Things to do in Florence
Inspiration comes easily in Florence. A stroll along a cobbled street yields tiny cafes serving delectable pastries. Architecture and artwork that have withstood the test of time are practically around every corner.
If only one stop were on your itinerary it would have to be Galleria delgi Uffizi, one of the top things to do in Florence, but also in all of Italy. As one of the world's leading art museums, the Uffizi displays paintings and sculptures by Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, Michelangelo, and more.
The city is filled with cathedrals, but the true icon is Il Duomo, which is still regarded by modern architects as a masterpiece. You can climb 463 steps to the top and take in the view, which will likely stay with you for years to come.
Shopaholics are also well served here: Stroll chic Via de'Tornabuoni for big homegrown brands such as Prada, Louis Vuitton, Emilio Pucci, Ferragamo, and more; join in the fray at the San Lorenzo street market; or check out antiques along Via Maggio. Note that most shops are closed on Sundays.
The walls of this evocatively dim and echoing Franciscan church are lined by the tombs of some of Tuscany's greatest luminaries: artist Michelangelo, scientist Galileo, composer Rossini, political philosopher Machiavelli, sculptor Ghiberti, and many others.
There’s always a long line outside Florence’s Academy of Fine Arts, everyone waiting to see arguably the world’s most famous sculpture: Michelangelo’s David (1501–04).
Originally a medicinal garden designed for the Medici in 1545, the Botanical Gardens of Florence, also called the Giardino dei Semplici (Garden of Simple), is one of the world’s oldest botanical gardens.
In the hip Diladdarno arts district, this long-established gallery has impressive rotating shows that include Patti Smith and David LaChapelle.
Established in 1999, this minimalist Japanese-Italian bar at the Ferragamo’s Gallery Hotel Art is still the meeting point for Florence’s style-conscious crowd.
What the Uffizi is to paintings, the Bargello is to sculpture: a storehouse of some of the greatest works in marble and bronze to come out of t
One-day market and culinary tours of Florence with Tuscan-food expert Faith Willinger.
In a former church, the museum houses 183 sculptures by mid-20th-century Tuscan artist Marino Marini, famous for stylized equestrian works.
Serving some of the best gelato in the city for more than three decades, this tiny artisanal chocolate shop is situated behind a narrow glass storefront in the Santa Croce neighborhood.
Since its reopening in 2005 following 50 years of neglect, the 10-acre Gardens of the Villa Bardini in the Oltrarno have become a favorite with Florentines seeking a moment’s repose in the heart of the city.
In the center of the city, creative types flock to this pocket-size bar for its fresh-fruit cocktails. Inside, the red leather booths and pool tables are packed, an art show is always up, and hipster sightings are probable: Look for members of hometown band the Killers.
Brancolini Grimaldi Arte Contemporanea, with locations in Rome and Florence, presents a program dedicated exclusively to contemporary photography and video.
Recent renovations at this sprawling Renaissance-Mannerist palazzo have opened up archives, grottoes, and sights that had been closed years.
With his obsessive dedication and talent, Salvatore Ferragamo (1898¬–1960) was the Mozart of handmade shoes.
View the church's frescoes by Perugino, Andrea del Sarto, and Jacopo da Pantormo.