Florence was the birthplace of Renaissance and home for the most important artists of those times, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Botticelli, Brunelleschi, Masaccio, Donatello.
The city lies on the banks of the river Arno, in a valley surrounded by gentle hills. Given its central position in the Italian peninsula, it is on the main national railway lines and is connected to many major Italian and European cities.
The main attractions of Florence are its art galleries as well as the various artefacts, craft objects you can find in the several workshops in Florence. Florence is one of the best preserved Renaissance centres of art and architecture in the world and has a high concentration of art galleries, impressive palaces, art filled churches; Florence and its area boasts nearly 170 museums including the large collections of Uffizi and Accademia Gallery and many small fine private collections.
Florence is a compact city best negotiated on foot. No two sights are more than 20 minutes walk apart. The centre is loosely bounded by Santa Maria Novella Station to the northwest, Piazza Croce to the east and the Arno river to the south. Beyond the river is Oltrarno, the left bank district home to the Pitti Palace, the Boboli gardens and the Piazzale Michelangelo lookout.
We start our journey into art and history from Santa Maria Novella station; after a short walk we admire the religious heart of the city, the magnificent tricolor-marble cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Giotto’s bell tower, the Baptistery and the imposing red tiled dome by Brunelleschi that dominates the skyline of Florence. Not too far from here is the splendid piazza della Signoria, the civic centre, dominated by the stunning Palazzo Vecchio and its crenellated tower. Beside the palace is the Loggia de Lanzi, the arcade hosting some world famous statues such as Cellini’s Perseus. The Loggia, the nearby Uffizi Gallery with its huge collection of paintings and the other outstanding monuments corroborate the statement of Florence as an open-air museum.
The recently introduced Florence card is a useful instrument to enjoy the city attractions and allows tourists to enter around 72 sites and use public transport with the same card valid 72 hours. You can buy it at one of four tourist offices in the city.
Tours & Activities
Top things to do
Visit some of the most important art galleries in the world
Uffizi gallery is an art gallery containing some masterpieces of Renaissance art by Botticelli, Leonardo and Michelangelo. The other major art gallery in Florence is the gallery of Accademy that houses the most renowned sculpture od Renaissance art, the David by Michelangelo.
Visit the city by bike
Bike tours into the pedestrian historic centre of Florence are quite pleasant especially in Spring and Fall
Actually shopping in Florence can be a unique experience as you wander through its ancient, narrow Medieval streets exploring little workshops, cosy boutiques and also glamorous fashion stores searching for the perfect gift, the exclusive art object or the most fashionable clothes. Few cities of comparable size can boast such a variety of high quality goods.
Study in Florence
In Florence you can learn a lot! From cinema to fashion, from photography to cooking. But most of all Florence offers plenty of Italian language courses, which are made by a lot of students from all over the world. Going to an art school or to a handicrats one, you can learn some ancient, traditional skills.
Enjoy Florence nightlife
Though Florence is hardly a metropolis, there is no shortage of things to do in the evenings. In fact, there is something for all tastes in the city centre, where practically every street corner has a pub or cafe, club or disco. Each neighbourhood has its own particular nightlife scene, which you can enjoy exploring: Santo Spirito, San Niccolò and the Oltrarno, Santa Croce…