Florence, Italy

Florence, Italy

Explore the birthplace of Renaissance

Florence is in the Italian region of Tuscany, a region famous for its green hills and small villages. It has a population of about 380,000 people and is visited by approximately ten million tourists each year.
Known for its art, architecture, and culture, Florence was the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance and is home to many of the world’s most famous artworks, including Michelangelo and Donatello’s statues of David. There are many reasons to visit Florence, from its street art to its gelato. Whether you’re interested in art, architecture, literature, or good food, you’ll find something to love in this beautiful city.

Please, read our guide about how to get in and around Florence.

10 Reasons to visit Florence

1. The Uffizi Gallery

The Uffizi Gallery is one of the oldest and most famous art museums in the world. With around 4 million visitors per year, it is also the most visited museum in Italy. It was built in the 16th century to house the administration offices (the uffizi) of the grand duchy of Florence. The gallery has an incredible collection of paintings, sculptures, and tapestries from the 13th to the 18th century. It is home to some of the most important works of art from the Italian Renaissance, including Leonardo da Vinci’s The Annunciation and Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus.

2. The birthplace of Renaissance

Renaissance means “rebirth,” and Florence was its birthplace. The Italian Renaissance – a period of outstanding artistic and cultural achievement – began in the 14th century. After centuries of decline, the city experienced a revival in art, architecture, literature, and learning.
Many of the most influential artists and thinkers of this period, including Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Dante, were based in Florence. The city was also home to the Medici family, one of the most powerful and influential families of the Renaissance.

3. The perfect starting point to explore Tuscany and Italy

Florence is the ideal base for exploring the rest of Tuscany and Italy. It is located in the heart of Tuscany, famous for its rolling hills, picturesque villages, and world-renowned wines.
There are many day trips you can take from Florence, including to the nearby towns of Siena and Lucca or the Chianti wine region. You can also catch a train to Venice and Rome or take a day trip to Pisa to see the Leaning Tower.

4. A city of street arts

Florence is a city of street art, and you’ll see examples of it throughout the city. A great place to admire street art is the Sottopasso delle Cure underpass. One of Florence’s most famous street artists is Clet Abraham, who makes witty and unexpected changes to street signs using removable stickers.
Check out the official Google map of where to find street art in Florence. If you’re a fan of street art, you’ll love exploring the city and seeing all the unique artworks on display.

5. An attractive start-up ecosystem

Florence is home to a thriving start-up ecosystem. There are many coworking spaces and incubators in the city that provide a supportive environment for entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.
The city is also home to a number of accelerators and venture capitalists, such as Firenze Tech and The Hive. The city is attractive to start-ups because of its low cost of living and its central location in Europe.

6. Home of the Italian gelato

No visit to Florence would be complete without trying some delicious gelato. Gelato was first eaten in Italy in the 16th century, and Florence is credited with being its birthplace.
There are many gelaterias throughout the city, where you can try some traditional flavors like chocolate and pistachio, as well as more unique flavors like rosemary and orange blossom.

7. A walkable city

Florence is a very walkable city, and most of the major sights are located within the historic center. You can explore the city’s narrow streets on foot, and if you get tired, you can always take a break in one of the many cafes or restaurants.
It would take about 1.5 hours to walk across Florence, from the train station to the Duomo. However, you should allow at least three days if you want to explore the city in detail.

8. Dante and the Italian literature

Florence was home to Dante Alighieri, one of Italy’s most famous writers. Dante was born in Florence in 1265, and his Divine Comedy is considered one of the greatest works of Italian literature.
Fans of Dante can visit his birthplace, which is now a museum, and see some of his personal belongings. You can also take a walking tour of Dante’s Florence and visit the Dante statue in front of the Bargello Palace.

9. Learn the history and secrets of the Medici family

The Medici family was one of Florence’s most powerful and influential families during the Renaissance. They were bankers and patrons of the arts, and their influence can still be seen in the city today.
You can learn about the history of the Medici family at the Palazzo Vecchio Museum, which is housed in the former residence of the Medici family. You can also take a walking tour of the Medici sights in Florence.

10. Meet the three Davids

Florence is home to three statues considered to be some of the Renaissance’s greatest works of art.The first David is a bronze statue sculpted by Donatello in 1440 and it’s considered one of the masterpieces of the artist.
The other two Davids are instead the same artwork. The original is a marble sculpture sculpted between 1501 and 1504 by Michelangelo and it can be found in the Accademia Gallery. The sculpture is the symbol of Florence and it is often represented on souvenirs and postcards. A copy of the sculpture can be found also in Piazza della Signoria where the original was located before being moved to the gallery.