Florence is celebrated worldwide as the birthplace of Italian Renaissance. Having been there myself, I could not agree more with the positive reviews that travellers have for this beautiful artistic city. Weather in Florence is fairly mild, which makes it suitable to visit in all seasons. Do take note though that August might be too hot for some. Here is a list of great spots in Florence that you will not want to miss:
1. The Florence Baptistery (Battistero): Located in the heart of Florence, The Florence Baptistery draws in throngs of tourists who have come to witness the artistic masterpieces within. The Baptistery’s three great bronze doors – dubbed by Michelangelo as the ‘Gates of Paradise’ – are especially famous. The interior of the Baptistery is also a treasure cove of art not to be missed. Most spectacular of all is the mosaic ceiling. Many visitors like to sit under the massive interior dome just to read and decode the symbols within the mosaic art.
2. Giotto’s Bell Tower (Campanile di Giotto): Giotto’s Bell Tower is one of the prime attractions on Piazza del Duomo. The bell tower contains 7 bells, one of which weighs over 5000 kg! The top of the bell tower is also where you can enjoy a clear view of the magnificent Brunelleschi’s Dome of the Florence Cathedral. As you ascend to the top, there are a few levels where you can stop for a breather while enjoying memorable views of the city.
3. Duomo (Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore): The Florence Cathedral is the third largest church in the world and one of Florence’s most iconic buildings. From afar, you will know where Florence is the moment you see the Duomo’s striking Brunelleschi’s Dome. The gothic design of the magnificent marble facade completely blew my mind away. I do believe the Duomo is one of the most photographed icons in the world.
4. Uffizi Gallery (Galleria degli Uffizi) in Piazza della Signoria: There are plenty of museums in Florence and if you only have time for one, make it the Uffizi Gallery. As one of the most famous museums in the world and as the home to numerous Renaissance masterpieces, Uffizi Gallery sees long queues all year round. I highly recommend reserving your tickets online during peak season, especially during summer. If you want to take a break after admiring the museum’s rich collection of artworks, there is also an outdoor sculpture gallery and plenty of cafes and boutiques for some relaxation around Piazza della Signoria.
5. Old Bridge (Ponte Vecchio): This medieval stone-arch bridge, which is believed to be one of the oldest bridges in Europe, exudes an irresistible charm. Spanning the Arno River, the bridge’s outstanding design and colors make it a beautiful sight to behold at dusk. An evening stroll exploring the jewelry and souvenir shops along the bridge is an enjoyable experience not to be missed!
6. Piazzale Michelangelo: Where is the best spot to view Florence? Piazzale Michelangelo is the ultimate choice. Just a 20-30 minutes walk away from the city center will reward you with a gorgeous panoramic view of the entire Florence city. Below is the concrete proof!
To fully experience the vibrant life of Florence, 2 full days will be ideal. There are frequent train rides to Florence from Rome, with express rides taking 1.5 hours and normal rides 3 hours. Conveniently reached by all means of transport, Florence is the place to be for travellers looking for an unforgettable artistic experience.