Florence is widely recognized as the centre for Renaissance art and high culture in Europe. Florence attractions abound. Indeed, there is an impressive array of majestic architecture and cultural museums to uncover in this magnificent city. It can be difficult to know where to begin if you choose not to embark on a Florence sightseeing tour (although historic tours and Florence Renaissance tours are highly recommended). So here is a pick of the top five things to do in Florence, five key sights and attractions, although this is, of course, only the minutest fraction of what this city has to offer.
Piazza della Signoria is known as Florence’s most famous square and holds important historical significance – it has been the political centre of the city since the middle ages. The Palazzo Vechio is the town hall and part of the Piazza della Signoria, and is well worth visiting, with its sumptuously decorated private apartments and public rooms. The outdoor sculpture gallery holds copies of renowned statues, and one of the most renowned is that of Michelangelo’s David. The stunning Neptune Fountain stands at the centre of the piazza.
A visit to the Galleria degli Uffizi is vital – but as well as being one of the most popular Florence attractions, it can also be the most packed with visitors. It is strongly advisable to book in advance, and get a ‘skip the line’ ticket into the Galleria, if at all possible. The Uffizi museum is so much more than an average museum – it should be a key part of any Florence sightseeing tour. This museum is celebrated as one of the best in the world for Renaissance art, and it holds work by great masters such as da Vinci, Botticelli and Michelangelo.
To uncover some truly remarkable architecture, see for yourself the Basilica of Santa Croce, the largest Franciscan church in the whole of Italy. Commonly referred to as ‘The Temple of the Italian Glories’, it is the burial place of some of the most eminent Italians in the world, including Galileo, the controversial political theorist Machiavelli, and Rossini. This basilica holds some incredible frescoes and stained glass windows that will be sure to leave you astounded. Day tours often stop at the Santa Croce basilica, and it is certainly not difficult to understand why.
If you are looking for somewhere to relax after a long day of taking part in a Florence Renaissance tour, for example, there is nowhere better than the Boboli Gardens and Pitti Palace. The Boboli Gardens house a remarkable collection of sculptures that date from the sixteenth through to the eighteenth centuries. These gardens have been extended and developed over the centuries, and currently cover an incredible 11 acres – they are captivating to visit. Pitti Palace is a magnificent, grandiose structure and a key Florence attraction.
Finally, any trip is not complete without paying a visit to the Duomo (cathedral), the mot popular Florence attraction. Every day tour or historical tour should cover this majestic architectural landmark. This cathedral is simply the pinnacle of Renaissance architecture – discover for yourself why.
Conclusion: There are a multitude of things to do in Florence, far too many to be detailed here. However, the top five things to do in Florence are all must-sees and should not be missing from any traveller’s itinerary. Save time and cover the main highlights of Florence with the Florence sightseeing tours available, including day tours, historic tours, or Florence Renaissance tours.