There is SO much to see and do in Florence and if ART is your thing, it’s THE place to be! I visited last week and as [just a bit!] of an art enthusiast, loved every second. It’s not a huge place so you can comfortably do it in a couple of days… if you’re just a normal tourist! If you’re there for the Art, you could easily spend a good 4/5 days taking in all the galleries, architecture, street art, markets and more!
If you’re in Florence for 48 hours or less, here’s my run down of the top 5 ARTY things you don’t want to miss!
#1 For ARCHITECTURE – SANTA MARIA NOVELLA and the DUOMO
The Florentine architecture is simply stunning, outside and in. I was blown away by the marble facades to both of these buildings as its a style I’d not really come across before – simply stunning! There’s a small fee for the Santa Maria Novella but well worth it as theres lots to see! The Duomo is free but there is usually always a queue to get inside but that gives more time to admire the outside… which for me was the best part! For those less fearless, you can also climb up inside the dome to get the best views of Florence!
#2 For STREET ART – FLORENCE STREET ART and a unique STREET ART EXPERIENCE
While I walked from place to place, I really enjoyed spotting street art. Florence isn’t inundated with it and what I did see fit well and didn’t take away from the beautiful, historical atmosphere. The same artists pop up all over so it actually became quite fun finding them. For more on this click here. While in Florence I did a street art experience with a local architect which I thoroughly enjoyed! you can read about that here.
#3 For SCULPTURE GARDENS – GIARDINO di BOBOLI
One of the fist things we did on arrival was visit the beautiful Boboli gardens. You can easily spend a couple of hours (or more!) here, exploring the well kept gardens and viewing all the sculptures and statues that are present throughout. I spent a bit of time admiring the craftsmanship of some of the statues… haha
#4 For GALLERIES – the UFFIZI
The Uffizi is the main gallery you will hear about and it doesn’t disappoint. Set in a beautifully grandiose building, it houses famous works such as The Birth of Venus which I just loved seeing in person. Unlike when I saw the Mona Lisa, this painting was bigger than I was expecting!
The gallery is ornately decorated, with painted ceilings that are works of art in themselves!
There are MANY more galleries in Florence but for a bit of old world Renaissance you simply can’t beat the Uffizi. I recommend you book in advance though!
#5 For CULTURE – walk the MARKETS and sample the FOOD!
There are plenty of markets in Florence, both indoor and outdoor, with an array of souvenirs on offer. Florence is renowned for its leather goods and while most of the items for sale in the street markets are low quality imports, there is still a wealth of genuine articles to be found and the markets have a great atmosphere! For more info head on over to Culture Trip who have a whole post on the different markets on offer!
As a foodie you can’t go to Italy and go hungry… its just not possible! My recommendations include jam packed sandwiches from All’ Antico Vinaio and the famous fiorentina steak. We sampled a 1.2 kilo beast at Trattoria Dall’Oste – Chianineria which was incredible! If there’s any food that can be classed a work of Art its this steak!