Let Me Tell You The Top 20 Experiences You Have To Have in Florence
Florence is a big city indeed. When I was coming there i didn’t realize on how much it can offer to you. Moving from one part of the city to another made me fall in love with it more and more and made me more and more speechless. There is so much to see and do in Florence. Each part and monument bring you different & wonderful experience….so if I would like to help you out to focus on the best ones, I will list for you My Best & Top 20 Experiences to have to have in Florence! Enjoy and make your own selection!
- Eat the best fresh and homemade pasta cheaply in a fix 10 euro lunch menu which comes with a free drink! This is possible and very tasty here at Tamero cosy restaurant located at the Piazza S. Spirito 1. A winner!
- Enjoy the best Artisan gelato – “artigianale” ice cream served at the Le Botteghe di Leonardo located at the Via De Ginori. The mango & watermelon flavours are ones of the best but there are many more to choose from!
- Visit the Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella which is an interesting centuries-old perfumerie in Florence. Walking into the shop will take you back in time. All rooms are beautifully decorated it is a real historical gem which you can enter for free. You can smell difference perfumes, candles and soaps, admire beautifully painted ceilings and shop décor. You can buy products but pay attention it is a bit expensive. But what can you expect…the service is top class, the products are very posh and the prices need to match! Anyway it is a great experience to have in Italy which is a birthplace of perfumes!
- Drink espresso for the best Italian coffee experience! You have to have it in Italy!
- Visit Uffizi Gallery. It is a MUST even though the experience can be spoilt by the crowds you still have to go and you need to assign to it a bit more time. Why? Cause it is so interesting and so huge! It is the Number 1 Thing to do in Florence. I loved the enormous Botticelli paintings all over the walls and the idea of putting yourself (the artist) into the painting. This is so called a surreal experience. On top of that…many naked men …(sculptures of handsome Gods, heros draw a lot of my attention!)
- For a similarly beautiful art experience but with less crowds go to the Palatine Gallery. You can find it on the other side of the Arno River, inside Renaissance Palazzo Pitti. The gallery gives you an amazing experience when you go through different rooms which are a part of art itself and then each room is packed with the works of Italian artists such as Raphael and Andrea del Sarto, Caravaggio, Rubens, and Titian. I was stunned by the beauty of the art and the building itself!
- Sit down and admire an amazing views in the Florence beautiful Boboli Gardens. Take a book and a bottle of water with yourself and rest in this beautiful place. Have a walk and explore the endless paths, grand fountains, and surprising grottoes. Keep walking even if this can be a bit tiring (hills, size & heat!) as once you arrived at the top you will find a lovely Porcelain Museum which is worth a visit
- Don’t miss out on another lovely garden which is smaller than Boboli but very charming indeed. It is the Bardini Garden and it’s located just next to the Boboli one. It is less known so also less crowded. Ideal for catching some relaxing time in a busy Florence! On plus – it offers beautiful blossoming flowers and stunning views of the city. Find a bank, sit down and admire…
- See one of the most beautiful churches in Italy, the most important gothic church in Tuscany – Church Santa Maria Novella. Although the façade is an example of Renaissance shapes, the bottom of the church has Gothic influence. Pay only 3 euro and admire the impressive art of Masaccio (Trinity fresco) and Ghirlandaio’s workshop ( fresco cycle in the Tornabuoni Chapel) and Giotto’s Crucifix etc
- If you enjoyed the work of Renaissance master Domenico Ghirlandaio you might want to visit another Florence’s church Santa Trinita which has the Sassetti Chapel frescoed by him and his workshop. He put local people into the Bible scenes – very interesting indeed! Bonus – church is free to enter.
- Visit an important symbol of civill power of Florence – the famous Palazzo Vecchio . It is the old town hall built in the 14th century. It is really worth the visit because of the grand interior which presents the art works by Michelangelo, Vasari, and Da Vinci. Get your camera ready but unfortunately none of the photos can reflect its beauty! So just keep on admiring yourself and preserving the memories
- Explore the city during the night…days in Florence can be very hot and can make you really tired and exhausted. You may struggle to enjoy the city when it’s too hot and even the refreshing Italian Gelato is not enough to cool you down…so try with the evening …go for a lovely walk in the center & by the river, stop for a drink, dinner or grab refreshing ice cream. The city & bridgets are nicely lighted so you can see all the Florence’s monuments in a different light
- Admire free & stunning art at the Piazza della Signoria. Piazza della Signoria used to serves as a center of political life in 14th century and it was a witness of many important political events. Nowadays you will be truly stunned with its artistic heritage. At this open square you will have a chance to admire replica of famous “David” standing at its entrance. Then you have so called The Loggia to the right of the Palazzo Vecchio which seems to be a great outdoor sculpture gallery. Don’t miss out on the other replicas of popular sculptures Michelangelo’s David and Judith and Holofernes, Cellini’s statue of Perseus holding Medusa’s head, sculptures by Donatello, and Giambologna’s Rape of the Sabines as well as other works like Bandinelli’s Hercules and Cacus, and an impressive fountain featuring Neptune. It is stunning!
- Visit Florence Duomo and the Baptistery – the two big sights of Florence which cannot be missed. The set of doors that faces the front of the Duomo was designed by Ghiberti in the early 14 century. Their replicas are displayed at the Baptistery and the original art can be seen in the Duomo Museum. Duomo is free to enter but its interior is a bit disappointing when you compare it with its outside architecture and look. On contrary the Baptistery is beautiful!
- Now it’s time for the proper visit of Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore – “Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flowers“) – the main church of Florence. As any trip to Florence cannot be completed without doing it! Together with the Baptistery and Giotto’s Campanile they are all located in Piazza del Duomo. The cathedral is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage.
- Find the Wild Boar Statue in Florence and try to get lucky! The treak is put the coin into its mouth and make a wish. But the coin needs to stay in the mouth for the wish to come true…if it falls down, unfortunately it doesn’t bring the luck! SO be careful if you want to try out!
- Visit the Forte Belvedere as it has so much to offer and you will be so nicely surprised! Firstly, you will have a chance to explore the well preserved ruins of the Forte Belvedere and hide in the shade of the stones. Secondly, you will see amazing views of Florence and will be lucky to admire more of Jan Feber art…status in gold!
- Now the fun bit – over 400 stars to climb but it is really worth all the efforts for the view of the amazing Florence. Indeed, I would recommend going up to the Duomo’s Dome and on plus – is is a good way of hiding from the heat which seems not to leave Florence during summer.
- Stay fit this summer – Climb Giotto’s Tower as well. It is located right in Duomo Square as well. I know it’s another 400 stars but another magnifique view of Florence to admire! On top of that you can have a closer look at the stunning Duomo’s Dome. It is tiring but refreshing…
- For another beautiful panoramic views of Florence visit Piazzale Michelangelo and i am serious about it. It is the best view you can get. It is located on top hill above the Oltrarno neighborhood so this is another climbing well more hiking up the hills as there are not so many stairs but paths to follow. But having said so you have a chance to get there by walking or by bus…Anyway, the open square has been built in 1869 for Michelangelo so be prepared to see replicates of some of his famous features for example a large bronze David placed in the center of the square and obviously the manifigue view of the other part of Florence with its Duomo, Arno river!
- And finally my favourite! Get yourself a handbag leather handbag and the best choice of them you can find at the leather market! There are few markets in Florence so i am sure you will pass through at least one of them…dont hesitate to take your time and remember to negotiate the price…you may get a big discount…i got my handbag at the market next to the San Lorenzo Church but there is another very good and indoors Market in the Mercato Centrale. It is located in a building from the late 19th century and it is also full of food vendors selling everything from ready-made meal to a good food souvenir to bring home.
- Enjoy more shopping …. At the city’s famous medieval arched bridge. On top of the fact that it is beautiful historical place of Florence it is a place to find many shops and restaurants. Have you heard about Ponte Vecchio? This is one of the toppest monuments in the city and on plus it gives you the best jewellery (lets say) window shopping experience…window shopping – because the prices are pretty high and seem in some moments unaffordable…shame but at least you can take a photo!
- Lastly but most importantly, see the real “David” is in the Accademia. He looks stunning and he is big! I have been nicely surprised and could not take my eyes of him! But this is not all, on top of the Michelangelo’s masterpiece which you need to queue to see as the Accademia (as it is one of the most popular monuments in Florence), there are other pieces of art to admire! So now really lastly, a small tip..if you want to (still) queue but shorter time, book the tickets for Accademia in advance or use the Firenze Card! There are many queues in Florence ….you cannot avoid them but you can make them shorter. Good luck!
So how do you feel about Florence now? Did you get the ideas what you have to do in this lovely Italian city? Did you make your itinerary for the next trip to Italy? Make sure to include Florence and some/all of my suggestions of Top Experiences You Have To Have as they are truly top class! Or if you already visited Florence, will you share with me your experience? I really want to come back! Because i think that another trip to Florence will let me discover something new and charming about the city and Italy. And you?
By the way, did you know you can read, safe and use on the go this article and others when visiting different places? Well, there is such an application called with GPSCityMap which you can get for free here with my article. Happy travelling!