Dante Alighieri walked the streets of Florence, Italy, where he was born. He quoted Florence, often called the “Cradle of Renaissance,” with a rich history of unparalleled Renaissance art and architecture.
And that’s not all! Piazzale Michelangelo forms an integral part of the Risanamento 19th-century urban revitalization project that affects its development by adding more squares, boulevards, public spaces, etc.
Today, Florence and tourism are accompanied by millions of people who visit the city each year, and there are several things to do in Florence.
A city of such divinity and richness is less likely to be found at any other location on earth; imagine walking through the romantic streets of the European city and witnessing the finest art and ancient architecture dating back to the Renaissance era.
Galleria dell Accademia is where you can find the original statue of David standing tall and glorious in all its aspects.
1. Santa Maria Del Fiore, Florence Cathedral, Italy
It stands as the third-largest cathedral in the world.
It was named Santa Maria del Fiore, the virgin flower—a reference to the lily, Florence’s emblem—and is a well-known landmark. The dome is an astounding work of art that is man-made and contains a history dating back a century.
The massive building, designed by Arnolfo di Cambio in the Gothic style, was finished by 1436. Filippo Brunelleschi’s magnificent dome was erected in the same year.
The exterior is covered with a decorative mixture of red, white, and green marble. On the other hand, the interior is beautiful and clear but very pleasant on warm summer days as the temperature inside is usually cold.
1.2. Visit The Duomo
A tour guide is one way to see the Duomo since they can take you to hidden locations and explain all the facts, legends, and oddities.
Entry is free! That one is the only “Grande Museum del Duomo” pass needed to enter the other Piazza del Duomo monuments.
2. Giotto’s Bell Tower, Florence, Italy
This freestanding campanile is a marvellous specimen of Florentine Gothic architecture of the 1300s, containing six centuries of precious history.
The Giotto’s Bell Tower is 84.70 meters tall and is in Duomo. It stands out as a distinct creature since it is immensely intimidating up close and from a distance!
If you dare, you can climb the 414 stairs to the top! And we promise it’s going to be worth the effort. The panoramic view atop is breathtaking, with the entire city before your eyes, encircling green hills, and a different view of the awe-inspiring beauty of the cathedral.
A hexagon, diamond, or rhombus-shaped carving with bas surface and life-size statues is one of the intricately detailed carvings on the tower’s exterior.
The business has seven bells. In commemorating the saint honoured at the dedication of the first church, the biggest is known as Santa Reparata.
If you enjoy art or history, include this on your travel list.
3. Piazza Della Repubblica, a Historical Landmark in Florence, Italy
The former Roman city centre and the centre of public life in Florence followed the unification of Italy.
The Piazza Della Repubblica is where Florence’s heart is. The turning point in Roman history never failed to impress all visitors to the Italian capital.
It is easy to imagine walking through ancient galleries, theatres, and temples, walking about in ragged streets wearing a toga, or watching a battle to the death.
The treasure of the modern Roman crown is its architectural heritage – which is impossible to fully comprehend without first learning about the city’s long and dynamic history.
3.1. Around the Piazza
The Basilica of Santa Maria Degli Angeli Dei Martiri, or Saint Mary of the Angels and the Martyrs, is among the important buildings around the piazza. What looks like a ruin outside looks perfect with doors.
It has large sculptures and marble columns of various colours, and it is the only Renaissance church in Rome (free entry). In the same area, you will find the Baths of Diocletian, which had a capacity of 3,000 people in their day.
Another convenience offered here is the easy availability of the grand hotel, Italian food, and other amenities. The hotel offers excellent views and is well-rated by many visitors. Piazza Della Repubblica is undoubtedly an unmissable part of your itinerary.
4. Piazzale Michelangelo, Plaza in Florence, Italy
Before even describing this transcendent and splendid piece of art, we urge you to include this in your Florence itinerary.
Did you know that the Piazzale Michelangelo was once considered a museum housing the artist’s creations? The Michelangelo Piazzale in Florence memorializes Michelangelo Buonarroti, the most illustrious artist the human race has ever created.
You may reach Florence’s expansive skyline and the most exquisite perspective of the city by ascending the hill.
The Piazzale and the rest of central Florence are filled with sights to behold. It is possible to fill your time with knowledge and preparation when the historical sites in your preferred area are nearby. These are the must-see locations.
4.1. Piazzale Terrangelo Terrace
Behold a spectacular view of Florence from the open space of the Piazzale Michelangelo terrace. Piazzale Michelangelo is mainly crowded at sunset when the picture of the day descending into night enraptures the human imagination.
4.2. The Rose Garden & Iris Garden
Also known as Giardino Delle Rose & Giardino dell ‘Iris, it is free to enter. When the flowers bloom, Iris Garden is only open from late April to late May.
4.3. The Holy Spirit Basilica di Santo Spirito and its Piazza Santo Spirito
Explore Brunelleschi’s Baroque Basilica di Santo Spirito around midday and look for the famed Michelangelo’s wooden cross there. It has a modest facade, a little cloister, and an elegant interior.
Spend the night in the Oltrarno neighbourhood, which has several restaurants and bars, close to Piazzale Michelangelo and Piazza Santo Spirito. Free dancing, people, and music are available!
4.4. Pitti Palace Tour
The Pitti Palace was initially the home of the Medici family and the Hapsburgs. To date, it contains many remnants of their lifestyle, like household items, paintings, costumes, Galleries, and well-maintained private spaces.
5. Loggia Dei Lanzi/ Loggia Dei Signoria, Florence, Italy
You would have to fathom by now that with so many destinations to visit in Florence, a single-day trip will not suffice.
Undoubtedly, Florence is called an open-air museum; this meaning will become more apparent when you read about Loggia Dei Lanzi.
A wide arch opens the Piazza Della Signoria, which meets the Uffizi gallery and includes sculptures made by artists such as Giambologna and Benvenuto Cellini. Those splendid arches seem to have influenced Brunelleschi as he planned the first renovated building.
From the 16th century, during the time of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, Loggia became a manifestation of the power of the Medici family. The sculptures were chosen for beauty and to confirm and represent a particular political meaning.
The Loggia harbours many ancient masterpieces; its terrace is now a part of the Uffizi gallery.
5.1. The Statues
Inspired by many Greek mythical tales, these statues are objects of admiration and reverence for the coming of all ages.
So, we’ll take you through some of the myths associated with the flawless artworks of that era-
A fountain depicting the god of the sea represented the power of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany in the Mediterranean. It was given in 1559 by Cosimo I of the Medici Dynasty after a new city corridor was constructed. Baccio Bandinelli conceptualized the statue, and Bartolomeo Ammannati produced it.
The Florentine Republic has always had two very ancient symbols: the lily and the “Marzocco,” or heraldic lion with a lily shield on its right paw.
We find it in front of Palazzo Vecchio, to the right of a copy of Michelangelo’s book David. Behold the flawlessness of this sculpture by making it one of your things to do in Florence, Italy.
The painter was Giambologna (the Italian name for Jean Boulogne), who came from Flanders and moved to Rome in 1550 to study ancient paintings and modern works, especially those of Michelangelo.
Another Giambologna artwork is an impressive carved marble work, regarded as the foremost ‘group of sculptures’ in European history, and gives a complete view of any angle and side. It is the most significant piece that has ever been transported to Florence.
As long as we talk about the Trojan War, we cannot fail to mention the Polyxena Rape, which is the only modern work between ancient art and Renaissance in the Lanzi loggia. It is a group of marvellous statues sculpted by Pio Fendi.
6. Basilica di San Lorenzo, Florence, Italy
The throbbing centre of Florence is not merely the biggest church in the city, but it is a multitude of the legacy of artists, politicians, and popes.
This rustic-looking unfinished facade once stood as the Cathedral of Florence and is the oldest in Florence, with the estimation reaching 393 AD, consecrated by Saint Ambrose of Milan – the most influential Christian of the 4th century AD.
The church was called the Duomo for three centuries before Santa Reparata took over the title. It still never lost its glory owing to its reputation as the Parish Church of the Medici Family.
There is so much to explore here; let’s briefly overview this fantastic place in the beautiful city of Florence.
One of Brunelleschi’s masterpieces, the Cannon’s Cloister, is a charming, lush green complex where visitors can simultaneously see the landmark building and the Florentine cityscape.
Often referred to as the crypt, it recommends collecting church materials and basilica essentials.
An excellent example of Michelangelo. Core’s Mannerist architecture is a collection of over 3,000 manuscripts collected by the Medici family.
6.4. Old Sacristy
It is regarded as the “first realization of the cultural and artistic message of the Rebirth” – the only thing enough to put the church on the list of things to see!
6.5. Medici Chapels
San Lorenzo is the burial ground of the great Medici family in the so-called Medici Chapels.
7. Palazzo Vecchio & Piazza Della Signoria, Townhall, Florence, Italy
A representation of civil authority, it transports you through three centuries as you pass by Roman Ruins, a Medieval Stronghold, and Renaissance artwork.
Several sculptures are in front of the Palazzo Vecchio, including a replica of Michelangelo’s David, Hercules’ band, and Bandinelli’s Caucus.
Built during the Republic of a Friar, it is the most valuable in its artistic and historical value, with panelled ceilings, large wall frescoes, intricate decorations, and imposing structures.
The Fountain of Neptune is located directly in front of Palazzo Vecchio. The artwork created by Bartolomeo Ammannati and his helpers, including Giambologna, between 1563 and 1565 was commissioned to marry Francesco I de Medici and Grand Duchess Johanna of Austria.
7.3. Take a Tour
The Palazzo Vecchio is humongous and has so many secret hidden places that a trip is necessary to ensure you see everything.
A 75-minute tour through the rooms highlights the works of Medici and architect Giorgio Vasari to one of the most re-imagining scenes from Dan Brown’s novel Inferno.
8. Ponte Vecchio, Closed-spandrel Arch Bridge in Florence, Italy
Open at all times, it harbours a long and rich history and is also called the ‘Old Bridge.’
Ponte Vecchio was constructed not far from the Roman crossing, and up until 1218, it was Florence’s only bridge over the Arno. It was reconstructed once the existing bridge survived the disastrous floods of 1345.
However, the windows and objects we can now recommend were added after the stores were sold to merchants since, as far as we know, the bridge was constructed as a defensive system.
Because of its breathtaking views of the Arno River, Florence’s Ponte Vecchio is a popular spot for lovers.
8.1. Shop & See
It is known for its glittering gold and high-end shops overflowing with rings, watches, bracelets, and other precious gems. Buyers can negotiate with gold traders—shop everywhere before resisting temptation.
8.2. Vasari Corridor
If you have seen the film Inferno, based on Dan Brown’s book, you may recall that Robert Langdon crossed a river in a secluded way, one of Florence’s inferno areas.
Built in 1564 by the Medici family, the Vasari Corridor is a highway walkway connecting Palazzo Vecchio and Pitti Palace, passing through a church on the road and providing beautiful views of the river and the city.
All Dan Brown fans are sure to make a trip here.
9. San Miniato al Monte, Basilica in Florence, Italy
One of Europe’s most harmonious examples of Romanesque architecture, the San Miniato al Monte Basilica is perched high above Florence—Peek within this fantastic building’s elaborately painted walls to discover its past.
As it did hundreds of years ago, the gleaming gold of the apse today lights the cathedral and its environs, evoking a divine mood within the church’s walls.
San Miniato al Monte, with its unparalleled beauty and commanding position above the city, actually acts as a beautiful crown over the grandeur of Florence’s architecture.
An exhaustive list, indeed! We have given you many things to do in Florence; it’s your chance to choose your favourites.
Get ready to immerse yourself in the rich experience of Renaissance art, glorious architecture, and cultural events; shop at the high-end shop in Florence, Italy.
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