The city of Florence, Italy is full of things to see and do for all tourists visiting Italy. This Italian town is the capital of the region of Tuscany, and has the highest population in the region, with about 400,000 people.
The Arno river cuts through the city, and Florence is mostly known for the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance in the middle ages.
Florence was the hub of finance and trade in the region, and was ruled by the vicious Medici banking family. For a short period of five years from, 1865 – 1870, it was the capital of the Kingdom of Italy.
Today, Florence is one of the most popular cities in Italy for tourists to visit. Every year, millions of visitors come to see the art and history of Florence. The city has been given the honorable designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982, because of its rich culture and historic importance.
Florence is fairly easy to navigate, as the majority of the Florence sightseeing is done off of two main streets, Via dei Calzaioli and Via Roma. Going on a classic Florence walking tour is a great way to see the city with a guide.
When planning your trip to Florence, make sure to wear comfortable shoes, dress appropriately for entering churches (show no shoulders, no knees), and be prepared for the crowds and heat in the summer.
The lines at Florence’s most popular museums, the Uffizi and Galleria Accademia, can be quite long. We recommend the no-line Uffizi Gallery tickets, or reserve Accademia Gallery tickets, if you plan on visiting on your own.
One of the best ways to see Florence’s museums is with a guided tour of the Uffizi Museum, or a guided tour of the Accademia Gallery. Both tours get you in without standing in line, and offer audio guides and English-speaking tour guides, who show you around. We think this option is a better choice for visitors with time constraints.
When you are planning your sightseeing, make sure you include some of the most popular Florence Sightseeing Highlights:
The Duomo – From far away, you can see the cities most famous church, the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore. It is the 4th largest church in the world, and was built in 1296 by Brunelleschi. There was so much detail that went into creating the building, that it took almost 150 years to complete construction. Tourists looking to visit Italy certainly don’t want to miss out on visiting this masterpiece.
The gardens of The Pitti Palace are amazing. Called the Boboli Gardens, they offer a tranquil spot to relax, away from the crows and busy tourist areas. The palace holds great art works by Tintorettto, Rubens, and the amazing Raphael.
The “Street of Gold” in Florence is also known as The Ponte Vecchio, or “Old Bridge.” The shops on the bridge were originally filled with butchers, now are overflowing with jewelers, fine art dealers, and gold artisans. A perfect spot for tourists visiting Italy to go shopping.
The Florence Leather Market is an amazing bazaar, filled with everything leather. Get out your bargaining hat and negotiation skills, as you will need them when haggling about prices, along the 10 city blocks of all things leather.