There are so many things to see in Florence in one day. If you are planning a full-day tour of Florence, you might want to take a look at our guide to the 10 best things to see in Florence (Italy).
10 best things to see in Florence, Italy
Florence is an Italian city rich in history and culture. For this reason, the history of the city is particularly significant, starting from the Middle Ages when it was already outlined as an important center of traffic and passages with flourishing activities in the financial and political fields and gradually also in the cultural field. Dante Alighieri and his immortal Divine Comedy, the greatest masterpiece of Italian literature, were born here.
At the beginning of the fifteenth century, Florence became the cradle of the Renaissance, with the affirmation of the powerful Medici family, and will be in particular with the third prominent member of the family, Lorenzo de Medici, known as the Magnifico, that in Florence began a long phase of artistic patronage: Verrocchio, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Sandro Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci were just some of the artists commissioned to beautify the city, while architects and art lovers dedicated themselves to enrich it with majestic buildings, historic churches, art galleries and Romanesque bridges crossing the Arno.
Its historic centre is quite narrow and is easily accessible on foot.
If you’re wondering what to see in Florence in a day, you might want to check out our list of the 10 best things to see in Florence:
- The Complex of the Duomo
The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore known as the Duomo, is one of the symbols of Florence. The church was built in Gothic style at the end of the thirteenth century by Arnolfo di Cambio, while only later was added in the fifteenth century the dome of Brunelleschi.
It is composed of:
- Cathedral with Brunelleschi’s Dome
- Campanile di Giotto
- Baptistery of San Giovanni
Seeing the whole complex would take a great deal of time, so we suggest you linger over the Cathedral and the Dome.
- Piazza della Signoria
Five minutes from the Duomo is one of the most beautiful squares in Florence: Piazza Della Signoria.
The Piazza has been the centre of Florence’s political life since the 14th century.
- Palazzo Vecchio
Palazzo Vecchio is located in Piazza della Signoria and was built between 1299 and 1314 as the headquarters of the Priori delle Arti.
- Uffizi Gallery
The Uffizi Gallery is one of the most beautiful museum complexes in the world. Here you can admire many masterpieces by Raphael and Botticelli, the main works of Giotto, Titian, Pontormo, Bronzino, Caravaggio, Dürer, Rubens, Leonardo da Vinci and many others.
Among the unmissable works we cannot fail to mention "La Primavera" by Botticelli, "The Adoration of the Magi" by Leonardo da Vinci, "La Madonna del Cardellino" by Raphael and "La Meduca" by Caravaggio
→ If you want to spend a pleasant day in the green Tuscan countryside, do not miss our day tour of the Tuscan countryside starting from Rome.
- Galleria dell'Accademia
The Accademia Gallery is an Italian state museum located next to the Academy of Fine Arts.
Inside the gallery there are many sculptures by Michelangelo including the famous David. Other sections are also housed, such as the world’s largest collection of gold paintings and the Museum of Musical Instruments.
- Church of Santa Maria Novella
The Basilica of Santa Maria Novella is, on the architectural level, one of the most important churches of Florence that rises on the homonymous square. It was the first basilica in which elements of Gothic architecture were used in Florence.
Inside it contains extraordinary masterpieces, including the Trinity of Masaccio, the frescoes by Ghirlandaio in the Tornabuoni Chapel and the Crucifix by Giotto.
- Quartiere San Lorenzo
The San Lorenzo district is a lively and picturesque area of Florence with a high historical importance. Here, the popular side of the neighborhood (with the presence of the Central Market) mixes with the imprint of the gentlemen and more in detail of the Medici family.
There are in fact many majestic works of the Medici legacy: Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Chapel of the Magi, Basilica of San Lorenzo, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Cappelle Medicee.
- Ponte Vecchio
Symbol of Florence is the Ponte Vecchio, built in 1345 and so called because it represents the oldest stone bridge in Europe.
The bridge sees a remarkable pedestrian flow, both for its historical interest and for the connection with places of high tourist interest. Also right along the bridge there are many and characteristic goldsmith shops.
- Palazzo Pitti
Palazzo Pitti is a Renaissance palace bought by the Medici family in 1550. It was also a palace of two other dynasties: that of the Habsburgs-Lorraine (from 1737) and the Savoys, who used it as a royal palace. It was donated in 1919 by Vittorio Emanuele III to the state, thus becoming a state museum.
- Giardino di Boboli
To complete Palazzo Pitti there is the Boboli Gardens, one of the best examples of Italian gardens. The gardens represent a real open-air museum thanks to its collection of sculptures ranging from Roman antiquities to the 20th century.