Top 10 in Florence – the capital of Tuscany! 🇮🇹

Italy is clearly one of the most beautiful and tourist friendly countries in the world. From fashion, luxury goods, beautiful art and architecture, through scrumptious food, all the way to its “farniente” and Italian hospitality…!

Florence has been on my travel to-do list for a while and I am happy to have visited it this summer. The city made a lasting impression on me, so much so that I am certain that I will be back – to see the things I’ve been blown away by and also those for which I did not have enough time.

Below you’ll find my Top 10 things to do in Florence. The list is by no means exhaustive as there’s plenty more to do in Florence itself and around Tuscany – one of the most famous and gorgeous regions of Italy.

  1. Royal Apartments at Palazzo Pitti

The Royal Apartments at the Palazzo Pitti has taken my breath away, quite literally. The opulence of the apartments is difficult to grasp with your senses, there are so many famous paintings next to one another that I felt like in the Louvre and Versailles at the same time (I saw so many Rubens squeezed on the wall that I had to check several times whether it’s actually possible).

The Palace is the symbol of the city’s most glorious times and was bought by the rich and powerful Medici family in 1549. It was the chief residence of the ruling families of Tuscany. The Palace itself is the largest museum complex in Florence and includes not only Royal Apartments and Art Galleries, but also the Treasury, Porcelain Museum, Costume Gallery etc.

Address: Piazza de’ Pitti, 1, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy & https://www.firenzeyesplease.com/en/post/palazzo-pittis-royal-apartments/

  1. Uffizi Gallery

One of the most prominent art museums and popular tourism attractions in Florence. In fact, with over 2 million visitors a year, the Uffizi Gallery is the most visited art gallery in Italy and among the most visited art museums in the world. It holds a collection of priceless works, including Italian Renaissance with Botticelli and Leonardo da Vinci works standing out for me.

The Museum is absolutely gorgeous, with spacious and opulent rooms, beautiful inner courtyard  and a series of columns and arches filled with marble statues. To be sure, the art is displayed in all its glory and there are some gorgeous views over Florence as well.

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Address: Piazzale degli Uffizi, 6, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy & https://www.visituffizi.org/

  1. Florence Cathedral (Duomo)

Majestic building standing in the centre of the historic town of Florence . Its presence is undeniable, therefore tourists flock around the Cathedral to make pictures or plan what to visit next. The exterior and the front of the Cathedral are really impressive, covered in white marble and colorful polychrome designs (see featured image).

However, the inside of the Cathedral is far less impressive. One has to spend 1-2 hours waiting just to enter for 5-10min of big disappointment. If you don’t have too much time spare on your hands and the queue is long, just enjoy the Cathedral, take pictures of it and move to next points (hopefully on this list!) 🙂

Address: Piazza del Duomo, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy & www.duomo-florence.com/‎

  1. Boboli Gardens

Wonderful Gardens adjacent to Palazio Pitti. When I visited in August 2019, the gardens were full of sculptures by Tony Cragg, which are very characteristic and add another dimension to the space and the gardens. I have seen Tony’s work before in Luxembourg and other places and thought he did a great job, also from PR and marketing perspective, to be exhibited in the Boboli Gardens.

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This gorgeous park / open-air museum also includes numerous other sculptures and attractions, such as fountains and caves, among them the splendid Buontalenti grotto. To be sure, it is one of the most important examples of the “Italian Garden” which served as an inspiration for other Italian and European ones. Some magnificent views over Florence as well! 🙂

Address: Piazza de’ Pitti, 1, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy & https://www.visitflorence.com/florence-museums/boboli-gardens.html

  1. Piazza Repubblica and Café Gilli

Beautiful square in Florence with an amazing Café Gilli that opened its doors in 1733 and became an immediate success. I liked the Café so much that I came back there again and each time it was wonderful – allowing me to enjoy the Piazza Repubblica while sipping a nice cocktail, a glass of wine or coffee.

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The service is impeccable and the people frequenting the Café are very interesting as well. Perfect spot to chill-out, take Florence in and plan what to visit next. Perfect place for a date or business meeting also.

Address: Piazza della Repubblica, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy & https://caffegilli.com/en/

  1. Ponte Vecchio

Another landmark of Florence, a place where a lot of Instagram worthy pictures are taken. The bridge is located along the pedestrian zone south of Piazza della Repubblica towards Palazzo Pitti and has a big historical importance.

Interestingly, there are numerous shops when you cross the bridge (and there have been since the 13th century), with some jewellry, art as well as souvenirs. Ponte Vecchio is also called the “Old Bridge”.

Address: Ponte Vecchio, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy & https://www.visitflorence.com/florence-monuments/ponte-vecchio.html

  1. Modena & Maranello – Ferrari

Only 135 kilometers or around 1.5 hours away from Florence, one can find the home and birthplace of Ferrari – the great Italian success story – the automotive masterpiece. Modena and Maranello stood out from the whole trip, not only to car amateurs, therefore I decided to include it here.

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The 2 Museums are focused on different aspects, with Maranello exhibiting the most important models, including F40, Enzo or La Ferrari. It also includes prototypes, showing the technical advancement and 100% commitment to perfection. The Museum also gives homage to the racing history, which naturally includes the Formula 1.

The Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari is focused on the life and work of Enzo Ferrari. The museum itself is perhaps slightly less interesting, but beautifully designed and taking the visitor on a tour of Ferrari history, culminating with the movie about Enzo Ferrari. Both museums are must-dos IMO and the best way is to buy a combined ticket and either drive (about 25min) or take the shuttle bus that Ferrari provides.

Address: Via Paolo Ferrari, 85, 41121 Modena MO, Italy & https://musei.ferrari.com/en

  1. Frescobaldi (restaurant)

Food in Florence does not disappoint. There are countless good spots to enjoy the Italian cuisine. One that stood out to me is Frescobaldi. It has a wonderful menu, full of wonderful Tuscan specialties, with the highest quality of ingredients.

What stood out to me as well is the interior design and the atmosphere of the place. Warm welcome, attentive service, my favourite jazz music – all created a cozy and chic atmosphere that I thoroughly enjoyed and would recommend to others.

Address: Piazza della Signoria, 31, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy& https://www.frescobaldifirenze.it/

  1. Palazzo Vecchio and Piazza Della Signoria

The Palazzo Vecchio is the most important administrative building in Florence. It actually used to be a town hall. Its imposing square design makes it look like a castle.

Piazza della Signoria is a wonderful square with magnificent view on the Pallazo with its huge clock tower and fantastic statues of David and Hercules. To the left one can find a fountain of Neptune as well as a grand statue of Cosimo Medici; whereas to the right, the magnificent Loggia dei Lanzi with the sculpture of Hercules and others is located.

Address: Piazza della Signoria, 31, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy& https://www.frescobaldifirenze.it/

  1. Piazzale Michelangelo

The best spot for the views over Florence and the Duomo, located on the hill near Boboli Gardens and Palazzo Pitti. Its central point includes a wonderful statue of David and the views are just magnificent.

I also enjoyed the views of the 15th floor of the Hilton Metropole, located 20min drive from the centre of Florence. This Hilton is very fairly priced and the Executive Lounge makes it even more appealing.

Address: Piazzale Michelangelo, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy & https://www.visitflorence.com/florence-monuments/piazzale-michelangelo.html

 

Overall, Florence is one of the most inspiring cities, which gave birth to some of the best artists known in history. The architecture, the art, food, shopping and museums are to die for and the visit to this city is likely not a one-off experience. 🙂

I personally have numerous spots that I still want to see and I will plan to re-visit Florence when visiting Tuscany again.

 

Although we are entering the cold and grey season in Europe, there are more posts coming up, including guest blog posts. Don’t forget to follow my Instagram account as well.

As always, let me wish you safe travels!

Warmly,

MJ

PS. Get 10% back on your hotel/apartment booking on booking.com using my code: https://www.booking.com/s/57_6/7793bab0

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