Santa Croce is one of the most famous churches in Florence, and for good reason. You'll find notable citizens buried here like Michelangelo and Galileo. It also features some frescoes by Giotto. The architect was the Jewish Niccolo Mattas, and that's why the star of David is featured so prominently on the facade. The piazza always has something going on--so when you are looking for a place to stop and rest in between sights. You'll often see markets, puppet shows, and street performers here while you relax and have a glass of wine or a coffee before you head to your next location.
The best view of Florence is a bird's eye view, and when you don't feel like climbing to the top of the Duomo or its campenile, this is a wonderful place to sit and enjoy a bottle of wine. It's also a great picture location, and you'll see a variety of photographers (amateur and professional) clamoring to catch that perfect shot as the sun sets over the Tuscan hills and the Arno River. Take your time and enjoy--it's a climb up the stairs and a good walk back down into the city, so you'll want to sit and enjoy with someone you love.
As Florence's largest and most lavish palace, the Pitti Palace has hours of entertainment. Between the marvelous Boboli Gardens and the silver and costume museum, you will spend hours wandering the many different rooms filled with art, furniture, and more. You should think about buying a ticket that allows you to visit all the exhibits and to enjoy the afternoon out and about in the gardens. You'll want to double check which days it is open if you are planning on visiting during any other season than summer--it can often be open or closed depending on the time of year.
Expect to spend an entire day in the Uffizi museum. One of the largest in the Western world and holding more than over 3,000 works of notable art, any lover of history and Florence's place in it will be astounded by the collection the Medici acquired. This is another attraction you should think about booking in advance--it's also one of the most popular museums in the world and draws in millions of visitors every year. If you are planning on catching a view of a work by Da Vinci or Botticelli, this is the museum where you will find such famous works.
No visit to Florence would be complete without a glance at the extremely famous work of Michelangelo's "David." Residing in the Accademia, there's much more to see there other than this sculpture, but it is the work that will end up leaving you with an unforgettable, lasting impression. Also make sure to check out Michelangelo's "slaves" on either side of the hall leading to the "David"--his unfinished work is almost as beautiful as his crowning achievement. You'll want to book tickets online for this attraction--the line can be extremely long and it can often take hours to enter the museum when tourist season is at its highest.
The Bargello is one of Florence's best places to see some amazing works of sculpture. When you are looking to spend a few hours relaxing and you would like a haven from the hoards of tourists occupying the city, the Bargello is your best escape. Featuring works by Donatello and other famous Renaissance artists, you'll find an incomparable collection that will entertain you for hours. Originally a fortress, the building is just as impressive as the artwork that you will find there, as well. When you are tired of typical museums, this spot can be the perfect way to stay cool and away from the hot Florence sun.
It's impossible to miss this landmark of Florence--it towers above other buildings in the city, and it's the best place to climb in order to see the entire town. Dating back to the Gothic era, the Duomo is a testament to Florence's power and the genius of the architect Brunelleschi. Think about buying a ticket with all the perks; there's a museum on how the the marvel of the dome was built, and the ticket includes the opportunity to climb to both the top of the dome and the campanile. The interior is also worth taking in--gorgeous frescoes dominate the inside of the dome.
Still serving as the "official" town hall, the Palazzo Vecchio was the home of the most powerful family in Florence for hundreds of years. The Medici's old palace sits in the beautiful Piazza Signoria and is open to the public until late. You can enter for free, but it's worth paying the small price in order to see the many rooms that once held government officials and the Medici family. From the top, you also get an excellent view of the city of Florence. No spot in the city gives you a better idea of the wealth and opulence the Medici family enjoyed while asserting their influence over the city.
You'll find enough art and culture to keep you entranced for hours at the Palazzo Strozzi--one of Florence's most visited museums and one of the best places to experience the city's history. Originally the home of the prominent Strozzi family, it was later given to the city as a place to encourage art. Guests can peruse the galleries that have featured work by Picasso, have included Roman statues, and are continually updated several times a year. After you are done with the galleries, take some time and sip on a coffee on the main floor--they have some delicious options for a fair price.
Originally the home to the butchers in Florence, it's now been turned into one of the most expensive streets in Europe, housing millions on euros' worth of gold and jewelry. It's the perfect place to stop by and pick up a gift for someone you love, or to just marvel in its history as the only bridge to survive the bombings in World War II. It's also one of the best spots in town to view a Tuscan sunset. Just make sure to watch your purse as pickpockets known this is popular place for wealthy tourists to shop and to get a glimpse of the Arno River.