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Historic Highlights Walking Tour

A taste of the major sights, art and politics of the Tuscan capital
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 3.2 miles
Duration: Multiple days
Family Friendly

Overview:  Somebody once pointed out that the result of Italy's history of passion, religious fervor, artistic temperament and political... more »

Tips:  The Uffizi gets nearly 2 million visitors a year and you can wait in line half a day if you don't buy tickets beforehand. Pre-book... more »

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Points of Interest

This magnificent cathedral and architectural wonder has become a globally recognized symbol of Florence and the artistic, religious and political turmoil engrained into the city's culture. The trail starts here because all visitors will naturally gravitate to it.

It started life in 1294 when the city's ruling religious elite felt they needed to... More

2. Campanile

The bell tower was another Duomo project where construction outlived the original architect. In this case Giotto, who began building in 1334, and his string of successors finished things just over a century later.

Visitors can climb the 414 steps for the city vista (it's better than the one from the dome, because it includes the dome).

The... More

This series of chapels attached to the church of San Lorenzo is the final resting place for many generations of Florence's powerful Medici family.

Theirs was a political, religious and banking dynasty. They produced four popes, owned the wealthiest bank in Europe in the 1500s and became royalty over the Republic of Florence—ruling it for more... More

The Accademia has operated as an art school for more than 200 years. It has an extensive collection of works by minor artists but the main attraction here is Michelangelo's "David,", one of the most famous pieces of art from the Renaissance.

Despite relying on them for much of his livelihood, Michelangelo was no fan of the Medici and he created ... More

Tuscan food is usually described as hearty local fare done simply with quality ingredients—lots of steak (bistecca), white beans (fagioli) and wild boar (cinghiale) pasta or stews. That's fantastic if you are here in the colder months, but for summer Florence's greatest contribution to world cuisine is undoubtedly gelato.

There are dozens of... More

If the Accademia has given you a taste for Renaissance sculpture, then you are going to love the collection in this former medieval prison.

With the exception of "David," the galleries here are likely to house the originals of all the famous copies that get more notice around Florence's piazzas.

Among the major pieces are works by Michelangelo, ... More

This expansive civic space in front of Florence's fortress-like town hall, the Palazzo Vecchio, has been a social and political meeting place since the early 1300s. If the Duomo is the center of Florentine religion, Piazza della Signoria is the heart of the city's secular life.

In 1497 this was the scene for the original famous "Bonfire of the... More


The Uffizi holds the world's premier collection of Renaissance art. Renaissance, meaning "rebirth," was a cultural movement that began in Florence in the 14th century and spread throughout Europe for roughly the next 300 years. In essence, it revisited what was learned from the Classical period of ancient Greece and Rome but put a new emphasis on ... More

This unique 14th century bridge over the River Arno has been crammed with expensive jewelery shops for 500 years. It was originally filled with butchers but they were evicted by one of the Medici rulers who couldn't stand the smell. His private passageway from the Uffizi (when it was government offices) to the Pitti Palace (the family home) passed... More

The trail's final destination is at the end of a short climb up a hill on the edge of the city. The spectacular views are best at the beginning or end of the day (and it gets a lot of tour buses in between).

Settle down at one of the outdoor cafes for a sunset beer. Alternatively, come for a sunrise breakfast as you watch the early golden rays... More