Whether you think of yourself as a lover of art, culture, history, or just a worldly person, and you simply love Italy's inexhaustible charm and want to experience it in all its greatness - you must visit Florence! One of the most beautiful and well-known cities in the boot-shaped country, the capital of the wonderful Tuscany region, which has produced some of the most important personalities and artists in human history and gave birth to the Renaissance culture that changed the world, is simply a gem of grace that includes endless treasures for every tourist and traveler. We’ll now share with you 12 of the main attractions, sights, and destinations in Florence, which you will undoubtedly want to see when you visit this great city.
The Ponte Vecchio (the old bridge) is one of the most iconic and known spots of Florence, as well as one of the first stops to which every tourist comes and visits in the city. This bridge, built by the Romans in 1117 over the Arno River which connects the two parts of the city together, is especially famous for the buildings above it, which continue the city over the waterline of the river and create a beautiful view that characterizes Florence, when at night the bridge lights sparkle on the surface of the river water and spectacular view only intensifies. The bridge area itself is known for the many jewelry shops surrounding it, and for those of you who are interested in purchasing fine gemstones, you have another good reason to come here.
In Florence, it’s impossible to talk about art - the field that is so identified with this city - without mentioning the Uffizi Gallery - one of the largest and most important art museums in the world. Built in the 16th century and first used as a government building for the famous Medici dynasty, the gallery building has become a respected museum, one of the city's most prominent attractions. Here you’ll be able to see some of the most famous works of great artists such as Da Vinci, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Raphael and more.
The green lush gardens in the center of Florence, the well-kept and beautiful Boboli Gardens, are directly connected to the city's glorious heritage. The gardens behind the Pitti Palace (another site in the city we recommend you visit) were founded by the extensive Medici dynasty that once ruled here, and includes all the classic Italian-style design features we so love. The gardens are full of Renaissance-style sculptures, impressive fountains and green lawns, loved by all the city's residents and you will undoubtedly enjoy your time spent here.
If you’ve already begun to think that Florence as a whole is only one large art museum, come to its vibrant bustling central market and see otherwise. In this two-story covered market, also known as the San Lorenzo Market, you’ll find the best of Italian produce known for its quality. On the second floor, you can enjoy a variety of small restaurants, cafés, and food stalls, where you can enjoy delicious local Italian delicacies, many of which are famous all over the world.
To get the best view of all the beauty that is hidden in Florence, you need to get to Piazzale Michelangelo, one of the city's main squares, located on a small hill on the southern bank of the River Arno and also one of Florence's most beautiful and beloved observation points. From here you can view the entire city, with its impressive buildings, as well as sit with the statues of the great artist Michelangelo in one of the cafes spread out here and enjoy the breathtaking views of Florence.
Although there is quite a bit to see and get to know, the Art Academy of Florence is first and foremost the home of one of the world's most famous sculptures - Michelangelo's original David statue. This iconic statue, which is 5.17 meters high, is a good reason to visit this important museum, along with millions who come here every year to admire it, although of course, it isn’t the only thing here. Many more works of art from the 15th and 16th centuries are enclosed in the walls of this prestigious institution, which was founded in 1561 and was the first academy to teach painting in Europe.
Many years of history, art and a lot of strength and power resonate between the rooms of one of the most unique structures in Florence, which was once the residence of the rulers and kings of Florence, and now functions as a particularly magnificent museum. This magnificent palace, built during the 12th century, was designed and decorated by the best of the city's artists, who were financed by the extensive Medici dynasty that ruled the city and lived there. During your visit here you’ll see many frescoes, sculptures, ornate ceilings, intricate carvings and large wall tiles, all of which describe historical and biblical events.
So you've been to the Art Academy and the Palazzo Vecchio and have not yet been satisfied with the beautiful art Florence has to offer? Don’t miss a visit to the Signoria Square, which is located right next to the main attractions mentioned here. This spacious square is also full of magnificent statues, including a marble replica of the David statue and the Neptune fountain. Next, to the square, you’ll find Liga de Lancy - an impressive and open architectural structure with more classic works of art.
If you are almost completely done with Florence's endless flurry of art, we suggest you take a break and go out to breathe some Tuscan mountain air in the pastoral Villa Il Palmerino, located in the northern sculpted hills of the city. Don’t worry, here too you can find cultural offerings, since the venue hosts events such as concerts and lectures, but apart from them you can also enjoy an exotic, flowery English style garden and a small restaurant that serves local food made using fresh ingredients grown in the place’s very own vegetable garden.
Another way to get away from the city's classic tourist attractions and taste the modern life is to move to the other side of the Arno River and reach the bohemian Piazza Santo Spirito, which houses an authentic street market as well as a host of small bars and restaurants packed with locals. This can be a good opportunity for you to get to know the city's contemporary culture and to taste the modern cosmopolitan atmosphere in Florence.