Things To Do In Florence, Italy You Can’t Miss!

It’s difficult to decide where to start in Italy with Rome, Venice, Milan, and the Amalfi Coast all nearby. But whenever somebody plans a trip to Italy, Florence has to be on their itinerary. Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance, lies tucked away in the heart of Tuscany in central Italy. It now has everything you could need in terms of food and wine, along with the stunning architecture, art, and culture you could hope for from a trip to Italy.

Florence virtually always has you covered, regardless of your vacation interests. Staying here for a few days before venturing out to discover the Tuscan countryside, the Cinque Terre, or other small, charming Italian villages is a terrific idea. This is your guide to the best activities in Florence, Italy.

Where to Stay in Florence

The major Florence train station, Firenze Santa Maria Novella, is where I went from Rome to Florence. If you’re just going to Florence, the majority of the main European airlines offer nonstop service from their respective hubs to the Florence (FLR) airport. Simply take a 15-minute taxi journey into the city, or for less than 2 euros per person, take the 10-minute train ride into the center of the city.

Take a 15-20-minute walk from the train station to the heart of Florence if you want to save a few euros and burn off some spaghetti and wine calories. It was in Florence that I discovered the hard way that carrying a carry-on is the only option for travel. I had to carry my heavy suitcase across cobblestone streets for almost a mile since taxi drivers were on strike. An acquired lesson!

However, if you stay in the center of Florence, you’ll generally find that it’s a very walkable city. For all of my sightseeing, the Palazzo Roselli Cecconi provided the ideal location. Each place on my list could be reached by foot in 15 minutes or less.

Put on Your Artistry

Florence has an abundance of artwork to view. However, I would rank the Galleria dell’Accademia and the Gallerie Degli Uffizi as the top two museums.

The Uffizi Gallery

The Uffizi Gallery that you will probably spend the most time in is the Uffizi. You will be amazed by the hallway of statues from the Medici family residence in the 1400s if you are a Medici family fanatic like me. Purchase your tickets as far in advance as you can because the museum is nearly always full. This is where I got to see my all-time favorite painting, Botticelli’s Birth of Venus.

The Gallery dell Accademia

With one exception—Michelangelo’s enormous David sculpture—the Accademia generally has less noteworthy pieces of art than the Uffizi. Since there will likely be long lines, it is best to purchase your tickets in advance for this highly popular museum.

The Baptistery and Florence’s Duomo

Certain tourist attractions are worth the hype, while others aren’t. Mark the Duomo, finished in 1436, in the “meets expectations” category. Before you travel, there are a few things to consider. The cathedral is free to enter, but you’ll need to purchase tickets in advance if you wish to climb the dome. If you choose to climb the 463 steps to the top of Brunelleschi’s dome, bear in mind that the passageways are narrow.

The cathedral has a dress code for entry. Wearing short shorts or sleeveless shirts will not be permitted. So remember that particularly if you’re out and about on a sweltering summer day.

Ponte Vecchio

Built-in 1218 to span the Arno River, the ancient Ponte Vecchio, also known as the “old bridge,” After a flood in 1345 destroyed the first bridge, it was rebuilt to its current state. The only bridge that the Germans spared during World War II was this one. It also withstood a significant flood in 1966.

You’ll note that every store selling jewelry and gold goods is where you walk across the bridge today. Since its construction, there have been stores on the bridge. There were tanneries, fishmongers, and butchers in the beginning. However, a regulation restricting sales on the bridge to jewelers and goldsmiths was not issued until 1565, a couple hundred years after the bridge was constructed, in response to numerous complaints about the stench in the vicinity.

The Palazzo Vecchio

Overlooking Piazza della Signoria, the location of the statue of David (now replaced by a replica) is the Palazzo Vecchio, also known as the “old palace” and home of Florence’s town hall. One of Florence’s most important historical structures is the 1200s town hall, Palazzo Vecchio. In addition to the bell tower, town hall offices, and the Palazzo Vecchio museum are now housed there. The Medicis utilized these hidden passageways to conceal goods and flee from their adversaries.

Pitti Palazzo

Across the Arno and on the other side of the Ponte Vecchio stands the Palazzo Pitti, also known as Pitti Palace. The palace’s main structure was built in 1458 and once served as the residence of Luca Pitti, a well-known banker. The Medicis acquired the Palace in the middle of the 1500s, and the Tuscany reigning families moved in.

Later on, it became one of Napoleon’s numerous homes, and then the Italian nobility moved in. In 1919, King Victor Emanuell III gave it to the city. Hundreds of paintings, jewelry pieces, pottery, and other pieces of art were acquired by the Medicis during their stay at the Palace. Moreover, the museum currently has important pieces by well-known painters Carravagio, Titian, Rubens, and Raphael. Numerous chambers await exploration. Additionally, there’s a sizable garden directly behind the Pitti Palace called the Boboli grounds, however admission to the grounds is extra. Online ticket sales are available for both the gardens and the palace.

Is the Firenze Carte Valued Enough?

You can enter 60 various museums throughout the city using the Firenze Carte, sometimes known as the Florence Card. Included in the 85 euros are attractions such as the Pitti Palace, the Palazzo Vecchio Museum, the Academy’s Gallery, and the Uffizi Galleries. Additionally, it grants you expedited entry to the locations; although, certain ones do need bookings in advance. Plus, cardholders get free admission for kids under the age of 18.

What’s the catch, as it seems like a terrific deal? The pass expires 72 hours from the beginning of your first visit. It is up to you to determine how many museums you can or would want to visit in three days and to calculate the costs. Many of these locations have admission fees ranging from 7 to 20 euros, however being able to skip the line adds value. The majority of the websites already grant free access to minors under the age of 18, so that doesn’t offer value.

Additional Florence Attractions

With its breathtaking vistas, Piazzale Michelangelo is a perfect location for sunset get-togethers. Take a bottle of wine, peruse the replicas of Michelangelo’s works of art, and experience the essence of Florence.

Try signing up for a FlorenceTown cooking class or look for another option on Airbnb Experiences. While meeting new people and sharing your love of wonderful wine, food, and culture, you may enjoy real Italian cuisine and wine.

What to Eat in Florence

Florence is filled with so many incredible restaurants and bars. You’ll be fine if you just stay away from eateries around the Duomo and away from the main thoroughfares. I felt the cuisine was not particularly authentic, despite some great reviews I could find online. Stroll about and be ready to get disoriented while looking for a delicious lunch.

All’Antico Vinaio is a must-go-to restaurant in Florence. The wait is block-long and their sandwiches are famous. With sandwiches priced at under 5 euros, it’s an ideal place to stop for a quick bite on a hectic sightseeing day.

Florentine Steak

Made from a special breed of Tuscan cattle called Chianina, bistecca alla Fiorentina is not for the timid. This 3-pound, 2-inch-thick t-bone steak, seasoned with local herbs and olive oil, is a beloved meal from Tuscany. It is cooked over charcoal.

It’s easy to share amongst four or more people and can be purchased pre-sliced with the bone or uncut. If you eat meat, you should certainly try this.

Why is this bread so bland?

The bread basket that is served at the beginning of most meals in Florence restaurants may leave you wondering why the food is so boring. There is no salt in traditional Florentine bread. Florence and Pisa were perpetually at odds during the Middle Ages. According to legend, Pisa stopped Florence’s salt from arriving at the port to make Florence give up during one of their never-ending fights, which is how unsalted bread originated.

A bottle of Tuscan olive oil, salt, and pepper is always served with your bread. Place a small plate with oil and salt, then submerge your bread. The bread’s salt content won’t even be missed.

Activities taken during the day from Florence

Without taking a trip to Tuscany’s and the Chianti region’s rural areas, you simply must see Florence. There are several choices available for wine tours: a small group trip, which is more economical if you are traveling in a group, a private tour (which is more expensive), or a bigger group tour.

As I was traveling alone, I chose to sign up for a tour with a bigger group. The walks offered by Walkabout Florence are highly recommended. We visited three wineries in one day, enjoying a three-course lunch at one and finishing the meal on a stunning terrace with views of the vineyard. It was an amazing experience. Make sure to investigate the various vineyards that are available.


To get the most out of your travels overseas and see as much as possible, you should venture outside of Florence and take a look at some of the smaller rural communities. A little more than an hour’s drive from Florence is the little village of Siena. The Duomo di Siena, a stunning cathedral, is located there. A sizable piazzo, which is perfect for dining, people-watching, and savoring gelato, is the hub of the village.

San Gimignano

Less than an hour’s drive from Florence is the charming, medieval-looking village of San Gimignano. A trek around the village and a climb up the slope are highly recommended for the breathtaking views. For even greater views, climb the San Gimignano Bell Tower! There are lots of food and drink options in the city’s historic center. For your winery visit, Fattoria II Piano is a fantastic choice.

The Pisa

By rail, Pisa is only an hour’s journey from Florence. In roughly twenty minutes, you may stroll from Pisa’s rail station to the Leaning Tower. It is therefore a simple day trip, or perhaps only a morning or afternoon excursion. Aside from the tower, Pisa doesn’t offer much else to do.

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