Florence is huge and filled with museums and all kinds of interesting outdoor art and buildings. Even if you had a week, you still wouldn’t have enough time to see it all so here is a suggested top 10 list of things to see and do in Florence, Italy.
1. Start in Duomo Square where you will find some of the most awe inspiring, jaw dropping buildings, anywhere. Visit Florence’s famous dead at the Basilica of Santa Croce. Also known as the Temple of the Italian Glories, the Basilica is the final resting place of Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli, Foscolo, Gentitl, Rosini and others. Santa Croce was built in 1294 and is based on the design of Arnolfo di Cambio. Its most notable features are its 16 chapels, many of them decorated with frescoes by Giotto and his pupils, and its tombs and cenotaphs designed by artists of the Renaissance.
2. The massive Duomo di Firenze is the fourth largest cathedral in the world! The size, the colors, the history will leave you stunned. If you have time, enter the building or challenge yourself to climb the stairs to the most stunning panaromic views of Florence.
3. Next, visit Florence’s famous gilded doors at the Baptistry of San Giovanni. Each panel depicts a story from the bible.
4. A short walk will bring you to the Palazzo Vecchio which holds some of the worlds most renowned frescos. The Battle of Anghiari, the lost painting of Leonardo Davinci which was painted in 1505 is believed to be hidden inside this building.
5. Do some people watching in the Piazza della Signoria. You’ll find wall to wall tourists and artists hopefuls sketching the statues that are in the Loggia dei Lanzi.
6. Eat lunch. If you are meat eater, try their Bistecca Fiortina, a thick T-bone steak cut from the chianina cattle and served medium rare. If you are daring try a lampredotto, Florentine street food made from cows stomach.
7. Have some wine. Try the chianti which is famous in the Tuscan region.
8. Visit the leather artisans. Florence is famous for great leather which is usually sold at discount prices.
9. Get some wood! There are quite a few artisans in Florence. Wooden Pinocchio dolls are very popular in Florence, also.
10. Visit the museum and take pictures of the home of Dante Alighieri, famous poet of his time and the guy who wrote “Dante’s Inferno”.
You will love Florence. Of all of the cities that I visited in Europe, Florence was the only one where I felt I could live.