Welcome to the birthplace of Italian Renaissance! This is none other than the capital of Tuscany in Italy, Florence that is the artistic, architectural, and historical treasure of the country. For the historians, renaissance lovers, and general fans of history, a visit to this city is a mandate option at least for once in a lifetime. With churches, galleries, museums, parks, bridges, and observation towers; there is much to see and do of which certain Florence Italy attractions are a must to explore. Now, what you will even more admire is the fact that you can easily walk up to many of these highlights so that you can take in more of the life here. Other options to get around are bicycles offered free by some hotels, buses from ATAF for €12 for a 3-day ticket, and taxis that should be called by a phone from the hotel reservation or from a taxi stand and not otherwise. Driving with your own car is somewhat next to impossible here as only permitted residents can drive.
One of the most visited Florence Italy attractions is the Uffizi fine art gallery showcasing the Renaissance paintings, antique sculptures, and much more. A great treat for the art lovers! If you go straight to the gallery, there will be long lines and ample hours of waiting to buy a ticket of €11. So, I would actually recommend phone booking on +39 55 294883 for extra €4. Kindly avoid online booking as waiting time is implemented over there too. You can have delicious snacks at the restaurant/café from where the vistas of Palazzo Vecchio are superb, but the prices are high. As you come out, there are performers to entertain you on the street.
If you are in Florence, you just cannot miss the sight of Ponte Vecchio (meaning ‘Old Bridge’) – one of the most unusual as well as the oldest bridges on the globe. Stretching over the Arno, this is the sole bridge to bypass WW2 to offer you today a unique feel of shopping the traditional ornaments right from the era of the Medici. From here, you can easily reach to the Uffizi as well as the old Medici palace.
One more interesting museum to visit is the Institute and Museum of the History of Science reflecting the instrumental evolution in the fields of astronomy, physics, mathematics, chemistry, and biology. Above all, the main highlight here is the Galileo Galilei room where you will be excited to see his original instruments along with the drawing models as well as his real right hand. And yes, the Spheres and Globes room is also fantastic with its great cartographic collection.
Nestled in the ancient town center is one of the most exciting Florence Italy attractions – Santa Maria del Fiore or simply the Duomo as the wonderful cathedral as well as the city’s icon. For the renaissance lovers, this is a must to see feat of that era’s engineering. The creator, Brunelleschi’s statue is seen in the piazza, which is carved to be gazing towards the dome. For the tourists, the exciting activity here is to ascend the Dome via 464 winding steps right from the side of the church. Once you are on the top, you enjoy the best vistas of the Tuscan countryside, churches, and palaces. The entrance fee is €8 as of 2010, but you might get to face a long lineup. If you cannot make up for this one, climb the close by Giotto’s Tower’s 414 steps for 6 Euros to enjoy the 360-degree vistas of the city as well as the giant Duomo.
Do take a tour of the monumental Santa Croce church where you can see the tombs of Michelangelo, Dante, Galileo, and other famous personalities besides the creative embellishments. And yes, there is also a chargeable highlight within called the Museo dell’Opera di Santa Croce housing the Crucifix by Cimabue (teacher of Giotto) that is yet beautiful despite of flood damage of 1966.
Lastly, do explore the extensively landscaped Boboli Gardens at the rear of the Pitti palace housing the royal Medici family’s art and treasures. This is where you can marvel at the several probing sculptures as well as enjoy the great city vistas for seven Euros that also include entry to the Bardini gardens for the Duomo vistas reachable via a short walk from here. from the Boboli Gardens.
Eating pizzas sold by weight is good near Duomo and some best restaurants are in the Santa Croce area. Budget travelers should note that prices tend to rise as they go near to the old town. Do try the Il Vegetariano located on the Via delle Ruote. For accommodation, I would recommend Hotel Florence Masaccio at the Via Masacci with a restaurant for 34 Euros.