Where to go
Things to do in Florence
The Renaissance was born in this small city with world-class appeal. Offering you a glimpse at one of the richest cultural and artistic periods of our history, visiting Florence is like taking an enchanting step back in time. Admire artistic masterpieces from the likes of Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Botticelli and Brunelleschi. Discover frescoed churches and grand palazzos in its historic centre, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With so much timeless beauty around you, it’s easy to have your dizzying ‘Stendhal’ moment. So, we’ve made it easier. From its iconic cathedral with its soaring dome to the towering Palazzo Vecchio and world-class museums, we narrow it down to what you absolutely can’t miss. Top six things to do in Florence 1. Uncover the treasures of the Uffizi Gallery Marvel at some of the greatest works of the Renaissance in these former government offices. Its formidable collection was gifted to the state by the last of the Medici in 1743 and includes Caravaggio’s hair-raising Medusa, Botticelli's renowned Birth of Venus and Titian’s titillating Venus of Urbino. 2. Visit Florence Cathedral Florence’s cathedral is impossible to miss. With its stupendous, red-tiled dome and marbled facade in pink, green and white, it’s become an iconic city symbol. While the inside is less elaborate, you’ll still be dazzled by the wonderfully detailed fresco by Vasari and Zuccari and the 44 stained-glass windows. 3. See David at the Accademia Gallery No visit to Florence is complete without marvelling at Michelangelo’s smooth and sinewy David. Carved from a single block of marble, this famed work became a symbol of Florentine power. While it’s the museum’s indisputable star, other highlights include paintings by Botticelli, Ghirlandaio and Orcagna. 4. Feast on Florentine food Tuscan cuisine is simple, hearty and irresistible. Its star dish is the bistecca alla fiorentina, a juicy T-bone slab of meat that’s not for the faint-hearted. But the lesser known ribollita soup and tripe sandwiches are also flavoursome delicacies well worth a try. Top it all off with a quality local wine. 5. Explore the Palazzo Pitti and Boboli Gardens Former home to a Florentine banker, Italian kings and even Napoleon, this Renaissance palace’s rich history dates back to 1458. Now it’s the place to gush over sumptuous rooms filled with porcelain, jewellery and art from the 16th to the 19th centuries. The spectacular terraced garden is also worth a stroll. 6. Discover Renaissance power at the Palazzo Vecchio Built between 1298 and 1314 for the signoria (city government), this austere palace has long been the seat of Florentine civil power. Marvel at its enormous Hall of the Five Hundred and even delve into the Medici's world of intrigue through the hidden passages. The 94m-high tower also offers sweeping views.