Top 20 sightseeing the best attractions to see on your holiday

Top 20 Sightseeing Spots in Florence

Florence is one of the few internationally admired cities in the world that offer a vast collection of Italian Renaissance arts and architecture. Florence is a very romantic, magnetic and hectic city. It is the capital city of Italy’s Tuscany region. Labeled internationally as “Fiorentina”, the foods and wine in the city gives high quality assurance.

This world-class city is a home for numerous impressive tourist attractions and sightseeing spots. Millions of tourists and travellers from around the world flock here annually to experience the thrill that an open air museum provides. All of the buildings, piazzas, basilicas, palaces and cathedrals found in the city, which were designed and ornamented by the most eminent artists of the time like Michelangelo and Brunelleschi, all serve as living testimonies of the beauty and magnificence of the ancient art and architecture. Florence also served as a very significant center for commerce and trade during the medieval era which was why it was tagged as the birthing place of the Italian Renaissance movement.

What makes Florence unique from the rest of the European cultural destinations like Rome is the fact that all of the sightseeing spots and main attractions of this compact city are located just within a stone throw away from each other. Here are the top 20 sightseeing spots in Florence listed in no particular order which you should include in your tour itinerary.

1. Palazzo Vecchio

Do you believe in the power of time travel? Well, at Palazzo Vecchio you can travel back in time and see the history in three eras. The Palazzo Vecchio or the Old Palace is a fortress-like building that serves as the city hall and the primary emblem of civil power in Florence. It is also the seat of an astonishing public museum. The palace, which is considered one among the most famous landmarks in Florence, is located in Piazza della Signoria and was built with crenellated walls in the early years of the 14th century. The Palazzo Vecchio was primarily built to serve as Palace of the People or Palazzo del Popolo. It is well known in different names such as Palazzo Ducale and Palazzo dei Priori.

2. The Leonardo Da Vinci Museum

The Leonardo da Vinci Museum was built in honor of the Italian polymath Leonardo da Vinci who was more than just a painter. He was also a botanist, cartographer, historian, geologist, astronomer, sculptor, architect, mathematician, scientist, writer, musician, inventor, anatomist and engineer. This small yet very interesting museum is situated at the heart of Florence, at Via de’Servi 66R, just nearby the Duomo. The museum houses a number of interactive machines which are considered among the greatest collections in the museum that kids love most.

3. The Stibbert Museum

Located at Via Frederick Stibbert, the Stibbert Museum is one of the must visit museums in Florence that is situated outside the skirt of the historical center of Florence. It can be found within the vicinity of the home of the English collector Frederick Stibbert known as Villa Montughi. In the museum you can witness a number of antediluvian armor sets and weapons. With all the interesting things to see in the museum, it is but normal for visitors to get confused what to see first. The most famous and most striking room in the museum is the one called “The Ride” where real size horses with riders are being displayed. Surrounding the villa is a wonderfully landscaped English style park.

4. The Galileo Museum

The Galileo Museum is a specially designed museum in Florence that is used for the preservation of the significant scientific equipment and tools made and designed by the world famous Italian scientist, astronomer, philosopher, engineer, mathematician and physicist Italian, Galileo Galilei. Part of the thousands of scientific instruments and equipment are the collection of Lorraine and Medici families. It is located at Piazza dei Giudici 1, at the back of the Uffizi Gallery, just beside the Arno. What is more interesting in this museum is the activities that the museum organizes on weekend which are specially designed for families, children and for visitors that come in a group of 15.

5. Duomo di Firenze

Visiting an amazing cathedral that is known for being one of the greatest cathedrals in the world is one of the things that you must do when you are in Florence. This cathedral in Florence is officially called the Cattedrale Santa Maria del Fiore, also sometimes referred to as Duomo di Firenze or simply the Duomo. This Gothic cathedral was built sometime between 1296 and 1436 by Arnolfo di Cambio.

The Duomo di Firenze is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Florence and known as one among the largest churches in Italy. The dome is considered as the largest of its kind and also the biggest ever constructed brick dome in the world.

6. Ponte Vecchio

When in Florence, take a walk through the first segmental arch bridge that was built in the western part of Florence crossing over the Arno River. This stone closed spandrel bridge is noted for still being able to accommodate various shops like art, jewelries and souvenir shops. This medieval bridge is considered an outstanding achievement in the field of engineering during the European Middle Ages. The Ponte Vecchio or Old Bridge was the sole bridge in Florence that was spared from devastation by the recoiling German army during the World War II.

7. Piazzale Michelangelo

From the downtown area, like if you are from Piazza Poggi, you can walk all the way up to the Michelangelo Square or Piazzale Michelangelo to see the beauty of the city from the top. What is majestic in this famous square in Florence is the very panoramic view of Italy’s capital city that it offers. It is located in Oltrarno district, Florence. Because of the unique and picturesque sight that can be viewed from the square, the piazza has been featured and replicated on myriad snapshots and postcards. The piazza, which is mostly a parking space, is always occupied with vendors and tourists who just come here to take a view of the city. In the square you can also find the bronze facsimile of David by Michelangelo.

8. Giardino Bardini

The Giardino Bardini or Bardini Gardens is the secret haven for people who are looking for a more tranquil place to relax in the middle of a rather hectic city. It may not be as popular as the other gardens in Oltrarno district like the Boboli Garden or Giardino di Boboli but it is a perfect place to be for couples who are looking for a more romantic place to visit. The Giardino Bardini is a four hectare wide Italian landscaped Renaissance garden in Florence that is located somewhere between the Giardino di Boboli and the Piazzale Michelangelo.

9. Uffizi Gallery

The Uffizi Gallery is one among the top art museums in the world and one of the most visited sightseeing spots in Italy. This “U” shape museum houses a great number of exceptional works of art and masterpieces exposed chronologically which are mostly from the Renaissance era. Among the things you must see in the museum are the Primavera and Birth of Venus by Botticelli, the Madonna and Child with Two Angels of Filippino Lippi, the Venus of Urbino by Titian, and some early Renaissance as well as Masters Cimabue and Giotto artworks made by Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio and Rembrant.

10. Santa Maria Novella

Santa Maria Novella is the primary Dominican church in Florence. It is located on the west fringe of the old township. This Gothic church is known as the first great basilica in the city. Santa Maria Novella is popularly known for its glorious interior design which is bedecked with a generous number of sculptures and frescoes done by the geniuses of early Renaissance and Gothic period.

11. Giotto’s Bell Tower

The Giotto’s Bell Tower or Giotto’s Campanile is one among the main monuments on the Piazza del Duomo. It stands 84.7 meters in height and 15 meters in width. The Bell Tower is considered the most lucid example of the Gothic architecture in the 14th century. The Bell Tower is dressed with green, white and red marble. Its grandiose square bell tower is known to be the most spectacular campanile in Italy.

12. Palazzo Pitti

The Palazzo Pitti is one among the largest architectural monuments in Florence. This mammoth palace is located in Oltrarno, just in front of Boboli Gardens and across the river from Florence’s historic center. The palace, which was originally built in 1457 for the Pitti family, was long utilized as the residence of the rulers of Florence up until 1919 when the Italian state acquired the palace and converted it into a multifaceted museum. It was built by Luca Fancelli and was designed by Filippo Brunelleschi.

13. Basilica di San Lorenzo

The Basilica di San Lorenzo or Basilica of St Lawrence is among the most ancient churches in Florence. It served as the parish church of the most influential and affluent families in Florence, the Medici Family. The basilica also served as the burial ground of the members of the Medici Family. This basilica is considered a good example of the clerical Renaissance architecture.

14. Boboli Garden

The Boboli Gardens is a glorious Italianesque park in Florence that houses a great collection of some Roman antiquities and sculptures that can be traced back to the 16th through 18th centuries. It is popular for being more than just a green lung and more than just a garden and a park. It is one among the most astonishing open-air museums in the city. Aside from the ancient fountains, sculptures and old oak trees, the Boboli gardens also contain Pitti Palace, another significant cultural site in Florence.

15. Mercato Nuovo

The Mercato Nuovo, also known as the “New Market” or the “Straw Market”, is a roofed marketplace in Florence. It is located at the heart of the city’s historic center, merely a couple of steps away from Piazza della Signoria and Ponte Vecchio. The market was originally intended for the trade of silk, straw hats and other luxury products. The Mercato Nuovo is made more famous because of its main attraction, the Fountain of the Piglet.

16. Fountain of the Piglet

Strangely enough, the Fountain of the Piglet is actually not that of a piglet but of a Eurasian wild pig or better known as a wild boar. It is one among the most remarkable and most popular monuments in the city. According to traditional beliefs, touching the shiny nose of the statue, and then placing a coin into mouth of the wild boar would ensure your luck. You just have to wait for the water to brush down the coin to know your luck. If the coin glides down through the grate over the drain, you will surely be lucky but it goes down otherwise, then nothing will happen.

17. Piazza della Santissima Annunziata

One of the most harmonious and beautiful as well as the must visit squares in Florence is the Piazza della Santissima Annunziata. This square epitomizes the Renaissance architecture principles. It was designed by a few geniuses of the period. Magnificent porticoes border the three non-vehicular sides of the square. At the center stands the portico of the Santissima Annunziata church.

18. San Miniato al Monte

St. Minias on the Mountain or San Miniato al Monte is one of the churches in Florence and the most scenic basilica in Italy. It is known to be one of Tuscany’s finest Romanesque structures. It rests on one of the topmost points in Florence. Just like Santa Maria Novella and Santa Croce, the San Miniato al Monte is clad with white and green marble and is designed with geometric patterns.

19. Bargello

Then a prison and barracks, now a glorious art museum, this is how Bargello is quickly described. The Bargello was constructed in 1255 to house the leading magistrate of Florence, the Podesta. It is likewise recognized in different names such as Palace of the People or Palazzo del Popolo, Palazzo del Bargello and Museo Nazionale del Bargello.

20. The Piazza della Repubblica

Piazza della Repubblica, also called in English as Republic Square, is a 19th century city piazza in the historic center of Florence. It showcases an impressive view of the triumphal arch called Arcone. It was built in 1895 as part of the city’s ambitious project of redeveloping the historic center of Florence. On the site once rested the first forum in the city as well as the old ghetto of Florence.

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