Things to Do in Florence: 30 Ideas

400px-View_of_the_Duomo's_dome,_Florence

Additional resources for Italy travel are listed at the bottom of this post.

“Florence is NOT just the Uffizi, the David, and the Ponte Vecchio…” Those were the words of Claudio Meli, the general manager of the gorgeous hotel J.K. Place, but I heard similar sentiments over and over during my recent week in Florence, Italy. About 10 million people visit Florence every year, and if you’ve been there, you know that the historic center is not very big, making for a swarm of tourists crowded into its center much of the year.

However, there are many more things to do in Florence besides the most popular sights. Should you visit those, too? Of course! There is nothing like seeing the David in person, the Ponte Vecchio is beautiful, and the Uffizi Gallery is a must for art lovers or those who just want to see some of the “biggies” like the Botticelli room (and if you go to the Uffizi, get this Uffizi Art History Guide for a more interesting and rewarding visit, and try Rick Steves’ Florence Guide, my favorite guidebooks for Europe).

30 Things to Do in Florence, Italy | This Is My Happiness

I hope that these suggestions give you a better experience there, one filled with many meaningful moments that add up to a dream trip! Here are my 30 things to do in Florence, some of which are still on the beaten path, and some well off of it.

1) Arte al Sole day camp

Things to do in Florence: Arte al Sole day camp

If you’re visiting Florence with your family, consider enrolling your children in Arte al Sole, an art and cultural day camp located at Palazzo Belfiore in Florence. (Or if you’re going to Umbria, try the Soccer al Sole day camp at an agriturismo!) The kids love it because they get to explore Florence with their peers, and the parents love it because they get a little “grown up” time while the kids are in camp.

Things to do in Florence: day camp in Florence

Children will explore the artistic and natural wonders of this beautiful renaissance city through exciting and engaging activities in art history, fine arts principles, nature walks, sketching and painting, collage, architecture, sculpture, craftsmanship, and science. Each session includes a cooking lesson preparing regional dishes and a fieldtrip to local museums and architectural sites. Find out more here.

2) Walk to San Miniato al Monte above Florence

First, walk down the Lungarno (the road that goes along the river) to Viale G. Poggi and take this winding walkway up:

Viale G. Poggi

Then stop briefly for the views at Piazzale Michelangelo before continuing up to the church of San Miniato al Monte:

san miniato al monte

The church is one of the oldest in the Florence area (from 1018) and a beautiful example of Romanesque architecture. It’s free to go inside–highlights are the mosaics above the altar and the small chapel in the back right corner of the church. Walk around the outside of the church, see the cemetery, and take in the views of Florence and the surrounding countryside.

things to do in Florence

On your way back down, pop in the nearby Giardino della Rose (Rose Garden) at Viale G. Poggi 2.

3) Visit the Palazzo Strozzi museum.

This museum has exhibits of contemporary and historic art by both Italian and international artists. Stop in on a Thursday evening for free admission to some exhibits and the weekly social gathering in the courtyard. People hang out on couches and get drinks and snacks at the café–definitely the place to be seen in Florence on a Thursday evening. Also, check out the bookstore’s nice selection of gifts and books for adults and children. Learn more about this innovative museum here, and find out about the Firenze Card, the best deal for entrance to many of Florence’s museums.

palazzo strozzi

4) Walk along the Arno River and watch the rowers.

Walking along the Arno River is a wonderful way to spend time in Florence–try going down as far as you can in both directions to see the architecture and get away from the crowds.  There is a rowing club (“Canottieri Firenze” from 1888) right next to the Ponte Vecchio, so it’s common to see them rowing peacefully down the Arno.

Arno River rowers

And walk the Ponte Vecchio early in the morning or at dusk.

This bridge does get packed with tourists, but it really is a special place that you should experience once. It is believed that it was originally built in Roman times, but the Ponte Vecchio that you see now was built in 1345.

ponte vecchio

It has always housed tiny shops, and now jewelry, especially gold, is sold behind beautiful old shop doors.

ponte vecchio jewelry

The views from the bridge at sunrise and sunset are beautiful.

Arno at night

5) Eat at La Cucina del Garga

This place was recommended to me by a local, and I am so glad he suggested it because I loved this place and would eat there all the time if I could…excellent food, great atmosphere, friendly owner, and decent prices. It’s not far from the Duomo, at Via San Zanobi, 33. If possible, call +39 055 475286 to make a reservation and ask to sit in the “painted room.” For more restaurant recommendations, check out my friend Sucheta’s post “Florence Restaurant Guide.”

florence restaurants

6) Climb Giotto’s Campanile (bell tower)

You should save time to climb either the bell tower or the dome of the Duomo for views of the city, but the bell tower may be the better option because it’s less crowded, cheaper, and gives you a close-up view of the outside of the dome. However, if you are particularly interested in the way in which the dome was constructed, choose to climb it instead and see Brunelleschi’s method of spreading the weight out with a herringbone pattern of bricks.

campanile

7) Go to the Mercato Centrale

If you love food markets like I do, this is something you don’t want to miss. The Mercato Centrale is an excellent place to see beautiful local food, have a snack, buy picnic supplies, or buy gifts. Learn more about it here.

Italian pasta

8) Eat gelato!

I know eating gelato should be automatic when in Italy, but you may find yourself so busy in Florence that you’ll forget to leave time for gelato breaks! Some of the best gelato can be found at Vivoli, Perché No!, Grom, and Festival. This cone with persimmon and chocolate orange was from Perché No!

gelato

9) Visit Santa Maria Novella

In my opinion, this is Florence’s prettiest church. The façade is a lovely example of Renaissance shapes (except for the Gothic influence of the very bottom, which was built first). Pay 3 euro and go inside, where painted arches and an airy feeling greet you. The church is full of great art–worth a long look are Masaccio’s Trinity fresco across from the entrance and the Tornabuoni chapel behind the altar, painted by Ghirlandaio’s workshop including teenage Michelangelo. Read more about this church here.

churches in Florence

10) Visit the Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella 

This centuries-old pharmacy/herbalist/perfumerie is an interesting part of Florence’s cultural heritage. All rooms are beautifully decorated, even with ornate ceilings. There are so many historical objects related to the production of medicines, natural creams, and perfumes that it is also considered a “museum of tradition.”  It’s free, so pick up the information pamphlet, ask questions, and see a unique part of Florence’s history. Open every day 10:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and located behind Santa Maria Novella church on Via della Scala, 16.

florence pharmacy

11) Visit an artisan’s workshop

There are many artisan workshops that you can visit, most of which are located on the other side of the Arno River in the Oltrarno quarter. A great example is Bruscoli, a workshop that makes both quality leather products engraved with gold leaf and traditional Florentine paper. The owner, Paulo Bruscoli, is the 4th generation artisan who continues the tradition despite the fact that leather products are increasingly being made by factories. He speaks English, and visitors are welcome (8:30-1:00 or 3:00-7:00, Via Montebello 58R). Fine leather products and items made with Florentine paper are sold at the front of the shop.

artisan florence

12) Eat pizza

Even though Florence is not as famous for its pizza as Rome and Naples are, the pizza is damned good! O’Munaciello (Via Maffia, 31, in the Oltrarno area) is quite an experience; I loved the 7 seasons pizza, which means that it was topped with whatever the chef wanted to put on it. Florens (Via San Gallo 40r, in the San Marco area) was a quick, modern, and inexpensive option.

Florence pizza

13) Stay at J.K. Place

This hotel is gorgeous! The beautiful décor, central location, intimate ambiance, excellent restaurant, and friendly, professional staff earned this boutique hotel a spot on Condé Nast Traveler’s Top 20 hotels list for 2012.

jk place

14) Buy chocolate at Venchi

I have fond memories of eating chocolate in Italy, so on this visit, I stopped in many cafés to buy chocolates and kept them in my bag for when I needed a little something. On my last day, I discovered this elegant shop, located near Piazza della Signoria. I bought a few bars to bring home for family and selected many small pieces that you can pick out from bins and pay for by the gram. Everything was excellent, even the fruit candies.

venti

15) Drink cappuccino

Like gelato, cappuccino in Italy is an obvious choice, but a little reminder doesn’t hurt. When I studied in Florence many years ago, drinking cappuccino was such an important part of my day that I was crowned “Cappuccino Queen”! But the cappuccino in Italy is so good that even if you’re not normally a coffee drinker, you must give it a try. Remember that standing up at a café is cheaper than sitting down, and that Italians frown upon ordering cappuccino after about 11:00 a.m., when they usually switch to espresso.

cappuccino

16) Experience beauty at the Palatine Gallery

If you want to see beautiful art but don’t want to deal with the crowds of the Uffizi, try the Palatine Gallery instead. Housed inside the massive Renaissance Palazzo Pitti on the other side of the Arno River, the Palatine gallery has works by some of Florence’s masters, including Raphael and Andrea del Sarto, as well as non-Florentines such as Caravaggio, Rubens, and Titian.

palazzo pitti

17) Go to the Boboli Gardens

The Boboli Gardens are one of Florence’s better known sights, but I am surprised how many people show up in Florence not knowing about them. The gardens are really not to be missed, especially on a sunny day. The sweeping views, endless paths that take you past grand fountains, and surprising grottoes make for an unforgettable outdoor space. You can enter with your ticket to the above Palatine Gallery.

Boboli Gardens

Keep walking to the very top and back of the garden for views of an olive grove and the countryside that surrounds Florence, and pop inside the small but lovely Porcelain Museum.

porcelain museum

18) Find tranquility at the Bardini Garden

The Bardini Garden is not nearly as grand as the Boboli Gardens, but it is also much less known. When I visited late in the day in November, I was the only person! The garden offers exceptional views of Florence, and the flowers that were not blooming when I was there must make it very beautiful in the spring and summer. There is also a restaurant and cafeteria with a deck.

bardini garden

You can access the Bardini Garden either from the street in the Oltrarno quarter (Via de Bardi 1r) or by leaving the Boboli Gardens and walking a bit (see the map given to you when you enter the Boboli Gardens). Entrance to the Bardini is included with the Boboli Gardens.

bardini villa

19) Get off the beaten path in the Oltrarno

The Oltrarno is the area of Florence across the Arno River that includes #16-18 above. This neighborhood is less touristy and definitely worth a day of your time for a few reasons. Besides the above-mentioned Palatine Gallery and Boboli and Bardini Gardens, many artisan workshops are located there (see #11), and you can wander the streets just looking for workshops to peek into. Also, the area has many nice small shops, all less geared towards tourists, that make for great window-shopping (or real shopping!). Finally, this is one place where you can experience a bit of the “real” Florence, where you can see the life of the locals getting early evening cocktails with friends, eating snacks at a tiny bar, or sitting in Piazza Santo Spirito. If you like markets, visit the one at Santo Spirito in the mornings (except Sundays).

shops Florence

20) Go for grandness in the cafés on Piazza della Repubblica

Splurge a little and relax in one of Florence’s grand historic cafés. If you don’t want to pay to sit, order at the bar. The cioccolato caldo (hot chocolate) at Paszkowski is to die for.

Florence cafe

21) Visit the Bargello National Museum

The Bargello is one of Florence’s best museums but is sometimes missed by tourists who are not aware of its collection or who miss it because it doesn’t exactly look like an important museum. The building dates from 1225 and used to be a prison. Inside you will be treated to a great collection of art, mostly notably sculpture by the best sculptors of the Renaissance, including of course Michelangelo and Donatello. Seeing sculpture in person is powerful, and these are ones not to be missed.

bargello

22) Visit the Pazzi Chapel

The Pazzi Chapel is a place few tourists know about, but it is one of the best examples of Renaissance architecture. It was built by Brunelleschi, the same genius who designed Florence’s dome, and showcases the important Renaissance principles of geometric shapes and spatial harmony. It is adjacent to the church of Santa Croce, so pop over after checking out the tombs and frescoes of Santa Croce. Read more about Renaissance architecture here.

Pazzi Chapel

23) Peruse the food shops found on just about every small street

We all know about the quality of food in Tuscany, from its cheeses and salami to fresh produce and olive oil. Why not make a little time to visit some of the city’s tiny food shops and pick up some things to try? With shops this inviting, it’s hard not to stop.

shops Florence

24) Step back in time at San Marco

San Marco provides a more serene way to experience the art of historic Florence. It is an old monastery that you can tour to see the monk’s cells and the frescoes on the cell walls. Fra Angelico, a monk and early Renaissance painter, painted these frescoes to decorate the monks’ cells to give them with something holy to concentrate on while praying.

San Marco frescoes

25) See the Early Renaissance at the Brancacci Chapel

This fresco cycle, located in the church of Santa Maria del Carmine in the Oltrarno quarter, is probably the best place to see the innovations that took place in the early Renaissance. It is stunning, but you have to make reservations (even on the same day), well worth the effort if you can plan ahead a bit.

Brancacci Chapel

26) Tour the Palazzo Vecchio

The Palazzo Vecchio is the old town hall of Florence, built in the 14th century. Its grand interior, which has seen such a fascinating history of events, has beautifully decorated rooms and courtyards with ornate ceilings, wall tapestries, carved doors, and fine art including works by Michelangelo, Vasari, and Da Vinci (this one was recently discovered behind one of the Vasari walls in the Salone dei Cinquecento).

palazzo courtyard

27) Check out Florence’s door knockers

Seriously? Yes. The door knockers of Florence are impressive but are easily overlooked with everything else there is to gawk at. Try to find a favorite–you might be surprised how many cool door knockers (and doors) you see!

Florence door

28) Day-trip to Fiesole

Fiesole is a small town in the hills above Florence. Going there is a great way to spend a nice day, or even half a day. You can get there by taking Bus 7 from the Florence train station or at the stops at the Duomo and San Marco in Florence. The town was founded around 800 BC as an Etruscan settlement (the Etruscans lived in this part of Italy long before the Romans), but it was conquered by the Romans in 283 BC. Etruscan and especially Roman ruins are still visible. There are also nice churches, a monastery, and a square where you can enjoy sweeping views of Florence and the surroundings. The tourist office map shows 3 walks around the town and along the Etruscan walls–choose the one that’s best for you and soak up a bit of Tuscany!

fiesole

29) Pop into Santa Trinita

This unimposing church just off the Arno River is worth popping into to see the work of Renaissance master Domenico Ghirlandaio. Inside the church, the Sassetti Chapel was frescoed by Ghirlandaio and his workshop–it is interesting to note how he used the look of Florence and local people to depict scenes from the Bible. The altarpiece, “The Adoration of the Shepherds,” is one of my favorites from the Renaissance. (The church is free.)

ghirlandaio

30) Walk the city at night

The city center is so small that you can easily walk to dinner, then out to have gelato, then for a walk around the main sights before going back to your room. Historic buildings are lit, making for dramatic views, especially of the Palazzo Vecchio:

palazzo vecchio

Italians don’t seem to like to go home early, so why not join the fun and spend some time outside at night? You can warm up at a café, and if you’re lucky, you may even run into a night market or other outdoor event.

florence night

So there you have it: 30 things to do in Florence. Of course there are more, especially because I intentionally left off the city’s biggies: the Uffizi, the Accademia, the Duomo and Baptistery, Santa Croce, and the Palazzo Medici-Ricardi. What suggestions do you have for things to do in Florence? 

Additional resources:

Books: Florence: The Paintings and Frescoes and Rick Steves’ Guide Florence & Tuscany

Blog posts:

 

Where to See the Beginning of the Renaissance

The Coolest Museum in Florence

Art and Travel in Florence

5 Favorite Frescoes in Florence

Renaissance Architecture in Florence

The Dome of Florence

Florence in Photos Part 1 and Part 2

Florence: A Love Affair Continues

Join me on Pinterest and Instagram for more travel and design inspiration in Italy and beyond.

70 Comments

  • Yolanda Joy says:

    Great post! I’ve done quite a number of the things on this list (around 2/3) and have to agree with you that they are definitely worth doing – and that Florence is lovely in general! Such a great atmosphere to explore a city with true character!

  • What a fabulous list of things to do in Florence. I spent a month in Florence a few years ago and enjoyed having the time to see all that Florence offers though I haven’t been to La Cucina del Garga. it’s enough to make me want to plan another visit!

  • Cindy says:

    This is a fantastic post! The photos are beautiful and your list of 30 things to do is a great tool for anyone visiting Florence.

    Thanks so much – I enjoyed every stop along the way with you!

  • Pal says:

    Very nice summary, Jenna, it made me think back to my good ol’ Florentine days. Good list, there’s only one thing missing (hm, if you care about football/soccer): going to see Fiorentina, the pride of the city, play on a Sunday :). It’s quite an atmosphere, especially when they play well like this year. Otherwise your list is ten out of ten!

  • Lauren Royal says:

    Oh, no–now that I know how much I missed, I want to go back to Florence ASAP! Thanks for a wonderful post! I’ve bookmarked it and will definitely refer back to it before (and probably during) my next visit.

  • Miret says:

    Lovely! I have bookmarked this page 🙂

  • Leigh says:

    I want to do everything you suggested! I have never been to Venice and hear mixed reports but your love of the place comes through. Now when can I get there is the question.

  • Leigh says:

    I was thinking Venice when I meant Florence – duh. Just wondering about the wine tasting – or maybe I missed that on the list. The gardens in particular look fantastic.

    • Jenna says:

      I didn’t do any wine tasting exactly but did drink wine a couple of times a day. It was all around me, sometimes at lunch, always in the evening aperitivo at the conference I was attending, and always with dinner. I loved it all and even interviewed the woman who owns Frescobaldi wines. I am sure you would love Florence!

  • Charu says:

    Stunning post, Jenna! From the Boboli Gardens to the Profuma, you’ve really captured the cultural side of this magnificent city so well. I miss it dreadfully but hope to return soon.

    • Jenna says:

      Thanks, Charu! I hope you can go again soon, too, because I know how it feels to be in love with that place 🙂

  • Hi Jenna

    I love the article, especially the JK Place mention. I’m still dreaming of my mini burger delight. I’m hoping to visit Florence again before this Summer. For the moment, I’m in Asia and totally loving the contrasting culture and history.

    • Jenna says:

      Lunch at JK Place was excellent. I felt so spoiled! Enjoy your time in Asia. I look forward to reading more about it.

  • Katherine says:

    I was pleasantly surprised that I’ve already done a few things on this list! And I now have a great list of more to do the next time I visit 🙂

  • Bonnie Marie says:

    Bravissima! Just in case people thought Florence was just a boring old renaissance village, haha!

    A note on Villa Bardini: it is home to the Pietro Annigoni Museum, a tribute to the contemporary Milanese maestro (1910-1988) whose artistic talent and technique was so faithful to that of the renaissance masters such as da Vinci, Caravaggio, and Van Dyk that one of his disciples and students, Michael John Angel, opened the Angel Academy in Florence dedicated to the study of the traditional system of the great masters. Angel proclaims, “Those who do not learn from the masters waste their lives re-inventing the wheel.” If you visit the museum and the Angel Academy studios, you’ll agree 🙂

    • Jenna says:

      Bonnie, Thanks for the information. I don’t know much about that villa and had a hard time getting information online (that’s not in Italian).

  • What a comprehensive list of things to do! I was just looking at my pics in Florence; I still have to write my post about it. I haven’t done half of what you suggested here 🙁 Hopefully I can go back, it’s such a beautiful city!!!

    • Jenna says:

      It’s impossible to do everything there because it’s such a rich city (unless you’re there for a long period of time), but it sounds like you will go back someday 🙂

  • Inspiring list, Jenna. My most vivid memory of Florence is the herb-scented air on a hillside hike on the outskirts of town. The painted dining room at La Cucina del Garga looks amazing. How great that it’s so close to the Duomo.

    • Jenna says:

      Your mention of the hike is making me daydream. That countryside is so beautiful. Do you remember where you were hiking/how I could get there next time?

  • Erik Smith says:

    You are the Florence expert! It’s hard to argue with any list that has gelato on it 🙂

    LOVE the night shots, too. European cities light themselves in such a pleasing manner- we as Americans could learn from that.

    • Jenna says:

      Being called the Florence expert is like a dream come true 😉 Thank you for that
      Yes, night in Europe is so welcoming, and Florence seems to have a romantic glow.

  • WOW this is super comprehensive I love it! I really love Florence even if its super touristy! You make me want to go back there again with this post! ;D

  • naomi says:

    People are always asking me what to do while in Florence…now I can pass along this great post!

  • Lucille says:

    Thank you for the great ideas. I would add the Great Synagogue of Firenze, The English Cemetery, The American Cemetery where our military who fought in WWII are buried, south of Firenze, and Opera nights at St. Mark’s Church in the Oltrano area.

  • Ana Lucia Martins says:

    I wonder where’s the bar il maestro in Florence.
    It’s a different place where wine is served, breads and cheeses and standing people eat on the street.
    Thank you,
    Ana

  • Chiara says:

    Can I suggest having a day of fun culture and nature by visiting both the Medici-Demidoff Villa park and the forest adventure park Parco Avventura il Gigante?
    The owner Francesco is my friend 🙂

  • Melissa says:

    Jenna,
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading through your list. I spent about 4 months in Florence in 2006 and have missed it terribly. I have a trip planned back for the first time this March and can’t wait to show my husband around the city that I love so much. Your list is great for anyone who’s spent time in the city before. Any tips on how to include points of interest for a first-timer while I can still get in my fill of reminiscing? He’s a carpenter, so not that in to art history but certainly appreciates masters of different crafts. I loved the Bargello when I was there, and Santa Croce is near and dear to my heart since my apartment was right up the street. I’m thinking of renting an apartment in Oltrarno this time. Thoughts?

  • Donna says:

    Jenna
    Thank you so much for this information. I will be spending 3 months in Florence starting August 2014 just getting to know the city. Your blog is really jam packed with information. I really appreciate the suggestions I think I will try all 30 🙂

    • Jenna says:

      3 months? Wow, how fun! Definitely check into the blogs Girl in Florence, Art Trav, and Capturing la Vita if you haven’t already. Lots of ideas for Florence and Tuscany. There are more, but those are 3 of my favorites.

  • Cynthia says:

    We went to Fiesole today and you should update the information. You can not catch the number 7 bus either at the duomo or the train station -Centrale. It begins it’s run at Plaza San Marco. It was a beautiful trip after we had walked to both wrong locations. Very peaceful since we are staying right on the Arno between Ponte Vecchio and Ponte S Trinita.

    We also loved the walk up Poggi to Piazale Michelangiolo and down through the Rose Garden. Thanks for the wonderful tips.

    Have you tried the chocolate at Gilli’s on the Piazza Republica?

    • Jenna says:

      Thank you so much for the updated information! I will make the change.
      I have had the hot chocolate and some pastries at Gilli’s, but it was a long time ago. It’s such a beautiful cafe, isn’t it? Glad you enjoyed your time in Florence. Staying right on the Arno sounds wonderful.

  • Kobi says:

    I luv Florence! But you can’t do everything. Check out my one day guide here
    http://holidayleavingtomorrow.co.uk/what-to-do-in-florence-in-one-day/

    • Jenna says:

      I will have a look at your suggestions for one day, but I would argue that you SHOULD do everything, or at least try 🙂 Florence is a city to be savored, not rushed.

  • Mary says:

    Thanks for the great information! My husband and I are going to Florence for 4 days in the middle of June. We are also making stops in Germany and visiting family in Slovenia. We are trying to pack light, do you have any suggestions for what to wear in Florence? Is it okay to wear shorts or is it better to “dress up” a bit?

  • Cassie says:

    I love this list, Jenna! And looking back through your archives, I was excited to find you have written so much about Florentine art! Thank you for all of this!

  • There is a new thing to do in Florence, a very special tour which is inspired by the famous book by Dan Brown inspired by the work of Dante. Hell tour was created by the best tourist agency that has created this itinerary secret that will reveal a mysterious and gloomy in Florence that you would not expect

  • kiara says:

    Hi there,

    I came across your blog by chance when I was looking for things to do in Florence and saw your recommendation for the La Cucina del Garga restaurant – it is by far one of the best restaurants I have ever been to, both in terms of food and ambiance! My partner and I had the most wonderful experience and I just wanted to thank you for writing about this gem so that we were able to find it! Thanks for the great blog and I look forward to following your adventures more!

    kiara

    • Jenna says:

      Kiara,
      Thank you for taking the time to let me know. I am so glad that you enjoyed your meal there. It’s great for me to get that kind of feedback–that a blog post helped with travel plans. 🙂 I often think about the food and atmosphere and wish I could teleport myself there for a meal!

  • I was surfing the net looking for other things to see and do in Florence. I’ve been there several times. There are some items on your list that I like.

    My next visit is on a cruise ship and we will have about 9 hours. Do you think it’s possible to take the train from Livonia to Florence and then a bus to Fiesole to visit for a couple of hours and the rest of the day in Florence?

    Thanks

    Monica

    • Jenna says:

      Hi Monica, I have never traveled to Florence in that way, so I have no idea about the timing…that sounds like a very busy day. Perhaps spending the day in Fiesole would be a better idea instead of trying to do both Fiesole and Florence in one short day. Or try another part of Florence, like the Oltrarno and walking up to San Miniato al Monte if you haven’t done those before.

  • Nadeen says:

    What a wonderful and complete list! I can’t wait to get back to Florence. I loved Ponte Vecchio and had the best pizza of my life there and the shopping!!

  • Maryellen says:

    Jenna, this is by far the best list I’ve come across! Thank you so much for such thoughtful recommendations. We are looking forward to doing as many as possible during our time in Florence in late July 2015. You mentioned that you might be available to give tours–any chance you will be there this July? Also, your photo of the Arno “views from the bridge”–was it taken early morning or early evening? I’ve got two teens who may have trouble waking up that early 🙂

    • Jenna says:

      Hi Mary Ellen, Thank you so much for the nice words. I love Florence. 🙂 I will not be there in July, and my plans for tours have been moved to the back burner for a while. However, I know a couple of good tours: I’ve heard very good things about both Walks of Italy and Context Travel tours. Here’s one of the tour guides that I would choose: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alexandra-Lawrence/462425660457241
      The photo was taken at sunset.

  • florence says:

    i love it and not just because its my name i want to travel there

  • Maria says:

    31. Climb a building and jump of it into a haystack.

  • Ishita says:

    I Love them all!! superb! Bardini is high on my list.. I would love to do all the ones I have not till now 😀

  • Emma says:

    Came across this on Pinterest – what a great list! It made me so nostalgic! I spent two months in Florence learning Italian a few years ago. A couple of things I would add though, which would actually be right at the top of my list if I made one:

    1) make a point of visiting one of the little bakeries (not on the main tourist streets) early in the morning when their goods are just coming out the ovens – hot and yummy!

    2) San Lorenzo – despite not having a facade this church is really not to be missed! One of my favorites!

    3) Ognissanti – another beautiful church along the Arno. Also contains Ghirlandaio’s last supper and multiple other frescoes

    4) When coming down from San Miniato I went a different route and followed the road down – beautiful scenery and you see parts of the original city walls etc. If you just keep following the road you end up on the Arno so its easy to find your way. A long but lovely walk.

    5) in addition to your entry on “workshops”, the Scuola del Cuoio (or school of leather) is another fun thing to see – located behind Santa Croce

  • Gale says:

    What an epic post! Wow, I wish I’d read this sooner I would’ve done so much more!! I also absolutely adore the Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella – a MUST. I also found a really amazing jeweller located close to the Duomo. I’ve written about these and some other things that I highly recommend to people visiting who are keen for a break from all the museums and art: http://www.tripchow.com/five-extra-things-must-do-in-florence/

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