Florence, the capital city of Tuscany, is one of the most visited cities in this region with its numerous iconic sights, fashion and art industry, and lovely architecture. While Florence does have a handful of things to do that are worth your while for a visit, 24 hours is enough time to see, do, and eat your way through this city. Below is a list of the top 8 things to do in Florence, Italy.
1. Grab A Coffee
You’ve finally arrived in Florence and the first thing you should do is grab an espresso (besides delicious carb-filled pasta, what else is Italy known for, right?!) at any number of different cafes. It’s best to walk away from any main tourist areas and down an alleyway or smaller street so that you don’t get charged double. Expect to pay around €3 for a coffee, then sit back and relax along the street as you people-watch whilst slowly waking up thanks to the jolt of caffeine.
2. Florence Cathedral
Make your way towards the Florence Cathedral (Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore) in the Piazza del Duomo. This Gothic-style cathedral was completed in 1436, and is covered in beautiful light pink and green marble panels, and features the well-known dome roof. The piazza will be buzzing with hawkers and tourists queuing to climb up to the top of the cathedral to take in some views of the city. A ticket into the cathedral will set you back €15. For more information, you can visit the Florence Cathedral’s website.
3. See Michelangelo’s “David”
Presumably, the most popular sculpture in Florence is Michelangelo’s “David” located in the Piazza della Signoria along with an array of other impressive sculptures, such as Hercules and Cacus, and Perseus with the Head of Medusa. This piazza is also incredibly busy, so unless you go very early in the morning or very late at night, it’s likely any photo you take will also include at least a dozen other tourists.
4. Il Porcellino (The Bronze Boar Fountain)
Found in the Loggia del Mercato Nuovo, the bronze boar is another popular tourist attraction in Florence. Have a coin on hand to put into the boar’s mouth for good luck, but don’t walk away before rubbing the boar’s golden snout to ensure another trip back to Florence. Because the boar’s snout gets touched countless times a day, it has a polished golden color while the rest of the boar appears tarnished and dull.
5. Shop Till You Drop
If spending lots of money on clothes and accessories is your thing, then Florence is the city you want to be in Tuscany. As one of the leading Italian cities for fashion, there is a wide variety of shopping you can do. From small boutiques to high-end fashion, Florence has it all (for a price tag, of course).
6. Visit The Uffizi Gallery
In case art is more of your thing, there are a variety of museums and galleries you can go to in Florence. The most visited museum in the city is the Uffizi Gallery found right beside the Piazza della Signoria. Entrance to the Uffizi Gallery starts at €18.50 – you can click here for more details on how to buy tickets online.
7. Walk Along The Ponte Vecchio
The Ponte Vecchio, literally “Old Bridge”, runs across the Arno River and is popular to this day for still having shops running along the bridge. Back when the bridge was first built you would find butcher shops, however, today you’ll find jewelry shops primarily selling gold. Head to the middle of the bridge, which is open to see out onto the Arno River – perfect for picture-taking.
8. Get Lost Wandering
Aside from ticking off all the popular things to do in Florence, if you have time leftover you should put your map aside and spend an hour or so getting lost in the streets. Go where the tourists aren’t to try to find some more authentic areas of Florence and get a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes workings of this busy city. Who knows what you’ll stumble upon: an unknown cathedral, some beautiful buildings, locals doing business or exchanging conversation, a quaint cafe, and, likely, much more.