Florence is an incredible city full of history, culture, and beauty. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, there’s always something new to explore in Florence. In 2023, make sure to add the following 10 activities to your Florence itinerary. From discovering Renaissance masterpieces to exploring hidden gems, these are the best things to do in Florence in 2023.
1) Visit the Uffizi Gallery
The Uffizi Gallery is a must-see destination for anyone visiting Florence. Located in the heart of the city, it houses one of the most extensive collections of Renaissance art in the world. Here you can view works by such masters as Botticelli, Caravaggio, and Leonardo da Vinci. Guided tours are available so you can learn more about these incredible pieces and the history behind them. Make sure to also explore the museum’s sculpture gardens and stunning views of the Arno River. A visit to the Uffizi Gallery is sure to be a highlight of your trip.
2) Climb the Duomo
For a breathtaking view of Florence, head to the iconic Duomo. Located in the heart of Florence, the Duomo is the largest church in Italy and is one of the most recognizable symbols of the city. Climb up the 414 steps to reach the top of the dome, where you will be rewarded with a stunning 360-degree view of Florence. Enjoy taking in the sights, including Giotto’s bell tower, the Baptistery, and the Arno River. Make sure to bring a camera, as the views of Florence from this vantage point are simply spectacular.
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3) Tour the Accademia
The Accademia is a must-see attraction for anyone visiting Florence. Home to Michelangelo’s iconic sculpture of David, the Accademia also houses many works of Italian art from the 14th and 15th centuries. The building itself is a stunning example of Renaissance architecture, and its magnificent sculptures and frescoes will take your breath away. Don’t forget to take a moment to appreciate the famous statue of David in all its glory! It’s the perfect way to experience the beauty of Florence and its artistic heritage.
4) Take a day trip to Pisa
Pisa is an incredible city located just an hour away from Florence. Its most iconic landmark, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, is a must-see. Other highlights of the city include the Piazza dei Miracoli, a monumental square with some of Italy’s best Romanesque architecture. Be sure to take a walk along the Arno River and explore the charming streets of Pisa for a truly memorable experience. A day trip to Pisa is a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of Florence and get an insight into Italian culture.
5) Stroll through the Boboli Gardens
The Boboli Gardens are the perfect way to spend an afternoon in Florence. Located behind the Palazzo Pitti, the gardens are full of statues, fountains, and grottoes to explore. This 16th-century Italian-style garden also offers stunning views of the city and the Arno River. Visitors can also marvel at the monumental Isolotto fountain, Grotta Grande and Kaffeehaus. The manicured lawns, ponds, and terraces provide plenty of spots for a picnic or just to relax and take in the stunning scenery. Take your time wandering through this lush paradise.
6) Visit the Palazzo Vecchio
Explore Florence’s town hall, the Palazzo Vecchio. The 13th-century palace offers a captivating view of Italian Renaissance architecture, its courtyard and gardens, and its impressive interior design. The palace also houses a museum where visitors can explore the history of Florence, from Michelangelo’s famous David sculpture to the famed Medici art collection. Stop by for a guided tour or simply wander around the magnificent halls and gardens at your own pace.
In the courtyard, you’ll be able to find the ‘Abduction of Helen’ by Giambologna and the 13th-century Torre d’Arnolfo bell tower. The grand interior includes a grand staircase and decorated ceilings. The palace also hosts regular concerts, art exhibitions, and theatrical performances. Don’t miss out on this unique and awe-inspiring Florentine landmark.
7) Shop on Via de’ Tornabuoni
For those looking for a luxurious shopping experience, look no further than Via de’ Tornabuoni. Boasting all the designer stores of the likes of Gucci and Prada, this is the best place to find high-end fashion, jewelry, art, and home décor. The cobbled streets are full of life and the atmosphere is one of an old-world charm. A day spent strolling around this picturesque street will give you a unique shopping experience that you won’t forget.
8) Eat at Il Latini
A true Florentine experience is not complete without a dinner at the legendary Il Latini. Located in the heart of the city, it is known for its traditional Tuscan dishes, including the famous “ribollita” stew. The restaurant’s large tables and homely atmosphere add to the convivial atmosphere, with waiters making sure everyone gets served and enjoys themselves. Try the various kinds of pasta or sample their delicious gelato for dessert. You’ll be sure to leave Il Latini satisfied.
9) Drink Chianti wine in the Tuscan hills
Tuscany’s rolling hills are home to some of the world’s finest vineyards and wine. Spend a day exploring the many wineries of Chianti, sampling local wines, and enjoying the beautiful views. The Chianti region is filled with charming villages, hillside villas, and acres of vineyards that will make for a perfect day trip out of Florence. With its dry climate, ancient oaks, and rolling hills, you’ll be able to find some of Italy’s most popular wines. Enjoy a glass while taking in the picturesque landscape and serene atmosphere. It’s the perfect way to experience Tuscany.
10) Get lost in the Oltrarno district
The Oltrarno district is a delightful area of Florence to explore. Here you can find many hidden gems away from the bustling city center. Take a stroll along the cobbled streets and you will discover historic churches, quaint squares, and charming cafes. Stop by the Ponte Vecchio, the oldest bridge in Florence, which is lined with jewelry shops. Visit the Pitti Palace, home to many works of art, and be sure to take in the views of the Boboli Gardens. Make sure to end your day at Santo Spirito, where you can enjoy a delicious dinner and soak up the stunning views of the Arno River.