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Expert Tips

 

See All the Sights at these Special Spots in Florence



Florence has some of the most iconic sights in Italy. Those looking to enjoy seeing everything will have a tough time--there's so much to see and do and you should be prepared to have missed something before you leave. Whether you plan on staying for a few weeks or days, you'll want to visit the best spots in the city and send a picture home to your family.

You can't miss the Ponte Vecchio in the city center. Not only is it the oldest bridge in Florence, but it is also its most famous. Jewelry shops line either side and it was formerly where the butchers sold their wares during Medieval times.

You'll also want to see Piazzale Michelangelo--the place where you can get the best view of the city. It's a bit of a climb and you might be out of breathe, but it's definitely worth it. Also make sure to check out the Palazzo Vecchio for a walk back through history.


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Piazza Santa Croce
Photo courtesy of Lorenzo Bettoni


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.

Recommended for Sightseeing because: If you are looking for events and festivals, Santa Croce always has something going on.

Alexa's expert tip: Check out the church on a rainy day--it's haunting and eerie in a good way.

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Piazzale Michelangelo
Photo courtesy of Lorenzo Bettoni


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.

Recommended for Sightseeing because: No place evokes the magic of the city more than Piazzale Michelangelo.

Alexa's expert tip: Think about coming here during the evenings, there's live music and it's the perfect date night spot.

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Palazzo Pitti
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia


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.

Recommended for Sightseeing because: There are plenty of reasons to visit this beautiful palace on the other side of the Arno.

Alexa's expert tip: Make sure to get a ticket for all the sights available here.

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Galleria degli Uffizi
Photo courtesy of Lorenzo Bettoni


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.

Recommended for Sightseeing because: As one of the most famous museums in the world, the Uffizi houses some of the most famous works of art in Italy.

Alexa's expert tip: The museum is not only a great place for art--you can also get a great view of the river from inside.

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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.

Recommended for Sightseeing because: Michelangelo's "David" is one of the most iconic parts of Florence's history.

Alexa's expert tip: Make sure you also check out the "fake" David in front of the Palazzo Vecchio to compare and see where the original stood.

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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.

Recommended for Sightseeing because: This building has some incredible sculptures--you'll want to spend all day here.

Alexa's expert tip: Head here on a rainy day--it's the perfect way to spend your time.

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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.

Recommended for Sightseeing because: It would be a shame to miss this famous and beautiful treasure.

Alexa's expert tip: Think about coming for mass--it's a great way to see the church and skip the lines of tourists.

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Historical Center


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.

Recommended for Sightseeing because: For a true taste of the old Medici power, the Palazzo Vecchio is a great treat.

Alexa's expert tip: Make sure to check out which exhibits will be available when you are there.

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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.

Recommended for Sightseeing because: The Palazzo Strozzi always has some new art exhibit and there's plenty to see and do.

Alexa's expert tip: Make sure to grab some coffee down at the cafe below!

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Ponte Vecchio
Photo courtesy of Lorenzo Bettoni


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.

Recommended for Sightseeing because: The Ponte Vecchio is the oldest bridge in the city and a testament to Florentine history.

Alexa's expert tip: Think about a view from the Santa Trinita bridge--it's the best spot to see the Ponte Vecchio.

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Meet Alexa Schnee

Currently residing in Florence, Alex is a travel writer and author. She is addicted to coffee, reading, and seeing new places. She has been to near fifteen different countries in Europe, all...  More About Alexa

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