Things to do in Florence

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Florence is one of Europe’s great art repositories and Michelangelo’s David and Botticelli’s Primavera feature prominently on count... Read More

Florence is one of Europe’s great art repositories and Michelangelo’s David and Botticelli’s Primavera feature prominently on countless “see-before-you-die” art lists. 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. But while the galleries, churches, chapels, and palaces huddled in this compact city could keep a Renaissance fiend happy for a month, there is life beyond the art. Explore the city’s green spaces: the celebrated Boboli Gardens is the largest and most famous of them all, but there are some wonderful hidden gems if you know where to look. Take a boat trip along the Arno River or hire a bike and tour the city like a local. Sign up for a walking tour or a cooking lesson or even a spin around town in a vintage Fiat 500. Shopaholics are also well served here: when you’ve had enough of the city, head for the hills and a wine-tasting trip in Chianti. And for something really different, book a hot air balloon: gliding silently at dawn over Tuscany’s iconic landscape is an unforgettable experience.

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  • Boboli Gardens in Florence Getty Images
    Boboli Gardens

    The magnificent Boboli Gardens, once the playground of the Medici family, are laid out over the hill behind the Pitti Palace, a green oasis amid... Read More

  • Brancacci Chapel in Florence Getty Images
    Brancacci Chapel

    Hidden away off a quiet piazza in the Oltrarno neighborhood south of the river Arno, this small chapel packs a huge punch in artistic terms, for it was... Read More

  • Cappella dei Magi Palazzo Medici-Riccardi Chapel in Florence Getty Images
    Cappella dei Magi

    Benozzo Gozzoli's representation of the Journey of the Magi was painted from 1459-1461 and is one of the most glorious frescoes in Florence. Almost... Read More

  • Wine Tasting at Castello di Sonnino in Florence Courtesy of Castello Sonnino Montespertoli
    Castello di Sonnino Wine Tasting

    The wine estate of Castello di Sonnino is only a 20-minute drive south of Florence, but it delivers you to the heart of the glorious Chianti... Read More

  • Cenacolo di Ognissanti Church in Florence Getty Images
    Cenacolo di Ognissanti

    Of all the Last Supper paintings in Florence (and there are 10), Domenico Ghirlandaio's 1480 work that decorates the back wall of the refectory in the... Read More

  • Church of Santo Spirito in Florence Getty Images
    Church of Santo Spirito

    The parish church of Santo Spirito sports a blank, instantly recognizable facade that has become something of an icon for the area of Florence known as... Read More

  • Cooking Course at Desinare in Florence Courtesy of Desinare Firenze Cooking School
    Desinare

    Located within Riccardo Barthel's interior design emporium, Desinare is more than just a cooking school. You can come here to learn how to make hand... Read More

  • The Uffizi Museum in Florence Getty Images
    Galleria degil Uffizi

    The world's greatest haul of Renaissance painting is housed in the ex-offices of the Medici family, a vast U-shaped building located on the Arno. In... Read More

  • The Accademia in Florence Getty Images
    Galleria dell'Accademia

    The people who wait in line for hours to get into this gallery are here to see one thing and one thing only; Michelangelo's celebrated David, the world... Read More

  • Giardino Bardini Garden in Florence Getty Images
    Giardino Bardini

    A hidden gem of a garden, this green oasis stretches up the steep hill behind Via dei Bardi toward the old city walls and the Belvedere Fort. Views from... Read More

  • Gucci Museo Museum in Florence Getty Images
    Gucci Museo

    In 2011 the House of Gucci, one of the most globally successful Italian luxury fashion brands, decided to celebrate its 90th birthday by opening a... Read More

  • Museo Archeologico Museum in Florence Getty Images
    Museo Archeologico

    When you've had your fill of frescoes, head over to the excellent Archaeological Museum to discover more abut Florence before the Medicis. The exhibits... Read More

  • Museo dell'Opera del Duomo in Florence Getty Images
    Museo dell'Opera del Duomo

    Florence's Cathedral Works Museum moved to magnificent new premises in November 2015, with double the floor space and a strikingly contemporary new look... Read More

  • Museo Ferragamo Museum in Florence Getty Images
    Museo Ferragamo

    Housed in the basement of Palazzo Spini Feroni—the grand, ramparted palace where Salvatore Ferragamo first set up shop and where the Ferragamo family... Read More

  • Museo Nazionale del Bargello Museum in Florence Getty Images
    Museo Nazionale del Bargello

    One of Florence's most important museums yet surprisingly under-appreciated, the Bargello houses one of the world's great collections of Florentine... Read More

  • Museo San Marco Museum in Florence Getty Images
    Museo San Marco

    The painter Fra (or Beato) Angelico lived and worked at the Friary of San Marco between 1436 and 1445, a period in which he created some of the most... Read More

  • Church of Santa Maria Novella in Florence Getty Images
    Santa Maria Novella

    Its swirling, green-and-white-marble facade is probably the most beautiful in Florence, and it houses some of the most important frescoes in the city,... Read More

  • Tuscany Ballooning in Florence Courtesy of Tuscany Ballooning
    Tuscany Ballooning

    One of the most original ways to see the undulating, patchwork quilt that is the Chianti countryside is from a hot air balloon. To catch the best... Read More

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