9 interesting things to do in Florence
Florence was once the capital city of Italy- back in the late 19th Century. It is a city full of culture, warm people, and great architecture. It is one of the cities with a ton of experiences for the locals, as well as tourists!
Here are nine experiences and things to do in the city of Florence, that you have to check out.
1. The Duomo
One spectacular cathedral. If you have five minutes to spend in Florence, you have to spend them at the Duomo. You will not even need directions to the Duomo since it sticks out. It is a beautiful cathedral, constructed in 1436, and parts of it like the front part were completed in the 19th century. The colorful exterior and its big size will surely entice you to visit, so make sure to visit the Duomo. It is spectacular.
2. The Uffizi
Visiting Europe is like visiting different times at the present. The continent is full of cultural and historical things and some of the best museums and galleries are found there. The Ufizzi is one of them, built centuries ago in 1581, and was designed by Giorgio Vasari, you can be assured of getting to see some of the most spectacular works done from the Middle Ages to the Modern Ages, to the Renaissance. Many of the pieces were done by celebrated people and those owned by influential names like Medici Family. There are paintings, sculptures, books and archives, drawings, and architecture that will amaze you. The museum covers two floors of the 16th-century building, which in itself is a masterpiece.
3. Piazzale Michelangelo
In the south of Florence, a short distance from the city center is the Piazzale Michelangelo. The place is only about a twenty-minute walk from the Florence city center, across River Arno. On your way up the stairs or the path, make sure to get a souvenir from some vendors and while up there, take the time to savor the amazing sights from up above. You can even have a picnic as you enjoy the spectacular sunsets there! Piazzale Michelangelo was not the work of Michelangelo, as many people would imagine, it was designed in 1869, by Giuseppe Pogi as an appreciation of Michelangelo’s work, and he did it on a hill, as part of the expansion and development of Florence when it became the capital city of Italy. There are bronze replicas of some of the most popular works done by Michelangelo, and it was meant to be a museum. Even though the museum did not materialize, it became a great place for people to be. It has a long pathway Viale dei Colli, as well as restaurants and cafes such as the famous La Loggia.
4. Centrale Merkato
You get to experience a ton of culture and experiences by visiting marketplaces in the places you visit. You meet people, sample food, and even buy souvenirs. Here in Florence, get to experience all these at the Centrale Mercato, which was developed in 1874, and the first floor of the San Lorenzo Market opened in 2014. It was built when Florence was the capital city of Italy and was designed by Giuseppe Mengoni. You will find fruits, seafood, souvenirs, vegetables, nuts, spices, and many other things!
5. Giardino Bardini
Welcome to the flower heaven of Florence! A place of bloom, nature, and so much color! Get to watch the birds, and enjoy the serenity in this four-acre space, with amazing views of Florence as you move further up the steps, there is a lot to see, from the monuments to the lawns to many types of flowers and birds, in the former orchard that belonged to the Mozzi family. During their ownership of the property, they adopted the medieval touch which got lost when the Stefano Bardini, to whom the dared is named after, acquired the property and expanded and modified it, changing and adding different aspects to what it is at the moment. You have to visit the Bardini Gardens. It is spectacular.
6. Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella
There are things whose history never really bother anyone, like knowing how pharmacies started, or which one was the first. Italy has one of the oldest pharmacies in the world, and who would have known that it exists! It was built in the 13th century and since the medical field has evolved with medicines being developed and others going extinct, you can expect to find a lot of history behind this pharmacy which has lived through generations and centuries. As a pharmacy well known in those days for its traditional herbs, the pharmacy, which was established in 1221, grew their produce in the monasteries and used them for the monks. Now, it has herbs as well as perfumes and scents. Worth checking out!
7. Medici Chapels
One of the most notable names in Italy’s history is the Medici Family. The family was very rich, a family of bankers who, built the first bank in the world, and also financing most projects during the start of the renaissance period! Most of the Medici family members, including Giovanni de’ Bicci de’ Medici and his wife, as well as their son Cosimo the Elder, requested and were buried in the grounds at the San Lorenzo Church, part of which is now the Medici Family Mausoleum. The San Lorenzo Church was the official church of the Medici family when they lived in Via Larga, and so they wanted to get buried there, in the mid-16th Century. The two structures were built as extensions to the Brunelleschi’s church and Michelangelo designed the New Sacristy, and the Chapel of the Princes was designed much later. The Chapel of the Princes was designed to depict the Medici Family style of architecture, with a lavish interior made of marble, with a room having the bodies of the Grand Dukes being made out of precious stones, with some areas depicting scenes from the Old and New Testaments. The church of San Lorenzo was consecrated in 393 by the Bishop of Milan, St Ambrose. This is a place that you must visit, the church has a lot of history, even with the modifications which have been done over time.
8. Fiesole Hills
Fancy a hike? Look no further! This place has the most spectacular views of Florence, located in a small village near the city of Florence, in an enchanting little town called Fiesole, which has its history as far back before Florence existed. Visiting the hills, you will notice things like remains of a Roman Theater used way back, as well as Villas built by the rich people during the renaissance period. The hills are only nine kilometers from Florence, so if you want some calm and quiet, to get away from the city for a while, you can take a bus, a drive, or even just walk there.
9. Museo Stibbert
This museum was built in the 19th century, by Frederick Stibbert, it was his residence where he collected the items and over time the Villa di Montughi became a museum, which now houses pieces from as far back as the 1300s. He was born into a military family to an English father and an Italian mother, and that might have been the reason he had so much interest in military stuff. Gong to the museum seems like a visit to the past, the wars, and military life. There are thousands of clothing, armor, weapons, and other things, collected by Frederick during his life, and they were all donated to the city when he died. The collections depict what the past looks like, and with a wide array of things collected from around the world- they are so many and arranged in such a realistic way that allows you to experience everything. There are over 50, 000 pieces, collected and organized by Frederick, in the museum, you can begin to experience his touch in the way he arranged the items. There are many rooms as well as a garden around the museum! Totally worth a visit.