Florence City Guide
The most essential Florence information is to be found here at CitySiesta. Take a look at our Florence guide and follow the links to make the most of your stay in the city.
Welcome to the city that according to UNESCO holds 30% of the world’s most important works of art! Start with a walk in the most historical part of the city centre. You can begin at the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, one of the first great basilicas of Florence, where you can enjoy Gothic and early Renaissance frescoes by notorious artists. For a small pause from the church circuit, walk to the beautiful iron/glass Mercato Centrale for fresh food, clothes and renown Florentine leather products.
Continue to the grandiose Piazza del Duomo, the very heart of Florence, and climb up the soaring dome of the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore for breathtaking views. Here you can also enjoy the majestic mosaic ceilings and bronze doors of the octagonal Battistero di San Giovanni while feeding pigeons like in all fashionable European cities. Make your way through the medieval labyrinth of passages and squares to the neighborhood of Piazza della Signoria, specially that of, Piazza della Republica, the largest square, for street performances while sipping the varied styles of coffee in any of it’s three legendary, art immersed cafés: Caffe delle Giubbe Rosse, Caffe Gilli and Caffe Paszkowski.
If you are a museum aficionado, the surrounding area of the elegant Piazza della Signoria is the place to be. Standing tall in the middle of the square is Ammannati’s illustrious Fountain of Neptune situated besides the distinguished Palazzo Vecchio where a copy of the original Statue of David by Michelangelo is located. Treat your eyes with the formidable collections of Italian, French and German sculptures and decorative arts heading through the picturesque alleys to the gothic Museo Nazionale del Bargello. Before carrying on, best to grab a bite at the Acqua Al 2, a cheerful eating den where assaggi di primi are a must. Having regained your strength, a visit to the Galleria degli Uffizi is imperative, as it possesses one of the largest collections of Italian’s most notorious paintings. In addition to several of Michelangelo’s pieces, there is a room exclusively dedicated to the works of Botticelli. Furthermore, if not for the love of art and history, wandering along the oldest Florentine bridge, Ponte Vecchio, is highly recommended, as it is famous for it’s hanging-like jewelry shops and scenic views over the Arno River.
Cross to Oltrarno, meaning “across the river Arno”, for a relaxing stroll through the magnificent baroque landscaped Giardino di Boboli. It is one of the largest Italian style gardens that will stun you with its magical fountains and sculptures, not to mention its impressive amphitheatre. While in Italy, you clearly have to dedicate some time for haute couture. This can best be done by crossing the Ponte a Santa Trinit· to the highly fashionable Via de’ Tornabourni where shop after shop is distinguished by logo’s of leading designers, such as Ferragamo, Versace, Max Mara, Gucci, Armani, Tiffany, Dior, YSL, Prada, Tod’s, amongst others.
The abundance of classic art in Florence, Tuscany’s capital, can be overwhelming for some. Therefore you can venture outside the city to nearby towns or the countryside. Tours to see the remarkable Leaning Tower in Pisa, enjoy wine tasting accompanied by fabulous Tuscan food, which can also be done by bike, or shop till you drop in the designer outlet mall are some of the numerous possibilities.
Let the charm and beauty of Florence transport you to another era: find all the relevant information with our Florence guide and follow the links to enhance your holiday experience.