In case you are searching for a dazzling Italian stay, with the essence of culture, history, architecture, and cuisine, Florence is your perfect vacation destination. Known to be the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, Florence is the capital of the Tuscany region and of the province of Florence. By stepping into the city, you will be transported to an era of grandeur and majestic brilliance, where the cathedrals and sculptures created by stalwarts like Giotto, Botticelli and Michelangelo still stand tall today.
There is a wide range of things to do in Florence according to your interests, preferences, and budget. The following are some of the Florence tours, sites and experiences you simply shouldn’t skip.
Free Walking Tours
If you visit Florence for the first time the best introduction would be free walking tours guided by locals who are truly proud of their town and unique artistic heritage. Guides work on tip bases and during 2 hours of the tour they reveal the splendid and sometimes mysterious history of Renaissance’s cradle. You can choose from two themed tours or combine them both – Renaissance Tour departs at 11:00, Medici Tour at 14:00, meeting point is in front of Santa Maria Novella church.
Galleria Degli Uffizi and Galleria Dell Academia
If you are interested in art, these museums will leave you spellbound because of their collection of Renaissance art, medieval paintings, sculptures and tapestries created by Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Perugino, among many others. Michelangelo’s famous David is also present in Academia, along with many musical instruments collected by the illustrious Medici family.
Piazza Della Signoria and Palazzo Vecchio
Florence holds innumerable options for sightseeing. The Piazza Della Signoria is the famous square of Florence located in the heart of the Historic Center. It holds open-air exhibits and breathtaking works created by the great masters. The Palazzo Vecchio is a splendid landmark which is the town hall of Florence and contains some of the most beautifully decorated rooms.
Among the most essential things to do in Florence Italy is to try Tuscan food, which is the basis of Florentine cuisine. These food tours take you on a walking tour, where you get to taste their coffee, learn about the coffee roasting process, savor traditional truffles and pastries, visit open-air cafes, go to the San Lorenzo Central Market for sampling balsamic kinds of vinegar, crostinis etc and then stop by the gelato shops to get the famous Italian ice cream.
There are many restaurants you can choose from for having dinner and lunch. Soft bread with a crispy crust, white beans simmered with herbs such as sage and a dash of extra virgin olive oil, grilled or roasted meats like Beef Steak Florentine, wine braised deer, boar and rabbit and filling soups are what make up a typical Tuscan meal.
Soggiorno Battistero is a charming Hotel in the heart of Florence, directly across from the Baptistery and Duomo. The hotel has simple, comfortable and large rooms at a price that even your accountant would approve of. You will get breakfast daily with the price of your room and the staff is very helpful and can assist you with restaurant reservations and advice on things to see. Hotels just next door are three times the price and don’t offer the view or service that Soggiorno Battistero does. Florence is one of the greatest cities in the world and you will fall in love and long to come back again and again!
No Italian vacation can be complete without tasting its wine. Florence has extensive wine tasting tours where you will move through the beautiful Tuscan countryside to reach the wineries and cellars in the Chianti Classico region. A guide will give you a tour of the vineyards and orchards of olive trees and cypresses, where you can sample the wines, olive oil and various types of cheese.
Florence is one of the top fashion capitals and you will find different souvenirs, paintings, antiques, clothes, shoes, accessories, and leather products in the various town squares, in Mercato Nuovo or Mercato Centrale.
Florence receives millions of visitors every year and it is not surprising that the Historic Center of Florence was declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. The city’s rich artistic heritage, magnificent buildings, and options for various activities make it one of the most popular tourist spots in the world.