Florence is renown for its immense artistic and historical heritage that dwells in its many museums and galleries. They come in all shapes and sizes and whatever the content, they don’t fail to impress. Plunging into exploration of Florentine museums is one of the best things to do in Florence and explore the soul of the city. In particular, the Uffizi and Accademia Galleries are no secrets to its visitors. Despite being “too touristy,” these classics shouldn’t miss on your itinerary. After all, how can you say you were in Florence if you did not make a date with Michelangelo’s David or laying your eyes on Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus? However, there are many more museums to explore beyond the two obvious choices such as the Bargello Museum full of sculptures; Palazzo Davanzati with a glimpse into the quotidian life of Florentine rich or the San Lorenzo church and Medici Chapel!
The skyline of Florence simply wouldn’t be the same without the outline of the imposing egg-shaped Duomo. The dome is by far the most known part of the Florence’s Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower as well as one of the top sites in Florence. If 463 steps and tight spaces don’t discourage you, clamber up inside to enjoy a great view of the city from the dome lantern at the very top. It’s the highest point in central Florence. Plus, the climb allows you to peek into the internal structure of the dome and reveals its architectural genius. If you’re not entirely out of your breath yet, make your way up the adjacent Giotto’s Campanile (bell tower). It provides a spectacular, close-up view of the Duomo as well as Florence. Don’t forget to reserve the fast-track access to avoid hours of queuing! When in doubt about what to do in Florence in a day, Duomo is the answer!
One of the best ways to explore Florence is to hop on a bike and ride down the narrow lanes and crooked streets that wind through some of its picturesque neighborhoods. It gives you much more freedom than a car while expanding your reach of accessible sites. Since traffic in Florence city center is strictly regulated, it’s incredibly cycle-friendly! Hence, in one afternoon, you can gain an excellent overview what to visit in Florence. You can either rent a bike from one of the many rental stands outside the train station or sign up a guided bike tour. When renting a bike on your own, make sure not to miss out on Porta Romana, Poggio Imperiale, Piazza della Signoria and Piazzale Michelangelo. However, if you don’t want to spend time checking a map or prefer to have a bit of information about what you see, sign up for one of the fun and exciting bike tours in Florence! You are in for a great deal of fun.
In a few short centuries, a small Roman settlement became a busy commercial center. However, the 10th century is when things really started to happen for Florence. The city was on a straight upward trajectory to success, opening its doors to artistic activities. For instance, in 1252, minted its own gold currency (florin). Eventually, it became a powerful banking center with Florentine banks all over Europe. The puppet master behind it all was the Medici banking family whose members were also passionate patrons of art.