Cities Direct

Florence

Top Attractions in Florence

UFFIZI GALLERY (GALLERIA DEGLI UFFIZI)

UFFIZI GALLERY (GALLERIA DEGLI UFFIZI)

Undisputedly the jewel in Florence’s artistic crown, the Uffizi boasts the world’s finest collection of Renaissance art, bequeathed to the city by the mighty Medici family and on display to the public since 1591. Amongst the 1,500 masterpieces exhibited, many dating back as far as the 12th century, you’ll encounter timeless Renaissance classics by a wealth of formidable names including Titian, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Raphael, Botticelli and Da Vinci. 
PONTE VECCHIO

PONTE VECCHIO

Originally built in 1345 and the only bridge to survive the bombings of World War II, the Ponte Vecchiostraddles the Arno River andis one of Florence’s most iconic landmarks. Lined with jewellery sellers, art dealers and souvenir shops, the bridge is also renowned for its Vasari Corridor, an enclosed passageway running from the Uffizi to the Palazzo Pitti, as commissioned in the 16th century by Ferdinando de Medici.
DUOMO

DUOMO

The mighty Duomo, or Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore to give it its rightful name, dominates the Florentine skyline and boasts wonderful panoramic views over the city and beyond from its cupola. Symbol of Florence, Brunelleschi’s iconic red-tiled dome is a sheer feat of architectural beauty and engineering brilliance whilst Giotto’s soaring Gothic campanile and the intricate façade are guaranteed to impress and inspire, as does its beautiful interior. 
GALLERIA DELL'ACCADEMIA

GALLERIA DELL'ACCADEMIA

Florence’s Accademia has much to rival the Uffizi in terms of artistic brilliance, its star attraction being Michelangelo’s masterpiece of marble, the statue of David. Once you’ve braved the crowds surrounding David and his marble contemporaries, take in the Accademia’s collection of Florentine paintings featuring works by Lippi and Botticelli as well as the Museum of Musical instruments also situated here, its Stradivarius being the prize exhibit.
PALAZZO PITTI

PALAZZO PITTI

A vast palace of impressive architectural proportion, the Palazzo Pitti was built for the Pitti family in the 15th century. Today, the palace plays host to several of the city’s museums including the Museo degli Argenti (Silver Museum), the Galleria del Costume, Galleria d’Arte Moderna (19th and 20th-century paintings) and the Galleria Palatina, home to an enviable collection of 16th to 18th-century works including paintings by Titian, Raphael and Lippi.
PIAZZA DELLA SIGNORIA

PIAZZA DELLA SIGNORIA

Arguably the most strikingly picturesque square in Florence, the Piazza della Signoria is a natural draw for those keen to take in beautiful Renaissance sculptures, Neptune’s Fountain and the imposing Palazzo Vecchio. Site of the infamous Bonfire of the Vanities in 1497, today visitors flock to the square in droves to soak up the atmosphere and architectural brilliance over an alfresco espresso in one of the Piazza’s many cafes. 
BOBOLI GARDENS

BOBOLI GARDENS

Providing some tranquil verdant respite from the crowds, the beautifully landscaped Boboli Gardens sit just to the side of the Palazzo Pitti and date back to 1549 when the Palazzo passed from the Pitti family to the Medicis. The Viale dei Cipressi is perhaps its finest feature, an impressive cypress-lined avenue leading down to an ornamental pond and fountain, in summer the air filled with the scent of citrus trees. 
PALAZZO DEL BARGELLO

PALAZZO DEL BARGELLO

Florence’s earliest public building, the Palazzo del Bargello began life in the Middle Ages as the headquarters of the Capitano del Popolo and later became city’s jail and torture chamber. Today it plays host to the Museo Nazionale, housing Italy’s finest and most comprehensive ensemble of Renaissance sculpture. As well as pieces by Cellini, Bandinelli, Brunelleschi and Giambologna, highlights of the collection include Michelangelo’s earliest works, in addition to Donatello’s St George and two versions of David.
BASILICA DI SANTA CROCE

BASILICA DI SANTA CROCE

Designed by the architect behind Florence’s stunning Duomo, this beautiful Franciscan church dates back as far as the late 13th century and boasts possibly the best collection of art contained within any of the Florentine churches, most notably the frescoes by Giotto and Donatello’s Annunciation and Crucifix. And yet Santa Croce is perhaps most renowned as the final resting place of many great men in Italian history including Michelangelo, Machiavelli, Rossini, and Galileo. There’s also a memorial to Dante.
BASILICA DA SAN MINIATO AL MONTE

BASILICA DA SAN MINIATO AL MONTE

Just a short (uphill) walk along the Via Galilei from the Piazzale Michelangelo lies the Basilica di San Miniato al Monte (St Minias on the Hill), one of the oldest churches in Florence and perhaps the finest example of Romanesque architecture across Tuscany. Dating back to the 11th century, San Miniato al Monte is worth the ascent not only for its picturesque façade – a photo opportunity in itself – but also for the sweeping views across the city.

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