The Most Historical Florence Italy Attractions
Florence is one of the most historical cities in Italy. What do you see and do? While you’re there,
experience these Florence Italy attractions.
Florence is well-known for its incredible art and architectural charms but it also has a rich
historical tradition. Italy’s most famous son, Julius Caesar, founded the city over 2000 years ago.
Historians consider the city to be the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. As such, Florence was
the site of several significant milestones in Italian history.
If you’re lucky enough to have this exciting city on your itinerary, make a note of this not-to-
be-missed Florence Italy attractions.
Piazza Duomo Florence
The Duomo is the most noticeable of all the Florence attractions. The dome of its cathedral,
the Santa Maria del Fiore, towers 376 feet over the city.
You’ll find some of Italy’s most memorable and priceless artworks etched on the walls within this
complex of historic buildings. The main ones include the frescoes of the Last Judgment
and Dante Before the City of Florence. The Equestrian statue of Niccolò da Tolentino and
the Funerary Monument to Sir John Hawkwood are also of interest.
The buildings of the Duomo are works of art themselves, adorned with delicate pink, white and
green marble, stunning mosaic floors and magnificent arches. Set aside a whole day to discover
the delights of this popular site.
Battistero di San Giovanni
Bordering the Piazza del Duomo and the Piazza San Giovanni, you’ll find another mind-blowing
architectural work of art. Apart from the traditional marble and mosaics, the Baptistery of St.
John houses several breathtaking bronze paneled doors.
These intricate craftsmanship of these entrances is a fine example of the masterful talents of the
Renaissance artists, in this case, Andrea Pisano and Lorenzo Ghiberti.
You’ll find the tombs of some of these famous artists at the typically ornate Santa Croce. The
exterior walls of geometric marble conceal the crypt where Ghiberti, Rossini, Machiavelli,
Galileo and Michelangelo are at rest.
It’s an appropriate resting place for these artistic greats. Here they’re surrounded by Giotto’s
beautiful frescoes, Cimabue’s incredible Crucifix, and Donatello’s magnificent sculpture, Christ
The Ponte Vecchio
The Ponte Vecchio has been around for as long as Florence has. It joins the two halves of the city
across the Arno River and is one of the city’s most iconic sites.
The bridge is best known for the jumble of shops perched on top of its arches. Above the shops,
a row of windows gives away the location of the Vasari Corridor, an undercover
the corridor connecting the Pitti Palace to the Uffizi Gallery.
Along this thoroughfare, you’ll find some of the world’s most priceless portraits. These images,
which are mainly self-portraits, are the work of Raphael, Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Leonardo da
Vinci, and Velásquez, among others.
The corridor was only opened to the public for the first time during 2017 and you can get in via
the Uffizi Gallery.
Palazzo Pitti and Boboli Gardens
While you’re in the zone, lap up the luxury of the Pitti Palace Complex. Here you’ll find fine
Florentine craftsmanship, more mind-blowing art, and the exquisite palace itself.
The Royal Apartments are grand and imposing, decorated with the works of Tintoretto, Rubens,
Titian and Rafael displayed willy-nilly along the walls.
The surrounding gardens, designed by Grand Duke Cosimo I, are immaculately manicured and
stretch for 111 acres. You’ll get wonderful panoramic views over the city from the garden
terraces and could easily spend an entire day exploring this lush excess.
For centuries the Palazzo Vecchio was the center of power in Florence. Built on the site of the
ruined Roman theatre of the colony of Florentia, this imposing building served as the seat of the
city council for 2 centuries.
After that, the powerful Medici family took residence in the building, elevating the already grand
interiors to a new level of opulence.
The austere fort-like facade of this building looks out of place among it’s more elegant
surroundings, but step inside and you’re in for a surprise. The interior drips with excess. Gilded
ceilings rise over intricately frescoed walls and everywhere you look there is something more
mind-blowing to admire.
Don’t leave this destination off your Florence sightseeing list. It’s a three-in-one extravaganza of
history including the site of the theatre ruins, the Renaissance chambers, and the fortress.
Piazza Della Signoria
Just outside this grand and imposing building, take a trip back in time to the Piazza Della
Signoria. This L-shaped square has been around for as long as the Palazzo Vecchio.
Much of the original charm remains, along with masterful sculptures by Donatello and the
famous second statue of David. Apart from art and history, the square offers an excellent chance
to take a breather at a street cafe and sample some of Italy’s famous gelato.
Santa Maria Novella
This Dominican church has a different spin on traditional Florentine architecture. Instead of
geometric patterns, the outside features unique curving designs highlighting the windows and
rows of arches below.
Inside you’ll find an abundance of frescoes designed by Giotto, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Paolo
Uccello, and Masaccio. There is an entire chapel dedicated to Andrea di Bonaiuto’s frescoes.
Don’t miss the chance to pick up a souvenir from the historic convent pharmacy. You’ll find
loads of interesting floral lotions and herbal tinctures up for grabs.
Other Florence Italy Attractions to Check off Your List
Naturally, in a city with such a long history, there’s always more. If you can, try to get around to
these important sites too:
- Dante’s District
- Dante’s Church
- The Leather Market
- Orsanmichele Church
If you revel in historic sights, the quickest and easiest way to get a glimpse of the main Florence
attractions are on a guided Florence walking tour. It’s the best way for Instagram fans to get plenty
of fodder to fill their feed.
See More of the World
If these Florence Italy attractions are out of your reach for this trip there are still plenty of
destinations closer to home to enchanting and delight any traveler.
See the rest of our travel blogs for more inspiration to fuel your wanderlust.