Dante Alighieri describes Florence in Canto XXVI of Inferno as a city so grand and magnificent that it even influences Hell itself. Florence, both then and now, is indeed famous for the beauty of its monumental palaces and its Art, which spans from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. It was during the latter era that Florence was an undisputed and absolute protagonist in the world, but the city’s history begins much earlier.
The area has been inhabited since prehistoric times, and the city emerged during the Villanovan period of the Etruscan Era. It was then that it got its name, derived from Florentia, which means ‘may it flourish’ in Latin.
With over two thousand years of history, peaking with the birth of the Renaissance, the sights to see in Florence are countless. Every corner of Florence’s historic center holds a treasure, a story, or a legend. Reaching Florence from B&B Poggio del Drago is very simple, which is why we decided to provide you with some ideas on what to see in Florence. Florence is a treasure not only of Tuscany but of the world and humanity, with inestimable value. You can’t miss a visit to this truly magical city: continue reading our guides and help yourself to organize your itinerary! There are so many things to see in Florence!
Piazza del Duomo: The Heart of Florence
The iconic Piazza del Duomo is defined by the Florentine administration as a real ‘open-air museum’ that perhaps deserves a guide of its own. In this amazing square, you will find the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, which alone is worth a thousand works of art. You can admire Brunelleschi’s Dome, a symbol of human willpower, and the beautiful Giotto’s Bell Tower. Discover the wonders of the Baptistery of San Giovanni and the Crypt of Santa Reparata, without forgetting the Museum of the Works of the Cathedral.
Each of these wonders is considered today part of a single museum complex, and you can visit every iconic place in the square with a single ticket. Let’s be honest: even just a walk in the square is worth a trip from the other side of the world!
Ponte Vecchio: Uniqueness of Florence
The Ponte Vecchio in Florence is one of the most famous bridges in the world. This iconic bridge is so wonderfully beautiful that it even enchanted the German occupiers at the end of World War II. The order to destroy all the bridges of Florence to hinder the Allied advance, in fact, did not include the Ponte Vecchio. You will understand why by crossing the Arno on this iconic structure: few places in the world are so picturesque.
One of the most important elements of the Ponte Vecchio is the Vasari Corridor. The corridor was built by the architect Giorgio Vasari from Arezzo for Cosimo I de’ Medici in the 16th century. This passage allowed the Florentine nobility to cross the bridge without mingling with the common people, and today it hosts some works from the famous Uffizi Museum. Along the Vasari Corridor alone, believe it or not, you will find 1000 paintings!
The Uffizi Gallery: Emblem of Florentine Art
After introducing the Ponte Vecchio and the Vasari Corridor, we can only talk about the Uffizi Gallery. From the outside, you can easily perceive the artistic value of this place. The Piazzale degli Uffizi is indeed covered with perfectly crafted statues depicting some of the most important figures in Tuscan History. You will find marble icons like Lorenzo De’ Medici known as the Magnificent, Guido d’Arezzo, Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo Galilei, Dante Alighieri, and many others.
But the Uffizi Gallery is much more: it is indeed the most visited museum in the world along with the Vatican Museums in Rome. Here the list of artists is incredible. You will find works by Leonardo, Cimabue, Caravaggio, Raphael, Giotto, Titian. And then Mantegna, Rembrandt, Botticelli, Pontormo, Bronzino, Andrea del Sarto… the list goes on!
What else to add? The Uffizi are a treasure that you cannot miss among the things to see in Florence.
Discover The Accademia Gallery: Florence Never Ceases to Amaze
The Accademia Gallery will leave you speechless like the Uffizi. Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, Pontormo are just some of the artists whose works are kept in the Gallery. The most famous work you will see at the Accademia Gallery is undoubtedly Michelangelo’s David. This more than 5-meter-tall marble sculpture is a masterpiece with a very particular history, attracting hundreds of thousands of people every year.
Pitti Palace and the Boboli Gardens
The beautiful Pitti Palace was the historic residence of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany and houses various exhibitions inside. At Pitti Palace, you will find the Palatine Gallery, the Royal Apartments, a Gallery of Modern Art, and the Museums of Silverware and Porcelain. Not to be outdone is the Costume Gallery, surely one of the most significant collections for the history of global fashion.
The Boboli Gardens, surrounding the structure, are a treasure trove of views and unique architectural details, requiring a three-hour tour on their own.
The Heart of Florentine Power: Palazzo Vecchio
Palazzo Vecchio today houses various public offices, including the office of the Mayor of Florence. Palazzo Vecchio is part of the city’s series of civic museums and is listed among the international museums on the Google Art Project. Here you can admire the Hall of the Five Hundred, the maps of the Geographical Maps Room, or the Audience Hall. Noteworthy is certainly the Chapel of Duchess Eleonora of Toledo. In 2010, even archaeological traces of a Roman Amphitheater that stood on the same spot between the 1st and 2nd centuries BC were found.
Basilica of Santa Maria Novella: A Treasure of Florence Often Overlooked
In the beautiful Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, you will find a Crucifix by Giotto, a wooden sculpture by Brunelleschi, and the famous Trinity by Masaccio. But the Basilica is a must-see already from the external façade, which makes it one of the most important architectural works of the Florentine Renaissance. Impossible not to mention the Strozzi and Tornabuoni Chapels, the Santa Maria Novella Museum, and the Great Cloister, unfortunately only open on special occasions.
Discovering Florence with Poggio del Drago
We thus conclude our guide to the things to see in Florence: not because the list is finished, far from it. We could write an entire book about what you will find in this wonderful city. Thanks to its proximity to Poggio del Drago, Florence remains at the top of the list of nearby attractions. It’s very easy to reach Florence with one of the hourly trains that depart every day from Arezzo, just around the corner.
At the risk of repeating ourselves: from the B&B Country House Poggio del Drago, we strongly advise you to head towards Florence. We are sure that you will fall in love with the city, for its unique atmosphere and its overwhelming richness. The true and proper World Capital of the Renaissance.