century Boboli Gardens not only provide the perfect spot to spend a summer day, they offer the chance to wander through one of Italy’s greatest open-air museums. The gardens are marked by tree-lined paths, elegant statuary and old-world fountains, as well as an amphitheatre with an Egyptian obelisk that was imported from Luxor in the 18th century. The property also houses a quaint porcelain museum, the Giardino del Cavaliere (the Knight’s Garden) and the Buontalenti Grotto, which is home to Giambologna’s “Bathing Venus” sculpture.
  • Guide to Exploring Pitti Palace
Basilica di Santa Croce
  • Basilica di Santa Croce
  • The Basilica di Santa Croce dates from the 14th century, and it’s the biggest Franciscan church in the world. The church’s magnificent exterior belies its more intimate interiors, which reflect the austere leanings of its Franciscan founders. It’s well known for housing the tombs of some of history’s most famous figures, including Galileo, Michelangelo, Ghiberti and Bartolini, and their ornate tombs are works of art in their own right. The building also boasts a number of stunning frescoes, such as the Giotto’s in Cappella Peruzzi, and Taddeo Gaddi’s “Last Supper” in the refectory.
  • The Basilica di Santa Croce dates from the 14th century, and it’s the biggest Franciscan church in the world. The church’s magnificent exterior belies its more intimate interiors, which reflect the austere leanings of its Franciscan founders. It’s well known for housing the tombs of some of history’s most famous figures, including Galileo, Michelangelo, Ghiberti and Bartolini, and their ornate tombs are works of art in their own right. The building also boasts a number of stunning frescoes, such as the Giotto’s in Cappella Peruzzi, and Taddeo Gaddi’s “Last Supper” in the refectory.
  • Guide to Exploring Basilica of Santa Croce
Piazza della Signoria
  • Piazza della Signoria
  • For visitors looking to put together a list of the best things to do in Florence, the Piazza della Signoria is a great place to start. The piazza’s not only a convenient launching pad for a walking tour of the city, it’s earned its own place in Florentine lore, having been the site of the Bonfire of the Vanities in 1498, and Medici’s return in 1530 – an event marked by Bandinelli's “Hercules and Cacus” statue. The Palazzo Vecchio – Florence’s city hall – sits on the square, as does the Loggia dei Lanzi, an open-air sculpture gallery featuring work by Cellini.
  • For visitors looking to put together a list of the best things to do in Florence, the Piazza della Signoria is a great place to start. The piazza’s not only a convenient launching pad for a walking tour of the city, it’s earned its own place in Florentine lore, having been the site of the Bonfire of the Vanities in 1498, and Medici’s return in 1530 – an event marked by Bandinelli's “Hercules and Cacus” statue. The Palazzo Vecchio – Florence’s city hall – sits on the square, as does the Loggia dei Lanzi, an open-air sculpture gallery featuring work by Cellini.
  • Best of Florence Walking Tour

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