Florence, a beautiful Renaissance gem seemingly frozen in time, is the lucky epicenter of Tuscany. With just under half a million inhabitants, the city attracts millions of visitors annually. There is no doubt- curious travelers to Italy will love Florence and Tuscany. Go on google to search for things to do in Florence and you may be overwhelmed with the many clever tips and ideas.
Whether you are a first time visitor to Florence or a seasoned Tuscan traveler, these ten tips for things to do in Florence will not let you down. Can you think of any to add?
Despite its tiny size, there are many things to do in this dynamic city, albeit "frozen in time." Even for those lucky enough to live there, you can never tire of the hidden gems there are to find!
10 THINGS TO DO IN FLORENCE BY CURIOUS APPETITE
1. Everyone says visit the Uffizi gallery in Florence. This is very true and valid. However, our suggestion would be to make a customized museum day with either an awesome private tour guide or a high quality tour company and include lesser-known sites like the Sassetti Chapel in Santa Trinità by Domenico Ghirlandaio. Few trek it here and you can't miss the gorgeous fresco depicting Piazza della Signoria in the 15th century.
2. Take a bike tour or rent a bike! If you are not scared of cars and small streets, Florence is a wonderful city to bike around in. Don't be alarmed- cars are generally aware of bikes and are limited to how fast they can pedal in the city center. If you're from a big city, Florence is peanuts for biking. Bike tours in Florence and Tuscany are great if you're a first timer. You will cover more ground in just a couple hours than walking around, naturally. If you are already familiar with Florence, renting a bike might be the best route. Contact us about where to find the best bike tours and bike rentals in Florence.
3. Giardino delle Rose/Garden of Roses. Most articles or guides for Things to do in Florence suggest walking up to Piazzale Michelangelo. We would suggest taking a slight detour and chilling out in the garden of roses. It is a little refuge of nature in the middle of the city. Get a panino and a drink and camp out for an impromptu picnic with a stellar view overlooking the city, immersed in flowers and roses.
4. San Miniato al Monte in Florence. This beautiful basilica stands at one of the highest points in the city and offers a stunning panorama of the city. While in awe, you may find newly wed couples taking their wedding photos here. An awesome bonus is the gift shop. They sell monk-made herbal liqueurs, local honey and teas. A unique souvenir shop find.
5. Boboli Gardens in Palazzo Pitti. If you've visited Florence without strolling through the Boboli Gardens, majestic beauty of the city and region has truly been missed.
6. Climb the Duomo! This is a no-brainer. Pay a little more for the skip the line option. There are over 400 (at times dodgy) steps. If you'd like something a little different, you can opt for Giotto's Tower for both a wicked view of the Duomo and panorama of the city.
7. Go underground Florence! Underneath Palazzo Vecchio, lies a passage leading you the origins of Florence to an ancient Roman theater! This passage is apart of the Palazzo Vecchio Museum. Contact Curious Appetite if you'd like help finding a tour guide to walk you through.
8. Eat your way through Tuscany with a food and wine crawl in Florence with the blogger of Curious Appetite! There are a few food tour options to choose from, from foodie market tastings to gelato crawls. However if you are a first timer, consider either an Aperitivo or a Progressive Dinner Crawl. On each foodie activity, you'll get an orientation for the city and discover several wine bars, restaurants (including trattorias and osterias) and locales in under 4 hours.
9. Take a cooking class! Get your hands dirty and closer to food with a cooking class in Florence. There are many cooking classes to choose from including simple pasta making to learning ancient recipes with a Renaissance-themed cooking class.
10. Take a break from Renaissance art with a visit to the Strozzina at Palazzo Strozzi. They have regular rotating exhibits of contemporary art from around the world. You can see what's on when you go to Florence on their official website.
Cheers and happy travels.
Looking for the best foodie activities in Florence and Tuscany? You're in luck- we can help with that! We offer exclusive, bespoke food and drink crawls in Florence and wine cellar adventures in the Tuscan countryside. Contact us today for more information!