Given that millions of tourists from around the world visit this city every year, there is no doubt about the variety of things to do in Florence. For example, vacationers can choose to learn about the city’s rich history by visiting its many museums. Or they can take a gastronomic tour of the city, which is famous for its bistecca alla fiorentina (Florentine beef steak) and pappa al pomodoro (a kind of soup). For those addicted to shopping, meanwhile, there are famous stores all over the city; from Gucci to Armani, you can find it all here. There is no shortage of activities in Florence, and the abundance of world-renowned Florence attractions ensure it will be easy to fill an itinerary for any vacation.
Things to do in Florence
The statue of David can be seen at the Accademia Gallery, located on Via Ricasoli. It took Michaelangelo three years to complete this seventeen-foot marble statue. Originally placed outside the Palazzo della Signoria in 1504, the statue of David was later moved to the Gallery in order to protect it from decomposition and vandalism, though a replica can be viewed today at the statue’s original location. This is one of the most popular Florence attractions, with more than 1 million visitors every year.
Also known as the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, the Duomo of Florence is a stupendous sight. Its dome dominates the cityscape, while up close the sheer intricacy of the facade is stunning to behold. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it took more than 200 years to complete and is today one of the primary Florence attractions. Any list of activities in Florence simply must include a trip to this Gothic cathedral.
The Ponte Vecchio is a bridge over the river Arno. Constructed in medieval times, it spans the narrowest part of the river. If shopping is among your list of things to do in Florence, then this is a great place to start—the Ponte Vecchio is lined with shops that have been open for business since the Middle Ages.
The Uffizi Gallery is one of the most well-known and oldest museums of art to be found anywhere in the world. It is housed in the Palazzo degli Uffizi, an impressive structure designed by Vasari to serve as the office of the magistrates of Florence. The gallery hosts many of the most well-known paintings from the Renaissance, including works by the likes of Botticelli and Raphael. A trip to the city without a visit to this museum mean missing one of the most popular tourist activities in Florence.
Located behind the Pitti Palace, the Boboli Gardens is home to many old sculptures. This landscaped garden also includes an amphitheater adjacent to the Boboli Hills. Beside the lush green landscaped expanse with many famous statues such as Neptune’s Fountain, the garden is also famous for the breathtaking panoramic view of Florence that it offers.
The Campanile is a bell tower beside the Duomo. It is nearly 230 feet high, and if you can handle the 414 steps, then the view from the top of this tower must be on your list of things to do in Florence. Giotto’s Campanile is also a functional art gallery, although many of its more famous works have been removed for exhibition elsewhere in the city and replaced by copies.