Florence, Italy, is the birthplace of the Renaissance. With over 61 museums, this charming and historic city can be a bit overwhelming. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best things to do, places to eat, as well as the most magnificent Florentine accommodations to stay within the Inspirato Collection.
It’s better to enjoy a smaller number of special, carefully chosen experiences than to think that you see everything during a single visit to the city. I’ve lived here all of my life and I’m still discovering new things!Silvia Ponticelli, Florence Travel Guide
Things to do in Florence
Mixing both showstopping and lesser-known attractions, the list below gives you a well-rounded idea of some of the best things to do in Florence.
Basilica di Santo Spirito
Located in Ortrarno, near the Giardino Bardini, visit the Basilica di Santo Spirito for a tranquil respite. A classic Brunelleschi design, this cavernous and precisely symmetric church is a must-see. With towering ceilings and ample natural light spilling in from above, it’s no wonder Michelangelo himself sought refuge at this convent-turned-church in 1492.
World-renowned for its collections of ancient paintings, sculptures, as well as its invaluable collection of ancient statues from the Medici family, the Uffizi Museum will bring out your deepest emotions. From the awe-inspiring architecture to the artistic masterpieces of Botticelli, Leonardo, Giotto, and more—dazzle your eyes with a visit to this outstanding gallery.
Duomo Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
Built in 1296 and designed by Italian sculptor and architect, Arnolfo di Cambio, this absolutely stunning cathedral is a main attraction in Florence. The Duomo is the third largest church in the world and was dedicated to its namesake: Santa Maria del Fiore, the Virgin of the Flower. Visit during the day to experience the meticulous detail that went into the making of this influential structure—it will take your breath away.
This 19th-century piazza is renowned for having undoubtedly the best panoramic view of Florence. Adorned with replicas of Michelangelo’s sculptures, this elevated terrace boasts a serene space to enjoy views of the city. Grab a gelato from one of the nearby stands and soak it all in.
Crossing over the Arno River, the Ponte Vecchio (otherwise known as Old Bridge) is the most ancient and famous bridge in Florence. As the first arch bridge to be built in Western Italy, constructed by Taddeo Gaddi in 1345, it is one of the city’s most illustrious landmarks and one of the main entrance points to Florence. Its uniqueness is attributed to the fact that is not only a bridge, but also a marketplace, road, and piazza.
Where to Eat in Florence
From cafés that feature artisanal Italian espresso to authentic restaurants offering lavish culinary experiences, here’s where to eat some of the best food in Florence.
If you’re looking for a more friendly and relaxing local experience, Ditta Artigianale is a fantastic option for breakfast and artisanal coffee. Enjoy traditional breakfast fare with vegan and allergy-friendly options available.
Pizzeria Giovanni Santarpia
This pizza spot is perfect for when you’re craving an authentic Italian pie. Combining new-wave creativity with traditional heart, Chef Giovanni Santarpia has spent years earning the badge as one of the best pizza chefs in the country. Although located just outside the city center, Santarpia is worth the trip.
For something a little different, look no further than this bistro serving French and Moroccan flavors. Using only meticulously sourced ingredients, Culinaria Bistro prides itself on being a slow-food organization that promotes local farmers who exclusively following organic and traditional artisan practices.
This boutique wine bar and restaurant is buried in one of the most charming, yet somehow overlooked, corners of Florence. Excite your palette with authentic flavors that feature perfect wine and food pairings that will make your tongue sing. Start with a timeless charcuterie board, follow it with a traditional pasta dish, and round out your meal with a dessert of caramelized pears and ricotta mousse.
Owned by veteran gelato makers, My Sugar offers a more modern Florentine gelato experience. Churning out classic flavors like pistachio and chocolate, they also serve more adventurous gelato flavors like green tea, black sesame, and dark chocolate spiked with local chianti.
This exquisitely modern townhouse-style villa is perfectly located in Florence’s historic city center. The four-bedroom residence boasts an outdoor pool alongside lush gardens and was featured in both Architectural Digest and Vanity Fair.