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What are the 10 must-see sights in Florence?

Below, we list the 10 most important attractions of this fascinating Tuscan city. Stay with us and set up your Route to Florence here!

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What are the 10 must-see sights in Florence?

Florence can easily be considered the heart of Tuscany, in addition to being “the cradle of Italian art and architecture”, mainly of the Renaissance period. Florence is unarguably the most famous Tuscan city in the world. Every year, millions of people go to the “cradle of the Renaissance” to visit the city’s main museums, stroll through its streets, observing the monuments, churches, palaces and places of greatest interest. So understanding which are the 10 must-see sights in Florence is not so simple, but I will try to guide you 🙂 Here at Your Travel to Italy with Ana Patriciayou make the trip of your dreams!!! ALSO: see our “Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your holidays!”

Introduction

This city undoubtedly has a lot to offer, if you are a fan of architecture and are in Florence, you cannot miss strolling through the downtown streets and observing the beautiful squares and historic buildings of the city. All this thanks to some of the most important artists of the past, such as Michelozzo, Andrea di Cambio, Brunelleschi and Michelangelo – who contributed to Florence being so rich in artistic wonders. But what are the top 10 monuments to see in the beautiful city of Florence? Below, we list the ten most important attractions of this Tuscan city. See also our Post The 20 most visited tourist monuments in Italy?

1) What are the 10 must-see sights in Florence? MICHELANGELO SQUARE

Let’s start on the terrace of Florence: Michelangelo Square (Piazza Michelangelo). This great overlook offers breathtaking views of Florence and its monuments. Designed by the Florentine architect Giuseppe Poggi, the Michelangelo Square has a beautiful panorama of the city and the Arno River, it is certainly a mandatory stop for both tourists and locals. Read here “How to buy tickets to the main monuments in Italy?”

Tribute to Michelangelo

Poggi built the square as a monument in honor of Michelangelo and his works, which should be exhibited here – both “David” and the sculptures by Lourenzo II de Medici. The building never became a museum, today it houses a famous panoramic restaurant. Now, the square is full of tourists, stalls and there is a large bronze replica of Michelangelo’s “David”. It is possible to access the square with bus lines nº 12 and nº 13 coming from the center, or else with the tourist bus (the one with two floors). An alternative is also to go on foot, going up the grand staircase of Poggi Square (Piazza Poggi), just below Michelangelo Square. Let’s get to know Tuscan Enogastronomy?

What are the 10 must-see sights in Florence?
Ana Patricia in Florence (Michelangelo Square)

2) What are the 10 must-see sights in Florence? LORDSHIP SQUARE

Another important monument in Florence is the Lordship Square (Piazza della Signoria), which is the heart of the city. It is from here that you can access the main museums, the Old Bridge (Ponte Vecchio) and the largest basilicas in Florence. It is the most important square in the city, the center of Florentine public life. Around the square are also the most important palaces, such as the Old Palace (Palazzo Vechio) – currently the seat of the City Hall. In the past, it was the residence of the Medici family. Among the monuments that embellish the square, the two most important are undoubtedly: the Fountain of Neptune (also known as “Biancone” – whitey – for its color) and the famous statue of “David”, by Michelangelo (this is just one replica, the original is in the Academy Gallery).

What are the 10 must-see sights in Florence?

3) What are the 10 must-see sights in Florence? UFFIZI AND ACADEMY GALLERIES

And what about the Uffizi Gallery? One of the most important art galleries in Italy and the world, with an invaluable collection such as: “Spring”, by Botticelli; “Medusa”, by Caravaggio and “Annunciation”, by Leonardo – a unique tour among the masters of the art history. The other rooms are organized chronologically and also based on the source of the works (some from Italian regions and others from several European states).

Uffizi Gallery (Gallerie degli Uffizi)

In addition to being fascinating, the entire route of the collection has an enormous educational appeal. If you don’t have so much time available in the midst of so much artistic greatness, you need to at least pay extra attention to some unmissable works. The exhibition at the Uffizi Galley is undoubtedly very wide, with a visual route that goes through several centuries of history. A unique gallery that invites visitors from all over the world. Learn more about the Uffizi Gallery, clicking here!

What are the 10 must-see sights in Florence?
The Uffizi Gallery in Florence

Accademia Gallery (Galleria dell’Accademia)

Founded in the second half of the 18th century as an Academy of Fine Arts, where the works that belonged to some churches that were desecrated together with a part of the private collection of the Medici and Lorenas family (family that ruled Florence after the death of the last Grand Duke Mediceo) served as models for new artists, students of Fine Arts to study and copy and thus learn from the great artists of the past. Find out more about the Accademia Gallery by clicking here!

What are the 10 must-see sights in Florence?
The Accademia Galery in Florence

4) What are the 10 must-see sights in Florence? PITTI PALACE

Now we will visit the Pitti Palace, an unmistakable masterpiece of the Florentine Renaissance, in relation to its structure (such as the Boboli Gardens, the Grotto of Moses, the Artichoke Fountain, the Theater of Rondò di Bacco, the Lion Fountain and the wonderful Pitti Square), forming a unique collection. In fact, there are countless exhibition spaces inside the palace, each offering an extraordinary route between the masterpieces of all times: the Royal Apartments, the Palatine Gallery, the Costume Room, the Silver Museum, the Museum Porcelain and the Carriage Museum. Find out here “How many days do I need to visit Italy?”.

About the Palace

The Royal Apartments consist of 14 (fourteen) rooms that were part of the Medici family’s residence. Over time, the decoration changed according to the tenants who lived in the palace, such as the Grand Dukes of Asburg-Lorraine and the Savoy family, in the brief period when Florence was the Capital of Italy.

The Palatine Gallery

The Palatine Gallery, centered mainly in the 16th and 17th centuries, is the gallery of portraits of grand dukes and is among the most important art galleries in Italy. In addition, it is probably the most visited museum in the Pitti Palace and the centerpiece of the entire collection. The Palatina Gallery houses some of the most beautiful halls on the palace’s Noble Floor, with the walls almost completely covered by extraordinary works of Renaissance, Mannerism and Baroque.

The Palatine Gallery, located to the left of the palace, was created between the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century by the Lorena family, who placed in the meeting rooms masterpieces mainly from the Medici collections, which are still displayed in various environments today. It is an extraordinary collection that includes works by Raffaello, Tiziano, Caravaggio, Rubens, Pietro da Cortona and other great masters.

What are the 10 must-see sights in Florence?
Pitti Palace in Florence

5) What are the 10 must-see sights in Florence? CATHEDRAL OF FLORENCE

Now we are visiting another Florentine masterpiece: the “Duomo” of Florence, that is, the cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower (Santa Maria del Fiore), consecrated in March 1436. The highlight of this monument is the dome of Brunelleschi. The cathedral is located in the square of the same name and is the postcard of the city, in addition to being one of the symbols of Italy.

About the Cathedral

The church has a peculiar architectural design, composed of a typical basilica plan in three naves that face an enormous triconic roundabout and support the immense Brunelleschi Dome (from 1436, the largest masonry vault ever built). Inside the dome it is possible to see the large surface decorated with frescoes from 1572-1579, by Giorgio Vasari and Federico Zuccari. The cathedral was started by Arnolfo di Cambio and started to be built in 1296. With his death, the project was passed on to Giotto, who dedicated himself especially to the Bell Tower, all colorful, a panoramic point of the city. Find out more about Florence Cathedral by clicking here!

What are the 10 must-see sights in Florence?
The Cathedral of Florence

6) What are the 10 must-see sights in Florence? OLD BRIDGE (PONTE VECCHIO)

Now let’s look at one of the symbols of Florence: the Old Bridge, which crosses the Arno River. First and only bridge built during Roman times, around the middle of the first century BC, the Old Bridge is one of the symbols of Florence. It is the only bridge that came out unscathed by German bombers during the 1944 withdrawal in World War II. Today it is an attraction for tourists from all over the world; an ideal place to walk and watch the jewelry that sits on top of the bridge. You can’t miss such a characteristic part of Florence like this.

What are the 10 must-see sights in Florence?
Ana Patricia – The Old Bridge

7) What are the 10 unmissable sights in Florence? BASILICA OF THE HOLY CROSS (BASILICA DI SANTA CROCE)

After the walk over the Arno River, we go to Basilica of the Holy Cross, another wonderful example of the Italian Gothic movement. Here geniuses of caliber like Galileo Galilei, Michelangelo, Ugo Foscolo, Vittorio Alfieri and Gioacchino Rossini are buried.

About the Basilica of the Holly Cross

The Basilica of the Holly Cross, founded in 1294 under the design of the great architect Arnolfo di Cambio, is one of the oldest and grandest Franciscan basilicas, it is the maximum expression of the Italian Gothic movement. Next to the church, there is a monastery with two convents, the novitiate, a refectory and the chapter hall known as the Pazzi Chapel. In 1966, with the great flood, the church suffered significant losses in relation to its artistic collection, among them the Crucifix by Cimabue. Later, the church underwent a complete restoration and its original splendor was resumed, becoming a symbol of the resurgence of the city of Florence.

What are the 10 unmissable sights in Florence?
Basilica of the Holy Cross

8) What are the 10 must-see sights in Florence? BASILICA OF SANTA MARIA NOVELLA

The Basilica of Santa Maria Novella is one of the most important churches in Florence and is located in the square of the same name. Santa Maria Novella was for Florence the point of reference for another mendicant order: that of the Dominicans. In terms of architecture, it is one of the most important Gothic churches in Tuscany. The façade is the work of Frei Jacopo Talenti and Leon Battista Alberti.

About the Basilica

The basilica houses extraordinary masterpieces inside, among them: the “Holy Trinity”, by Masaccio (one of the first works to show the technique of perspective); Ghirlandaio’s frescoes in the Tornabuoni Chapel; “The Crucifix” by Giotto; “The Crucifix” by Brunelleschi (made between 1410-15, a competition with his friend Donatello) and “Mystic Nativity”, one of Sandro Botticelli’s first works. Inside, the basilica appears to be spacious thanks to the use of colored arches in the center of the plant. The project is attributed to Brunelleschi (the same architect as the Cathedral Dome).

What are the 10 must-see sights in Florence?
Basilica of Santa Maria Novella

9) What are the 10 must-see sights in Florence? CHURCH OF SAINT LAWRENCE

Another monument that cannot be missed is the church of Saint Lawrence, the oldest in Florence. The church was consecrated in 393 by Saint Ambrose and dedicated to the martyr Lawrence. Little has been preserved of its original construction. In fact, the church of  Saint Lawrence, was rebuilt twice, once in 1059 (in a romantic style) and the second thanks to the contribution of the Médici family – who wanted to have a private church according to the Brunelleschi project (executed between 1418 and 1421), which after his death was completed by Antonio Manetti in 1461. The last restructuring, which we can now observe, is considered one of the best buildings in the Renaissance. The façade remains unfinished (although there was a Michelangelo project that was never put into practice).

What are the 10 must-see sights in Florence?
The church of Saint Lawrence

10) What are the 10 must-see sights in Florence? MEDICI CHAPEL

The tenth monument that we will visit is the Medici Chapel, which is part of the monumental complex of Saint Lawrence. The project for the realization of the family tomb began in 1520, when Michelangelo started working at the Sacristy Nova, starting from Brunelleschi’s original plant. It was Cardinal Giulio de’ Medici (future Pope Clement VII) who ordered the construction of a mausoleum to provide an appropriate burial for some members of his family: Lorenzo the Magnificent and his brother Lorenzo, Duke of Urbino.

About the Chapel

The structure was completed in 1524, characterized by white walls and details in light stones (according to Brunelleschi’s designs). Entering the back of the church of Saint Lawrence, the chapels are separated into three distinct elements: the Crypt, the Chapel of Princes and the New Sacristy (Sagrestia Nuova). In the crypt, less illustrious members of the Medici family are buried. The Chapel of Princes has a large dome designed by Buontalenti (which started in 1604, but was completed only in the 20th century). Six Grand Dukes of the Medici are buried here. The New Sacristy was created by Michelangelo between the years 1520 and 1524 and it is a witness to the greatness of the Medici.

What are the 10 must-see sights in Florence?
The Medici Chapel

Map with 10 must-see sights in Florence

What are the 10 must-see sights in Florence?
Source Google Maps

Where to eat in Florence?

Here are my tips for eating well in Florence.

Restaurants near the Cathedral:

Restaurant near Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge):

Restaurant next to Santa Maria Novella Train Station:

Restaurant near Basilica Santa Croce, in Piazza della Signoria:

Restaurant near Florence Central Market:

Are you going to stay in Florence? So you can get our exclusive hotel tips!

Here you will find great and free tips to not get fooled when choosing your hotel in Italy.

Plus: read our tips and advices about the Florence neighborhoods and where to stay! Here you will find the perfect hotel for you and for your needs, respecting you budget! Also: booking at booking.com, you will help us to keep our blog and for free! No fees, no click baits, no fake news!

Hotels I recommend in the Historic Center

In the Historic Center (Old Town), is really easy to admire all the main attractions of the city very easily. The old town of Florence corresponds to the oldest and most beautiful part of the city. If you want to stay in the real heart of Florence, choose hotels in the central areas of Piazza Santa Croce, Ponte Vecchio, Cathedral, Gallery of Offices, etc.

If you want some indications of hostels (or B&B) and apartments, I have some options that I suggest if you want to save money; click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion, make your reservation and guarantee good prices!

If you prefer hotels, I have some options that I recommend with great cost benefit! Click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion, make your reservation and guarantee good prices.

Hotels that I recommend in Oltrarno

Always staying very close to the Historic Center, you can also stay in Oltrarno, close to the most characteristic craft shops in the whole city and much more. The area is perfect for those who want quiet accommodation and for those who want to breathe the real Florentine atmosphere. At the same time, you will be close to the center of Florence, a short walk from the main monuments, squares, churches, restaurants, shops and museums.

If you want some indications of hostels (or B&B) and apartments, I have some options that I suggest if you want to save money; click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion, make your reservation and guarantee good prices!

If you prefer hotels, I have some options that I recommend with great cost benefit! Click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion, make your reservation and guarantee good prices.

Hotels that I recommend in Santa Maria Novella

Another interesting neighborhood to stay is Santa Maria Novella. This is a particularly exclusive area because of the proximity to the station (great if you want to do a lot of tours leaving from Florence) and the famous Church of Santa Maria Novella, a very important reference in Florence.

If you want some indications of hostels (or B&B) and apartments, I have some options that I suggest if you want to save money; click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion, make your reservation and guarantee good prices!

If you prefer hotels, I have some options that I recommend with great cost benefit! Click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion, make your reservation and guarantee good prices.

Hotels that I recommend in Santa Croce

Another neighborhood where you can stay is Santa Croce, where the homonymous church is located. This area, located in the southeastern part of the historic center, is close to the most interesting monuments and has its fulcrum in the church of Santa Croce. Among the scenic palaces in this district, there are many hotels that can accommodate you for a wonderful weekend in Florence.

If you want some indications of hostels (or B&B) and apartments, I have some options that I suggest if you want to save money; click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion, make your reservation and guarantee good prices!

If you prefer hotels, I have some options that I recommend with great cost benefit! Click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion, make your reservation and guarantee good prices.

Hotels that I recommend in Campo di Marte

Another economic possibility, where you can stay in Florence, is Campo di Marte; in this area there are several well-equipped and affordable hotels. It is a quiet and charming residential area in Florence, well connected to the historic city center by public transport. Campo di Marte has its own train station where several regional and high-speed trains stop, with which you can easily reach other Tuscan cities and major cities in Italy. It is a great choice if you have rented a car too.

If you want some indications of hostels (or B&B) and apartments, I have some options that I suggest if you want to save money; click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion, make your reservation and guarantee good prices!

If you prefer hotels, I have some options that I recommend with great cost benefit! Click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion, make your reservation and guarantee good prices.

Hotels I recommend outside the Historic Center

And so, if you decide to breathe a less touristic air, a good choice could be to stay in Florence right outside the historic center, where hotel prices are cheaper and the most convenient solution if you come by car. Another possibility is to stay away, in some nearby town, and experience the silence of the wonderful Tuscan landscape, but in this case it is necessary to have a car.

If you want some indications of hostels (or B&B) and apartments, I have some options that I suggest if you want to save money; click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion, make your reservation and guarantee good prices!

If you prefer hotels, I have some options that I recommend with great cost benefit! Click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion, make your reservation and guarantee good prices.


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Conclusion

What are the 10 must-see sights in Florence? Florence is one of the most famous cities in Tuscany, and represents an unmissable destination worldwide when traveling to Italy. Considered the “cradle of the Renaissance”, it houses in its historic center (declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO) a large collection of monuments, museums, palaces and statues.

If you feel insecure or have no time, and need help to organize your trip, do not hesitate to look for me! I will love to help you make your dream trip to Italy. And how can I do that? Continue reading this post until the end and you will understand how can we make your life and journey easier.

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