Florence is known for its beautiful art galleries, monumental buildings and magnificent palaces.
The city is overflowing with masterpieces in the styles of Renaissance, Gothic, and Neo-Classical periods. You will find many interesting streets, squares with elegant buildings and shops. Florence’s most famous square is Piazza della Signoria, the heart of the historic centre. Other popular things to see in Florence are the Cattedrale de Santa Maria del Fiore (a huge Gothic cathedral), the Baptistery, which is one of Florence’s oldest buildings, Campanile Bell Tower, which has 414 stairs that you must walk, but its well worth it because of the views at the top, the Ponte Vecchio Bridge, which was built in 1345, Boboli Gardens and Medici Palaces.
In Florence sculptures are everywhere you look. You will see sculptures mounted on buildings, sculptures in front of buildings, in museums, in churches, the city is just infested with sculptures. With its history of architecture Florence seems like an open air museum to most, but in order to see the side that contains most of its treasures you need to go indoors and visit one or two museums. Florence is an artistic marvel, with over 72 museums. Some of the best being the Palazzo Pitti, Palatina Gallery, Modern Art Gallery, Museo degli Argenti, Boboli Garden, Accademia Gallery, Bargello National Museum & San Marco Museum. Various art museums hold works from artists like Bellini, Botticelli, Brunelleschi, Caravaggio, Da Vinci, Donatello, Raphael and Titian.
In Florence you will find pizza and pasta places galore. There are so many places to eat in Florence that the only problem is deciding which restaurant to choose. One of the favourite places to stop and have a snack is, Rivoire, on Piazza della Signoria. This is a popular café with the locals and a nice place for a break from sightseeing. With a rich variety of Roman, Florentine and Tuscan classics, Italian cuisine is versatile. Some of the best restaurants to eat out in are Tavern del Bronzino, La Giostra, Relais Le Jardin, Ristorante-Terrazza Brunelleschi and Ristorante Vecchia. If you love ice cream then you must try Bar Ponte Vecchio, at the end of eponymous bridge, they have lots of delicious flavours served in enormous cones.
Florence is a great place to shop, if you are looking for designer fashions like Gucci, Pucci, or Ferragmo, head to the Santa Maria Novella district. The streets in the Santa Maria Novella district are full of the latest fashions from the biggest and international designers. Outdoor markets are also popular in Florence, with the most famous being the Vendors in and around the Mercato Centrale in the San Lorenzo district. Inside the market, you’ll find fantastic food stalls, leather stalls, clothing stalls and much more. The Mercato Nuovo, near Ponte Vecchio is another great place to look for a bargain. Another popular place to shop is the Mall which is about 45 minutes outside of Florence in a town called Leccio.
At night Florence comes alive, whether you are serious opera buff, or an all night clubber, you are sure to find what you are looking for. Due to Florence being another one of Italy’s University towns, the nightlife isn’t just seasonal. The layout of the town makes club hopping easy on the feet. The most popular clubs in Florence are Club TwentyOne, Yab, Space Electronic, Twice and The Blob Club. If you love the theatre then you may wish to try the city theatre (Teatro Puccini) for a variety of performances from opera to new plays.