Piazza del Duomo (Florence Cathedral)
Among the city's famous buildings is the Duomo with its iconic red-tiled dome, which dominates the city skyline, both day and night. Called 'Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore' - Florence's cathedral (Duomo) is one of the most famous churches in the world, known for its magnificent Renaissance dome designed by Filippo Brunelleschi.
The baptistery right across from the Duomo is also worth visiting, as is the Opera del Duomo, home to many of the original works of art created for the cathedral.
The Uffizi Gallery (or Galleria degli Uffizi, in Italian) is the most famous museum in Florence, and one of the most famous and important museums in the world. With over 1,800 pieces of artwork spread out between 45 halls and two floors, the Uffizi Gallery is an art lover’s dream.
The gallery houses some of the most important works of art by Botticelli, Giotto, Cimabue, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Raffaello.
Pre-dating Venice’s Rialto Bridge by several centuries, the Ponte Vecchio is arguably one of the world’s most famous bridges. Built very close to the original Roman crossing at the narrowest section of the river, the Ponte Vecchio, or Old Bridge as it is known in English, was the only bridge across the Arno in Florence until 1218.
Surviving 600 years and 2 world wars, the pedestrian-only bridge is now renowned for selling the finest gold and jewelry in the city, with a multitude of craft shops and stalls on each side. In the middle of the Ponte Vecchio, the Vasari corridor links the Piazza Signoria to the Palazzo Pitti. This enormous palace is one of Florence's largest architectural monuments and is home to a great collection of Florentine art.
Take the opportunity to visit the world-famous Galleria dell'Accademia, home to Michelangelo's statue of David and his unfinished Slaves. Then pop by the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi, the first grand palace built by the Medici family, to see the extraordinary gallery fresco of The Apotheosis of the Medici.
The Spedale degli Innocenti (Hospital of the Innocents), also contains a deeply moving museum dedicated to the social conditions in medieval Florence and the treatment of its unwanted children.
Santa Croce & Surroundings
Piazza Santa Croce, one of Florence's largest squares, is home to the church of Santa Croce, famous for its extraordinary fresco cycles and its monuments to more than 270 prominent Italians, including Dante, Michelangelo, Machiavelli, and Galileo.
The area is also noted for its myriad of leather goods shops and vibrant al fresco dining scene.
Piazza Signoria & Bargello
Piazza Della Signoria represents the very soul of Renaissance Florence and Italy. It was here in the Palazzo Vecchio that the rulers of Florence began commissioning work from the great masters of the Florentine, Roman and Venetian art world before they moved across the Arno River to Palazzo Pitti.
The world famous Bargello Gallery contains the overflow of masterpieces from the Uffizi Gallery, including Donatella's famous rendering of David, while the Loggia dei Lanzi houses some of the greatest statuary to have come out of Renaissance Italy.
Oltrarno & Piazzale Michelangelo
Often overlooked, the southern bank of Florence, locally known as Oltrarno, offers tourists a plethora of cultural treasures. Just a short walk from the Ponte Vecchio brings you to the heart of this thriving neighbourhood.
Home to the Pitti Palace and the Boboli Gardens, you'll also find a host of beautiful gardens, artistic churches and one of the best lookout points in all of Florence, Piazzale Michelangelo.