Top Attractions in Florence
Collected by Gillian Longworth McGuire, AFAR Local Expert
With divine pasta and funny putti, the handsome Duomo and the dreamy young Lotharios leaning on Vespas, with leather workshops and nonnas doing the weekly shopping, Florence offers visitors an urban experience that is equally rich in historic romance and everyday modern life. Join the parade of visitors to worship in the galleries of the Uffizi or watch the parade from a café table beside a busy piazza, but head to this Renaissance stronghold and make your own history.
Piazza del Duomo, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
The cathedral, usually called the Duomo, is Florence’s most recognizable building. You are able to catch glimpses of its magnificent red-tiled cupola from just about anywhere in the city center. Construction on the church...
Piazza del Duomo, 9, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Florence’s wonderful Museo dell'Opera del Duomo (Cathedral Works Museum) is open to the public with double its original floor space and a new contemporary look. The unique collection of works by masters such as Donatello, Michelangelo, Luca...
Piazzale degli Uffizi, 6, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Ideally you'd have a whole day to appreciate the world’s foremost collection of Renaissance paintings, housed in the 16th-century headquarters of the Medici court. But for those with less time, highlights include the three great...
Piazza de' Pitti, 1, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
The Uffizi Gallery might get more attention, but the Palazzo Pitti across the river is the largest museum complex in Florence. The vast Renaissance palace itself has been owned by the Medici family, used by Napoleon, and repurposed as home to...
Piazza Pitti, 1, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Via dei Vecchietti, 4, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
When people think of Florence, they usually think of Renaissance art and crowded museums filled with altarpieces and "Madonna and Child" images. While the Renaissance is the biggest draw of this historic city, there is a lot more to its art-museum...
Piazza di Santa Trinita, 5R, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
What began in pre-war Italy as two small workshops in the Palazzo Spini Feroni on Via Tornabuoni has grown into a fashion empire and a brand synonymous with Hollywood glamour. A museum dedicated to the craftsmanship of Salvatore Ferragamo opened...
Via Romana, 17, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
La Specola, one of the oldest science museums in Europe, contains a collection of specimens of the natural world—some of which date back to the 16th century. It includes strange and wonderful objects ranging from tiny iridescent green...
Via dei Renai, 37, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Stefano Bardini, one of the great art dealers of the 19th century, donated his showroom to the city with the strict condition that nothing be changed. The city of Florence initially ignored his wishes and altered the space quite dramatically, but...
Costa S. Giorgio, 2, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
In addition to providing a peaceful green space, this remarkable terraced garden near the Ponte Vecchio offers terrific views of the city. Its scale—much smaller than that of the Boboli Gardens—gives it a more intimate feel. In spite...
Piazza della Santissima Annunziata, 13, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
The Ospedale degli Innocenti, a grand Renaissance building designed by Filippo Brunelleschi, opened its doors as an orphanage in 1495; it still works to protect the rights of children, but it now houses a stunning museum space. A prolonged...
Piazzale Michelangelo, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Via delle Porte Sante, 34, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Most people who visit Florence know that walking to Piazzale Michelangelo is a must. However, fewer people know that walking a little higher to the old church of San Miniato al Monte is an even better experience. Amble down the Arno River to Viale...
Via Faenza, 48, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
The history of the palaces and streets and artwork of Florence comes alive during this multimedia theater performance, acted out (in English) in a small baroque church. The show tells the story of two feuding Medici siblings—the last grand...
Piazza Lorenzo Ghiberti, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Who knew grocery shopping could be so photogenic? In summer, you'll be tempted to photograph the piles of tomatoes; in winter, the tangles of greens. Wander around to get a sense of what is in season and what you will find on local menus at lunch...
Borgo Santa Croce, 6, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
You will probably smell a whiff of roses emanating from Aquaflor well before you arrive. Inside the stunning 16th-century Palazzo Corsini-Serristori in the Santa Croce neighborhood, Sileno Cheloni creates scents that vividly evoke the Tuscan...
Via della Scala, 16, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Elevate the normally mundane experience of shopping for medicine-cabinet basics like soap and toothpaste with a visit to one of the oldest pharmacies in the world. In this 13th-century chapel with early Renaissance frescoes, Gothic carved wooden...
Borgo degli Albizi, 11r, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
The perfect souvenir for the food-loving traveler? Slim bars of chocolate wrapped in paper patterned with groovy midcentury designs. Or a pale blue box tied with a satin ribbon, holding a treasure of pralines, caramels, and squares of dark...
Via delle Oche, 4-red, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
This independent bookstore feels like a cozy home, with rooms full of books and comfortable chairs in which to sit and browse. Fans of Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code may recognize the shop as the one where Robert Langdon searched for Dante’s ...
50125, Via dell'Olmo, 8, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
While walking around Florence, have you noticed something different about some of the street signs? Clet Abraham is a French artist who stealthily alters traffic signs with graphic stickers that transform a DEAD END sign into a crucifix or a...
Via S. Giuseppe, 5R, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
This leather workshop is hidden away in a former Franciscan monastery next to Santa Croce. The Scuola del Cuoio was originally founded to provide skills and work for some of the city’s orphans after World War II; masters and apprentices...
Borgo Santissimi Apostoli, 22, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
This might be the most photographed store in Florence—the charming but cluttered scene includes strings of dried garlic and chilies, baskets of fresh fruit, colorful ceramics, wooden serving utensils, wild-boar salami, Tuscan olive oil, and...
Via Sant'Egidio, 4/r, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Founded by the Sbigoli family, this Florentine workshop has been glazing and painting terra-cotta pottery since 1857. Now run by the artistic Chini family, the sense of history remains. Every piece in the showroom is handmade and unique. The...
Via della Vigna Nuova, 97-red, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Florence has been the place to buy leather for centuries, and this workshop has become the place to shop for leather in the past few years. Two best friends, Ben and Matteo, create stylish and modern leather items through...
Via Maggio, 51r, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Florentine native Betty Soldi spent years honing her craft in design capitals like London and New York before returning home and partnering with Matteo Perduca, a pairing that joins her graphic-design chops and love of calligraphy to...
Via della Spada, 34r, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
It all started with the bottle of organic argan oil that Antje d’Almeida, the owner of Mio, bought on a trip to Morocco. The silky, scent-free oil was too good not to share, so she opened a shop and started selling...
Florence, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy
You may think Boutique Nadine has a bit of an identity problem. Not only does the shop have two locations just a few blocks from each other in the heart of Florence, but they are both part vintage-clothing store, part indie-designer...
Piazza Ghiberti Lorenzo, 33/R, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
The bright colors and floral patterns that adorn Lisa Corti fabrics are inspired by her childhood in Ethiopia and her lifetime of travel to India and Asia. The inventory is extensive, with housewares, women's clothing, children's wear,...
Borgo Santi Apostoli, 44/46r, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Jewelry does not need to be made from precious gems and metals to be beautiful. Angela Caputi’s internationally acclaimed brand, Giuggiù, started in a small workshop in the Santo Spirito district of Florence. Her bright and chunky...
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