Top 15 Things to Do in Florence
If you’re looking for an Italian escape that is filled to the brim with marvels of architecture that will leave you awe-struck, masterpieces that will pull at your heartstrings, and culinary delights that will leave your taste-buds tingling for days, then Florence is your next stop. As your travel expert and guide on this adventure, let me lead you through the 15 must-have experiences in this magical city of art, culture, and cuisine.
The moment you see the grand Duomo, your senses are engulfed by its stupendous ornate facade. So fascinating was the view from atop this engineering marvel that I had to pinch myself to believe it was real. Be sure to grab a skip-the-line pass or you will be waiting a long time or not get in at all.
An Outstanding Ode to Art Meandering through the Uffizi Gallery is akin to teleporting to a Renaissance Italy. Staring at Botticelli’s ‘Birth of Venus,’ is one of the stars of this gallery and is incredible to see in person. Again, this and the Academia are ones you are going to want tickets in advance for.
Nothing beats lounging and people watching in the verdant Boboli Gardens, a tranquil oasis that offers delightful views, fascinating sculptures, and a beautiful sense of peace.
4. Savoring Florence
Indulging in Florentine cuisine, from comforting ribollita to succulent Bistecca Alla Fiorentina (aka Florentine Steak), is an experience of unfathomable delight that you’ll cherish.
Walking along, you’ll feel the fervor of thousands of stories imbued in the stones of Ponte Vecchio. This bridge is not just a historic landmark; it’s a portal into Florence’s intriguing past. There are ton of vendors here if you need a souvenir.
Science becomes an art form at Museo Galileo. During my visit, the beautifully designed scientific instruments made me appreciate the elegance of investigation and inquiry.
Every corner of Palazzo Pitti hides a story. The sheer grandeur of this regal palace and the unmistakable imprint of history leaves one smiling in quiet reverence.
Experiencing Michelangelo’s David at the Accademia Gallery is not just about seeing a famous sculpture. It is about experiencing an unforgettable encounter with enduring brilliance. If you are curious as to where it originally lived there is a copy of the David located in Piazza della Signoria (Duomo Square), just opposite the Palazzo Vecchio. I think it’s good to have that context before seeing it in the museum.
9. Leather Market of Florence
The spirit of craftsmanship is shared in Florence’s bustling Leather Market, a treasure trove of precious artifacts where you can find a perfect memento for your journey.
The breathtaking view from Piazzale Michelangelo, with the spectacular Duomo framed against the setting sun, is an unforgettable vision that you’ll carry home from your Florentine adventure.
11. Nightlife in Florence
Florence transformed into an even more magical place as night fell. I discovered hidden gems, like the quaint wine bar, Le Volpi e l’Uva, bustling with life and topped with a glass of smooth, local wine.
From Gucci to Prada, Florence’s luxurious designer stores in Via de’ Tornabuoni if you’re into high end fashion, then this is the spot!
Having some “me” time in the peaceful town of Fiesole, just a stone’s throw from Florence, allowed me to soak the serene atmosphere and offered some extraordinary views of the Florence cityscape.
The timeless allure of Basilica di Santa Croce, combined with its monumental heritage, is an intense, awe-inspiring experience.
15. Wine Tasting in the Chianti Region
Experience the famous ‘La Dolce Vita’ amidst idyllic vineyards. A glass of the classic Chianti wine is too tempting to resist.
Here are a few recommended ones to try:
Antinori nel Chianti Classico: This is one of the oldest and most renowned wineries in Italy, it has been producing wines since 1385. Visiting this winery is a unique experience because of its perfect blend of tradition and modernity.
Castello di Ama: This is another famous winery found in the small village of Ama. It’s well known for its quality wines and the collection of contemporary art housed in some of its historical buildings.
Badia a Coltibuono: The place is famous not just for its wine but also for its historic abbey.
Castellare di Castellina: A well-established winery that maintains strong ties with the traditional Chianti production methods. It’s also known for its exceptional biodiversity.
Fontodi Winery: Found in Panzano, within the Conca d’Oro valley, this winery is known for its high-quality organic wine.
Fattoria di Felsina: Located on the southeastern edge of the Chianti Classico region, they are especially known for their award-winning Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia.
Castello di Monsanto: This winery is located in the village of Monsanto near the town of Barberino Tavarnelle, and they are famous for producing the first Chianti Classico Cru wine.
Isole e Olena: This winery has its location surrounded by olive groves and forests aside from vineyards. The winery produces rich Chianti Classico and is also famed for its “Cepparello” wine.
Rocca di Montegrossi: Located in Monti in Chianti, the winery has a long-standing history dating back to the 7th century.
Fattoria Vignavecchia: This family-owned winery in Radda in Chianti is particularly known for its Chianti Classico wines.