The Best Things to Do In Florence

Written by Rem Malloy, since 1995 Rem has been guiding and designing trips to Italy and all of Western Europe and is considered an expert in his field for over 30 years.

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Tuscany’s capital, Florence or Firenze, is decorated in stunning art and architecture. Dating back to the Renaissance era, Florence still maintains the roots it was developed on and captures the essence of Italy in its cobblestone streets. Visiting Firenze is a like a one-stop-shop to see it all; eat gelato while taking in the history and beauty of the Ponte Vecchio, admire the hallways lined with art at the Uffizi, indulge in a memorable culinary experience- even simply walking aimlessly through the city guarantees to satisfy your Italian craving. Here is our list of the top things to do in Florence.


Almost every picture of Florence includes its famous Duomo (dome). The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower, better known by tourists and locals alike, Il Duomo di Firenze, is undoubtedly going to catch your eye for its massive dome in the center of Florence. If you don’t mind 463 steps and tight spaces, you can climb up from inside to the lantern- the highest point in central Florence and get a panoramic view of the city. Have a pick-me-up espresso back at ground level and then adjacent to the Duomo, you’ll find Giotto Campanile (bell tower) that offers another spectacular view of Florence as well as a great view of the Duomo itself. Not only is the Duomo great for highlighting the beauty of the city from above, but it’s also equally as gorgeous and impressive in architecture and history.


Although Firenze is a quiet city for the most part, as a traveler, you still seek out those moments of solitude where the noise falls away and you fully take in your surroundings with peace and quiet. Boboli Gardens is the perfect place to stroll and take your time. Once a lavish garden in the backyard of the Medici estate, Boboli Gardens now offers Renaissance and classic sculptures to the public. The garden has evolved into a public park situated behind Pitti Palace, perfect for an afternoon of historical and natural beauty. It’s the perfect place to sit and have a picnic or read a book.

If you are an art enthusiast or simply love seeing beauty in front of your eyes, this is a gallery that you absolutely must tour during your visit. This gallery boasts the most stunningly appealing Italian artwork that exists on the planet. Since it is such a popular tourist attraction, it is often extremely busy. However, you can save time by booking your ticket ahead. Some Italy travel packages even include Uffizi Gallery tickets for art lovers.


The foods in a new city are always worth trying. When you are in Florence, you simply can’t leave without tasting gelato. Florence is known for having the very best gelato on the planet, so you owe it to yourself to give it a taste. You can find gelato shops located all over the city.


If you really want to explore all that Florence has to offer and watch the people that are hustling by, you can spend your days taking in the sights at Duomo Square. The Duomo and the baptistery are the two big draws at this square and what keeps it packed all day long. This is the perfect site for picture taking when in Florence.


It’s hard to find a place in Florence that isn’t spectacular to the eye. Firenze is such a beautiful city, not only in its appearance but in its rich historical, cultural and artistic aspects, too. It’s without a doubt one of the best cities in the world because it has so much to offer. Florence is home to many churches and cathedrals; however, one you absolutely cannot overlook is San Miniato Al Monte. Described as one of the finest Romanesque structures in Tuscany and one of the most scenic churches in Italy, the basilica sits atop a hill, offering an unbeatable view of the city. Walking the grounds of the church is unlike any other church in the area; the impressive architecture of both the church and the cemetery in the back is outstanding. Not to mention the well-kept garden off to the side, as well. No matter if you’re visiting the church to attend a service, or to just admire its beauty, San Miniato is a must-see while visiting Florence.


One of the best places to see the entire city is Piazzale Michelangelo – across the river, located in the Oltrarno district. There’s no promise that the piazza will be quiet and more likely than not, it will be quite busy, but believe it or not, with the entire city facing you, the moment is peaceful and completely enjoyable. Here you can find a replica of the famous David statue. If you don’t find the time to visit the original, the duplicate is also very impressive, plus you get a view, too. Make sure to take lots of pictures up here!


Waking up early never sounds appealing; however, in Florence, it’s not so bad. With true Italian espresso guaranteed to make you feel awake and fresh croissants and other delicious pastries begging to be eaten for breakfast, disregarding the snooze button has never been easier. If that’s not enough reason to get up in the morning, then The Uffizi Gallery is certain to spring you out of bed. Getting there early is a must in order to beat the lines and rush of tourists. Trust us- you’ll thank us later for this insider tip. Imagine seeing The Birth of Venus with no crowds or having to dodge the large tour groups? Waltz down the halls and admire the artwork of world-renowned artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Botticelli and many others.

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About the Author

Rem Malloy started Italy4real back in 1995 with his mother, Deborah de Maio.

He specialises in Italian tours as well as customised tours to France, England, Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, Greece and Spain. He was also featured in the Travel Channel show Mysteries at The Museum in 2016.

Rem has family in Italy and his mothers home town is Cava di Terrani, near the Amalfi Coast. The family has a street named after them in Sorrento, Via Luigi de Maio; a relative who was mayor of Sorrento.

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