Eight must-see attractions in Florence

The perfect travel check list of Tuscan art and culture

Florence is the Renaissance worldwide gem, a true open-air museum, a whole historic centre protected by UNESCO, and the house of the influential and historic Medici dynasty. Florence is just the place to be if your clients want to experience elegance, finesse and unmistakable Tuscan taste.

Not convinced? Think about a glass of Chianti Classico in front of the Arno river and the David of Michelangelo, while Tuscan hills surround you with poetry and warmth. Think about these spectacular ways to spend your time in Florence to help you pass the time until you arrive, and plan your trip so you ensure you savour every second of it once you finally plant your feet in the Renaissance city.

Here, LATTE ticks off the perfect travel checklist with art and culture, so your clients can be certain to enjoy a complete experience of Florence, and make memories to last a lifetime.

Uffizi Gallery

The Gallery, constructed between 1560 and 1580 and designed by Giorgio Vasari, is famous worldwide for its outstanding collections of ancient sculptures and paintings. The collections of paintings dating back to the 14th-century and Renaissance period include some absolute masterpieces by Michelangelo, Giotto, Piero della Francesca, Botticelli, Mantegna, Leonardo, Raffaello and Caravaggio, in addition to many precious European masterpieces. Moreover, the gallery boasts a collection of ancient statues and busts from the Medici family.

The Accademy Gallery

The Galleria dell’Accademia, also known as the “Michelangelo Museum”, houses the largest number of Michelangelo’s works in the world. Built on the remains of two old convents, the Accademia developed thanks to Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo, who donated his collection to the Accademia di Belle Arti in 1784, almost a century later, the museum became home to the David. The Museum of Musical Instruments is perhaps the Accademia’s most exciting hidden treasure. The collection includes a Stradivari violin dating to 1716 and the oldest upright piano to date, built by Bartolomeo Cristofori, the inventor of the piano.

Palazzo Vecchio and the Salone dei Cinquecento

The symbol of political power in Florence, this impressive palace houses Florence’s municipal government and a museum vaunting age-old frescoed rooms and secret passageways. Palazzo Vecchio is composed of both public and private spaces: the spectacular Salone dei Cinquecento, the Sala dei Duecento, the Sala dei Gigli and the Sala dell’Udienza, not to mention Francesco I’s Studiolo and the Medici quarters containing Eleanor’s private rooms and the Apartment of the Elements. The rooms were frescoed by celebrated artists of the time, such as Ghirlandaio, Bronzino and Vasari, while in the main spaces you’ll find breathtaking Renaissance sculptures, such as Michelangelo’s The Genius of Victory and Donatello’s Judith and Holofernes.

Brunelleschi’s Dome

Endure the tiring climb and reap the benefits: Vasari’s breathtaking Last Judgement and a jaw-dropping view of Florence will be waiting for you at the top. Visible from every corner of the city, Brunelleschi’s Dome is the heart and symbol of Florence (the largest masonry dome ever built), and is widely considered the most important structure built in Europe since Roman times.

The Pitti Palace

For centuries the residence of Florence’s top-tier families, today Pitti Palace is an unrivalled museum housing a spectacular art collection. Medici, Hapsburg-Lorraine and Savoy: if a family ruled Florence, Pitti Palace was their home. Today, the royal chambers have transformed into four museums: the Palatine Gallery and the Royal Apartments, the Gallery of Modern Art, the Treasury of the Grand Dukes and the Museum of Costume and Fashion.

The Boboli Gardens

The garden was designed as the Grand Ducal garden of Pitti Palace. Stretching all the way to Forte di Belvedere (a military outpost for the sovereign’s safety), it’s considered one of the most important Italian-style gardens in the world. Cosimo I gifted this enchanting oasis to his wife, Eleanor of Toledo, after acquiring Pitti Palace and the surrounding land.

Piazzale Michelangelo

A must-see for anyone visiting Florence, Piazzale Michelangelo is one of Florence’s most famous sky-high spots, a place where you can enjoy breathtaking views of the city. The incredible vista point gives you a striking bird’s-eye view of the heart of Florence: your eyes will follow the city’s “skyline” from Brunelleschi’s Dome to Palazzo Vecchio, the Bargello, the Badia Fiorentina and the Basilica of Santa Croce.

Ponte Vecchio and Vasari’s Corridor

The Ponte Vecchio is a world-famous symbol of Florence and it is also the Arno’s oldest crossing: a bridge has stood in that position – the narrowest part of the river’s urban stretch – since Roman times, but its older versions were constantly damaged and torn down by floods. It was Giorgio Vasari who, in 1565, made a crucial contribution to the Ponte Vecchio’s current appearance by building the Vasari Corridor for Cosimo I dei Medici, the walkway connecting the Palazzo Vecchio with the Pitti Palace, then the private home of the Medici.

In 1593, by order of Ferdinand I who would not tolerate the unpleasant odours hanging below the Vasari Corridor, the fishmongers, butchers and tanneries made way for goldsmiths and jewellers. Still today, the shops on the bridge remain exclusively jewellers and goldsmiths, making the Ponte Vecchio the perfect destination for a day of exclusive shopping.

Destination Florence’s platform is the official partner of the Municipality of Florence, choosing it means investing in the future of the city. See destinationflorence.com/

Lead image: Florence city with Duomo Cathedral | credit: Aliaksandr Antanovich/Shutterstock

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This article is a LATTE exclusive and was prepared in partnership with ENIT – Italia National Tourist Board.

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