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I arrive in Florence on a sunny Thursday afternoon to meet a friend who is already waiting for me at the very conveniently and centrally located hotel, which we have strategically chosen. The plan: to live Florence to the fullest for 3 days. I find my friend, drop my bags and we are off. We aim for Piazza del Duomo. We talk of many things as we walk and do not realize, as we go through the tiny cobbled streets, pass the crowded cafes and gelataries, that Florence is gingerly working its charm and paving its way through our hearts. Finally we reach Piazza del Duomo, the epicentre of the Renaissance. Our enthusiasm at the sight of everything around us (Santa Maria del Fiore aka il Duomo, il Battistero di San Giovanni and il Campanile di Giotto) is shared by all other tourists pointing at the attractions encountered so many times on art history textbook pages, now taking life and shape in front of their eyes. People armed with cameras avidly snapping away, in a frantic attempt to capture the many beauties around one square under the Florentine sky. We join the queue and buy our admission tickets to the various monuments. To think this is only the start of our tour…

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Shopping Fanatic
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Foodie
  • Luxury Traveler
  • Thrifty Traveler
  • Like a Local

12 Places

1 City Tip

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12 Places

Day 1

Duomo - Cathedral of Santa Maria dei Fiore

Architectural Buildings, Religious Sites

Baptistery of San Giovanni (Battistero)

Architectural Buildings, Religious Sites, Historic Sites, Landmarks/ Points of Interest

Taverna Divina Commedia

Restaurants

Duomo Museum (Museo dell'Opera del Duomo)

Museums, Art Museums

Giotto's Bell Tower (Campanile di Giotto)

Architectural Buildings, Historic Sites, Observation Decks/ Towers

Day 2

Uffizi Gallery

Museums, Art Museums

Accademia Gallery

Monuments/ Statues, Museums, Art Museums

Buca Lapi

Restaurants

Day 3

Church of Santa Maria Novella

Architectural Buildings, Religious Sites, Historic Sites, Landmarks/ Points of Interest

The Basilica of San Miniato al Monte

Architectural Buildings, Religious Sites, Historic Sites, Lookouts

Ponte Vecchio

Bridges

Trattoria Mario

Restaurants

Anna3762014's City Tips

  • Bus passes are very convenient and available to buy in local convenience stores; however, Florence is not huge and can easily be walked around.
    Day 1
  • Save
    Duomo - Cathedral of Santa Maria dei Fiore
    Architectural Buildings, Religious Sites
    See more photos
    Anna3762014 Says:

    This is the very heart of Florence: The main church with the famous Cupola by Brunelleschi. The exterior walls are built in different marbles which combine with one another in a captivating game of hues, a style that has given Tuscan cities a most distinguished look throughout the centuries. The building was initiated in the early Italian Renaissance, in the 13th Century, and completed during the high Renaissance period. Although construction and decoration took several hundred years, once you enter and have the chance to admire it in its full splendor, you’ll conclude it was worth the wait!

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • When visiting the Duomo, you have the option to buy a day ticket to all the attractions within Piazza Duomo. This is more convenient and will save you money and queuing time.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #12 of 198 attractions in Florence
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A beautiful Cathedral inside and ouside! 01/31/2015
    • Stairway to Heaven 01/30/2015
    • Duomo - Cathedral of Santa Maria dei Fiore
    Address:
    Via della Canonica, 1
    Piazza del Duomo
    50122
    Italy
    Phone:
    +39 055 2302885
    Other:
  • Save
    Baptistery of San Giovanni (Battistero)
    Architectural Buildings, Religious Sites, Historic Sites, Landmarks/ Points of Interest
    See more photos
    Anna3762014 Says:

    If you want to give chronological sense to your art tour, it is important that you visit this attraction before the others in Piazza Duomo: Il Battistero is a more medieval accomplishment and more faithful in its interiors to earlier style trends. It is entirely decorated in gold and the light reflections are impressive.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Audio guides are available; do opt for one as it will make a difference.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #17 of 198 attractions in Florence
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Baptistery 01/29/2015
    • Better than the Duomo 01/24/2015
    • Baptistery of San Giovanni (Battistero)
    Address:
    Piazza di San Giovanni
    Italy
    Phone:
    055 230 2885
    Other:
  • Save
    Taverna Divina Commedia
    Restaurants
    See more photos
    Anna3762014 Says:

    Behind Piazza Duomo, this taverna has a good selection of local dishes to choose from, and a good wine list. Prices are very reasonable, considering the very central location, and while the food is not high standard or sophisticated cuisine, it is good food on a budget and I would recommend it at least for a quick bite. My personal favorite here is the 'pasta e ceci' with 'lardo di colonnata' - a typical Tuscan dish.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    Tips
    • Ask the waiter about daily specials; not all dishes are always detailed on the menu.
    From the community
    Ranked #990 of 1,765 restaurants in Florence
    • Fabulous food, atmosphere and service! 01/07/2015
    • Molto buono! 12/29/2014
    • Taverna Divina Commedia
    Address:
    V. Dei Cimatori, 7R
    50122
    Italy
    Phone:
    055 215369
    Hours:
    Mon - Wed
    11:00 am - 12:00 am
    Other:
  • Save
    Duomo Museum (Museo dell'Opera del Duomo)
    Museums, Art Museums
    See more photos
    Anna3762014 Says:

    This museum is located directly behind the Duomo and contains the major oeuvres relating to the buildings surrounding the square. It gives visitors a very good background on how the famous Florentine buildings were constructed, as well as playing host to some of the most prominent Renaissance artworks. My personal favorite is Michelangelo’s Florentine Pietà. Although the one mostly referred to is situated in the Vatican museums in Rome, the one you'll find here is definitely worthy of attention, too. It is a later work by a more mature Michelangelo. The sculpture represents the Virgin Mary, Mary Magdalene and Nicodemus holding Jesus as they take him down from the cross. The young Michelangelo is apparently also represented by Jesus himself, who is sculpted with a remarkably more vigorous and robust body than its counterpart in the Vatican.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Friends
    • Solo
    • History Buff
    • Senior
    • Couples
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Audio guides are available here.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #47 of 198 attractions in Florence
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Beautiful 01/08/2015
    • Closed and Under restoration until November 2015, but go as soon as you can thereafter 12/29/2014
    • Duomo Museum (Museo dell'Opera del Duomo)
    Address:
    Piazza del Duomo 9
    via della Canonica, 1
    50122
    Italy
    Phone:
    055 230 2885
  • Save
    Giotto's Bell Tower (Campanile di Giotto)
    Architectural Buildings, Historic Sites, Observation Decks/ Towers
    See more photos
    Anna3762014 Says:

    It’s 85 meters tall, and of course, I took the stairs all the way up, which is exactly what I advise other visitors to do! The reward at the top? Florence — the view of the entire cityscape in all its glorious colors and gentle forms. It makes for a memorable experience.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • My advice is that you do this in the hours of sunset, when the Tuscan sun blushes a reddish tone and sets behind the city’s elegant roof tops.
    • Do take a good camera — views from the top are stunning!
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #5 of 198 attractions in Florence
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Well worth the 414 step climb 01/29/2015
    • Lots of stairs, but worth it 01/29/2015
    • Giotto's Bell Tower (Campanile di Giotto)
    Address:
    Piazza del Duomo
    Historical Center
    10000
    Italy
    Phone:
    055-230-2885
  • Day 2
  • Save
    Uffizi Gallery
    Museums, Art Museums
    See more photos
    Anna3762014 Says:

    Possibly the most important museum in the city. If you are an art lover, you have found Mecca. This gallery includes works by Michelangelo, Botticelli and Da Vinci, to name but a few...

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Friends
    • Solo
    • History Buff
    • Senior
    • Couples
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Do opt for a guided tour, worth it for the cultural background — plus you are given little anecdotes and facts that are not always reported in books.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #19 of 198 attractions in Florence
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Masterpieces at every turn 02/01/2015
    • The Jewel of Europe 01/28/2015
    • Uffizi Gallery
    Address:
    Piazzale degli Uffizi 6
    50122
    Italy
    Phone:
    055 238 8651
    Hours:
    Tue - Sun
    8:15 am - 6:30 pm
    Other:
  • Save
    Accademia Gallery
    Monuments/ Statues, Museums, Art Museums
    See more photos
    Anna3762014 Says:

    This unique gallery is located near Piazza San Marco, and it's famed for hosting the original statue of David by Michelangelo. (The most photographed version in Piazza della Signoria, is, in fact, a replica.)

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Friends
    • Solo
    • History Buff
    • Senior
    • Couples
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Check the website calendar for guided tour timings.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #11 of 198 attractions in Florence
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Incredible Masterpiece 02/01/2015
    • Make sure you "Skip the Line'. It could Tripple the Enjoyment of your Visit. 01/31/2015
    • Accademia Gallery
    Address:
    Via Ricasoli 58 - 60
    50122
    Italy
    Phone:
    055 2388612
    Hours:
    Tue - Sun
    8:00 am - 6:30 pm
    Other:
  • Save
    Buca Lapi
    Restaurants
    See more photos
    Anna3762014 Says:

    Florence is not a metropolis by any standard: It is a fairly small city, easily toured on foot and not overpopulated. Still, the sheer amount of art it contains is overwhelming, and exploring it all makes for hungry work. If a delicious Florentine steak (when in Florence!) is just what your appetite is craving, Buca Lapi is the place for you. The atmosphere is warm, the smells are sensational, and the steaks are perfectly cooked, rare and served in generous portions.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    Tips
    • Waiters are kind and knowledgeable - ask for a Tuscan red wine recommendation.
    From the community
    Ranked #216 of 1,765 restaurants in Florence
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • buca lapi simple the best!! 01/23/2015
    • Amazing Steak, iconic place not to miss 01/23/2015
    • Buca Lapi
    Address:
    1R Via del Trebbio
    Italy
    Phone:
    055-213-768
    Hours:
    Mon - Sat
    7:00 pm - 10:30 pm
    Other:
  • Day 3
  • Save
    Church of Santa Maria Novella
    Architectural Buildings, Religious Sites, Historic Sites, Landmarks/ Points of Interest
    See more photos
    Anna3762014 Says:

    One of my favorite churches: Its colors are vivid and you get an immediate sense of harmony and peace when you venture inside. The main attractions here are the Crucifix by Giotto, Masaccio's Holy Trinity and the Crucifix by Brunelleschi.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Guided tours are recommended for getting the most out of your visit.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #25 of 198 attractions in Florence
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Santa Maria (Florence) 01/29/2015
    • Great Frescoes 01/27/2015
    • Church of Santa Maria Novella
    Address:
    Piazza Santa Maria Novella
    50123
    Italy
    Phone:
    055-210-113
    Hours:
    Mon - Thu
    9:00 am - 5:30 pm
    Fri
    11:00 am - 5:30 pm
    Sat
    9:00 am - 5:00 pm
    Other:
  • Save
    The Basilica of San Miniato al Monte
    Architectural Buildings, Religious Sites, Historic Sites, Lookouts
    See more photos
    Anna3762014 Says:

    This Basilica is located a little outside the city center and therefore tends not to be as crowded as the other churches in Florence. Reaching the building preceded by incredibly steep steps is an experience in itself, and attention must be paid to the church's stunning mosaic decoration.

    Good for
    • Friends
    • Solo
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Getting here: Take a bus from central Florence.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 198 attractions in Florence
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Fabulous church, fabulous view 01/30/2015
    • Worth the effort of the walk 01/19/2015
    • The Basilica of San Miniato al Monte
    Address:
    Via Delle Porte Sante, 34
    50125
    Italy
    Phone:
    055 234 2731
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    8:00 am - 1:00 pm
    3:30 pm - 7:00 pm
    Other:
  • Save
    Ponte Vecchio
    Bridges
    See more photos
    Anna3762014 Says:

    Head to Ponte Vecchio on foot and explore this ancient photogenic bridge, first built in Roman times, and then rebuilt in the Middle Ages. It crosses the Arno River and makes for an evocative stroll.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Best time to visit is sunset.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #34 of 198 attractions in Florence
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Well preserved, but still very much in use 01/29/2015
    • Too much people all over the year 01/28/2015
    • Ponte Vecchio
    Address:
    Via Por Santa Maria/Via Guicciardini
    50125
    Italy
    Other:
  • Save
    Trattoria Mario
    Restaurants (Italian)
    See more photos
    Anna3762014 Says:

    This is a great local place for good local food at a good price, situated near to the outdoor market. Tripe, a most popular Florentine dish, is one of their specialties, and the ribollita is delicious, too. Ribollita consists of a chunky soup whose main ingredient is usually cannellini beans, also very typical of the area.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Thrifty Traveler
    • Friends
    • Solo
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • It is not a place you would go to on a date, but ideal if you are traveling on a budget.
    From the community
    Ranked #25 of 1,765 restaurants in Florence
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Highly recommended ! 01/27/2015
    • Best food Best prices 01/17/2015
    • Trattoria Mario
    Address:
    Via Rosina, 2r
    Corner of Piazza del Mercato Centrale
    50123
    Italy
    Phone:
    +39 055 21 85 50
    Price range:
    $7 - $21
    Hours:
    Mon - Sat
    12:00 pm - 3:30 pm
    Other:
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