Florence is the birthplace of Renaissance, bursting with culture and smaller than Rome can be easily visited on foot.
The city centre is divided by the Arno river that is crossed by eight bridges: the most central and famous is Ponte Vecchio, Old Bridge, with a zillion of shops that traditionally sell jewelry.
Nearby is the Uffizi Gallery, the biggest collection of Italian paintings with pieces of art from artists such as Giotto, Leonardo, Raphael, Caravaggio, Botticelli etc. Galileo Science Museum is located closely, gathering some of the most important scientific tools of the world.
Heading north, in the medieval heart of Florence, Piazza della Signoria centre of the political life. The most important building is the Palazzo Vecchio seat of the government that with its high tower is a symbol of city as well as the Duomo’s dome. Still in the square other important attractions are the Loggia dei Lanzi with Cellini’s Statue of Perseus with the head of Medusa, and the Ammannati’s Fountain of Neptune.
In the same neighborhood is also located the Bargello, former prison of the city and nowadays sculpture museum. Pretty close is also Dante’s House, father of the Italian language and author of The Divine Comedy.
In Piazza del Duomo there are three major sights: the Duomo, or Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, is one of the largest cathedral in the world, you can climb its characteristic Dome that has been designed by the architect Filippo Brunelleschi. The Campanile (Giotto’s Tower) hosts 12 bells and was designed by Giotto although he died before its completion. The Baptistery, octagonal building dedicated to the Patron of Florence Giovanni Battista, is totally worth a visit, its bronze doors were designed by Lorenzo Ghiberti.
Enjoy your stroll around the streets while eating a homemade gelato, there are several gelaterie around the city, just choose those you want to try! Another must-try of Tuscan tradition is Bistecca alla Fiorentina (T-bone Steak or Florentine Steak) a big grilled steak served really rare and flavored with salt, pepper and olive oil.
A visit to the Accademia Gallery is indispensable, it houses the most famous statue in the world, Michelangelo’s David. Worthy of attention is also the Santa Croce Church, the major Franciscan church in Florence, is located in Piazza Santa Croce, where were laid to rest personalities such as Galileo, Machiavelli, Rossini, Ghiberti, and Michelangelo. Worth of attention is also the Church of Santa Maria Novella, Dominican church and one of the most important churches in Florence. In the same neighborhood is located the oldest historical pharmacy and perfumery in Europe: Officina profumo-farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella.
On the other side of the river, in the Oltrarno you’ll find Pitti Palace which was once the residence of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany and of the Medici’s family. It hosts several galleries and museums (Palatine Gallery, Gallery of Costume, Modern Art Gallery, Museum of Silver). Behind the palace stroll around Boboli’s Garden a classic example of Italian Gardens.
A major landmark is Piazzale Michelangelo where you will experience a breathtaking panorama of the city.