Florence is not only home to some of the most famous landmarks in Italy, but also in the world. From the Duomo to Giotto’s Campanile, to Brunelleschi’s dome, there are plenty of sights and landmarks in Florence to explore.
Whether you’re interested in historic landmarks that tell the story of Florence’s past or simply looking to check out one of Europe’s most beautiful cities, there is something to be found.
With its beautiful architecture, stunning artwork, and significant historical landmarks, Florence is a must-visit city for any traveler looking to experience the best of Italy’s art and culture.
There are many activities and things to do Florence. Here are some of the most famous monuments and landmarks in Florence you will get to enjoy if you hit up this popular Italian city.
Most Famous Italian Landmark in Florence
Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (Duomo)
The most iconic landmark in Florence is no doubt the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, also known as the Duomo. It is the beautiful cathedral that you will see in many postcards of Florence.
This stunning cathedral was built in the 15th century, and it has become an important symbol of Florence and its rich history. The massive cathedral that can house 20,000 people took over a century to construct, and is one of the largest cathedral in Europe.
Today, visitors to Florence can enter this magnificent landmark and enjoy its stunning architecture, intricate artwork, and beautiful frescoes. The Duomo is open daily from 8:30 am to 7:00 pm, though the ticket office closes at 5:30 pm.
If you want to take in Florence from a different perspective, you can also climb up Brunelleschi’s dome for some incredible views of the city. There are combo tickets and tours that include access to the Bell tower, Baptistery, and Crypt on Piazza del Duomo.
Religious Landmarks in Florence
San Miniato al Monte
The San Miniato al Monte is located on a hill in the Oltrarno district of Florence, and it is one of the city’s most beautiful landmarks. The church was built in the 11th century, and is one of the best examples of Romanesque architecture in Florence. It is also home to some amazing works of art, including a 13th-century fresco by Cimabue.
The San Miniato al Monte is open everyday from 9:30 am to 7:00 pm. If you want to enjoy incredible views of Florence, be sure to walk up the hill to the church’s piazza. From here, you will have one of the best panoramic views of the city.
Basilica of Santa Maria Novella
If you’re looking for more religious landmarks in Florence, the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella is a must-visit. This 13th-century church has undergone several renovations and expansions over the centuries and features beautiful frescoes painted by great artists such as Giotto and Paolo Uccello.
The Basilica is located just a few steps from the main train station of Florence, making it the perfect stop for anyone arriving in the city by train. You can get a fast entry ticket with a multimedia guide to check out the impressive Gothic and Renaissance architecture.
Basilica di San Lorenzo
The Basilica of San Lorenzo is one of the largest churches in Florence. Built in 1419, it was originally a monastery and now houses several chapels and tombs that are worth checking out.
It’s particularly important to the city because it’s the mausoleum of some of the most illustrious Florentines, like Cosimo de Medici and Lorenzo de Medici. The exterior, with its simple lines, is contrasted with the intricate, richly decorated interior, making it a truly stunning sight.
Basilica of Santa Croce
The Basilica of Santa Croce is the largest Franciscan church in Florence and one of the most important landmarks in the city. It’s particularly renowned for being the final resting place of some of the most famous Italians, including Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli , and Foscolo. The exterior of the basilica might not be particularly striking, but the interior is full of beautiful frescoes and artworks. You need a ticket to visit the complex but it is relatively cheap and worth the experience..
Landmarks in Florence – Piazzas (Squares)
Piazza del Duomo
The Piazza del Duomo is the main square in Florence, and it is home to some of the city’s most iconic landmarks. The square is dominated by the massive Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, which was built in the 14th century. The cathedral is surrounded by a number of other important buildings, including the Baptistery of St. John and the Giotto’s Campanile.
The Piazza del Duomo is a popular gathering place for both locals and visitors, and it is the perfect place to start exploring Florence. There are a number of cafes and restaurants in the square, as well as plenty of shops selling souvenirs and local goods.
As a popular travel destination, there are many different walking tours that takes you around the plazas and landmarks in Florence with storytelling elements.
Piazza della Repubblica
The Piazza della Repubblica is another popular square in Florence, and it is home to several important landmarks. The centerpiece of the square is the massive fountain known as the Fontana del Nettuno, which was built in the 19th century. Surrounding this grand fountain are a number of other notable landmarks, including the impressive Santa Maria della Salute church and the beautiful Loggia dei Lanzi arcade.
Piazza della Signoria
Another iconic square in Florence is the Piazza della Signoria, which is located just a short distance from the Duomo. This large square is home to several important landmarks, including the Palazzo Vecchio and the Loggia dei Lanzi. The square is also surrounded by museums, art galleries, and beautiful historic buildings.
The Piazza della Signoria is a popular gathering place for locals and visitors, and it is the perfect place to people-watch or relax with a coffee. There are also a number of restaurants and cafes located in the square.
If you are looking for one of the best views of Florence, a visit to Piazzale Michelangelo is a must. Located on top of a hill in the southern part of the city, this large piazza is home to an impressive statue of David by Michelangelo in 1871. From here, you can enjoy incredible panoramic views of the entire city, including landmarks such as the Duomo and the Piazza della Signoria.
To reach Piazzale Michelangelo, you can take a short walk uphill from the center of Florence or hop on one of the nearby trams. The square is open 24 hours a day, so it is the perfect place to enjoy a sunset or watch the city lights come alive at night.
Piazzale Michelangelo is one of the city’s most beautiful landmarks.
Famous Landmarks of Florence – Museums and Galleries
Another iconic landmark in Florence is the Uffizi Gallery, one of the oldest and most prestigious art museums in the world. Located in Piazzale degli Uffizi, it’s home to an impressive collection of Renaissance paintings by some of the greatest artists ever, including Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio, and Michelangelo.
The Uffizi Gallery is one of the most visited museums in Italy, so make sure to buy your tickets online in advance to avoid the long lines. Once inside, take your time to admire some of the most famous paintings in the world, such as The Birth of Venus and The Annunciation.
If you want to know more about stories behind the artworks, a guided tour will make the experience more fruitful.
Leonardo Interactive Museum
If you want to learn more about the life and work of Leonardo da Vinci, then a visit to the Leonardo Interactive Museum is a must. This unique museum is located in Florence’s Palazzo dei Giudici, and it is full of interactive exhibits that bring the genius of Leonardo da Vinci to life.
At the museum, you can learn about Leonardo’s work as an inventor, artist, and scientist, and you can even try your hand at some of his famous inventions. The museum is great for both adults and children, and it is the perfect place to learn more about one of Florence’s most famous residents. Grab a skip-the-line ticket to save time and jump in to invention land right away.
The Museo Galileo is another great museum in Florence dedicated to the life and work of the famous scientist Galileo Galilei. The museum is located in the Palazzo dei Giudici, and is home to a collection of scientific instruments, manuscripts, and paintings.
At the Museo Galileo, you can learn about Galileo’s groundbreaking discoveries, such as his work on the laws of motion and his telescope observations of the planets. You can also see some of his original instruments, such as his famous telescope.
The museum is open every day except Monday, and it is a great place to learn about one of Florence’s most important figures. You can explore yourself or join a guided tour for more in depth explanations.
Bargello National Museum
Another museum that is definitely worth a visit in Florence is the Bargello Museum, which showcases an impressive collection of sculptures and Renaissance art. Located on Via del Proconsolo, the Bargello was once a prison, but it was converted into a museum in 1865. The museum’s collection includes works by famous artists such as Michelangelo, Donatello, and Giambologna.
The Bargello Museum is open to the public everyday with shorter hours on Tuesday, and you need a ticket to enter. If you want to avoid the crowds, be sure to visit early in the morning or later in the afternoon.
Florence Galleria dell’Accademia
Located in the heart of Florence, just a few minutes’ walk from the Duomo, is one of the city’s most popular landmarks: the Galleria dell’Accademia. This museum houses an impressive collection of Renaissance artworks, including Michelangelo’s famous statue David. Other notable works include sculptures by Donatello and paintings by Botticelli.
The Accademia Gallery is one of the busiest museums in Florence, so we recommend buying your tickets in advance to avoid long queues. You can also book a guided tour which includes skip-the-line access to the museum.
Famous Landmarks of Florence – Palaces
Palazzo Medici Riccardi
This beautiful palace was built in the 15th century for Cosimo de’ Medici, the first of the Medici family line. It is one of the first examples of Renaissance architecture and it has been home to many famous Italian families over the centuries. Today, it is a popular museum and art gallery that houses works by great artists such as Michelangelo, Donatello and Filippo Lippi.
The Palazzo Pitti was once the home of the ruling Medici family of Florence, but today, it is a popular museum and art gallery. Located on the south side of the Arno River, Palazzo Pitti has been expanded and renovated over the centuries to become one of the largest palaces in Europe. The palace is home to several museums, including the Galleria Palatina, which houses an impressive collection of paintings by Italian masters.
The Palazzo Pitti is open to the public daily from 1:30 pm to 6:30 pm. With the shorter opening hours, get a skip-the-line ticket in advance or visit early in the day to beat the crowd.
The Palazzo Vecchio is one of the most iconic landmarks in Florence. This medieval palace was once the seat of government for the Republic of Florence and now houses a museum. It features beautiful artworks by renowned artists such as Michelangelo, Donatello, and Leonardo da Vinci, and is known for its large collection of Renaissance frescoes.
You can visit this impressive palace to learn more about the rich history and admire the artworks; it comes with a multimedia video guide.
Famous Landmarks of Florence – Gardens and Parks
The Boboli Gardens are the perfect place to spend a day in Florence if you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. This beautiful park, located behind Palazzo Pitti, was once used as a private garden by the Medici family.
Nowadays, it’s one of the most popular landmarks in Florence, with visitors coming from all over to admire its beautiful fountains, sculptures, and temples. The garden is made up of several sections, including a Romantic Garden, a Naturalistic Garden, an Italian Garden, and a French Allée.
Some highlights of the Boboli Gardens include the Grotto Fountain, the Statue of Venus, the Porcellino Fountain, and the Neptune Fountain.
Other Landmarks and Buildings in Florence
Giotto’s Bell Tower
The bell tower is another important landmark in Florence, located just next to the cathedral. Completed in 1359, this octagonal tower is one of the best examples of Florentine Gothic architecture, with its white and green marble decorations. The view from the top is breathtaking, as you can enjoy a 360-degree panorama over all of Florence.
Other landmarks worth a visit in Florence include the Ponte Vecchio, a medieval stone bridge that crosses the Arno River and is lined with jewelry stores; the Palazzo Uguccioni and its stunning courtyard, which is open to the public during certain hours of the day; and Palazzo Medici Riccardi, home to one of Florence
The Baptistery of St. John
The Baptistery of St. John is located next to the Duomo in Florence. It’s one of the oldest buildings in the city, built between 1059 and 1128 in Romanesque style.
The two bronze doors by Ghiberti, named “Gates of Paradise” are definitely the highlight here: featuring numerous biblical scenes, they are considered to be among the greatest masterpieces of the Renaissance period.
Inside you can also see the beautiful pulpit by Nicola Pisano and mosaics from the Byzantine period.
The central market is another one of the local landmarks in Florence that you shouldn’t miss. This bustling indoor food market dates back to 1874 and has something for everyone.
From fresh pasta, bread, cheese, and charcuterie to organic produce, flowers, wines, and antiques, it is a lively scene. Whether you want a quick lunch or an entire dinner here, you’ll find everything you need.
It is a great place to enjoy the local hustle and bustle while indulging in some popular Italian cuisine. Don’t forget to try the Schiacciata alla Fiorentina, a delicious Tuscan flatbread that’s often served with lardo, a type of cured pork fat.
Be sure to also leverage on the exciting food tours of Florence to explore the culinary scene of this city and region.
Loggia dei Lanzi
The Loggia dei Lanzi, also known as the Loggia della Signoria, is a beautiful Renaissance loggia in Piazza della Signoria, Florence’s main square. It was built in the 14th century to house artworks and collections. It currently houses a number of sculptures by masters such as Donatello, Giambologna, Cellini, and others.
If you’re looking for some of the most iconic landmarks in Florence, you can’t miss Ponte Vecchio, also known as “the Old Bridge.” This beautiful medieval bridge over the Arno River is more than 500 years old and has always been one of the main landmarks in Florence.
Today, it remains one of the city’s symbols and is lined with jewelry shops and art galleries. If you want to enjoy the best views of Ponte Vecchio, make sure to walk to the nearby Ponte Santa Trinita, Florence’s oldest bridge.
Discovering Italian Monuments and Landmarks in Florence
Florence is one of the most architecturally rich cities in Italy. Additionally, there are countless landmarks and monuments throughout Florence that capture its long and fascinating history.
If you want to learn more about Florence’s unique history, landmarks like Piazza della Signoria and Palazzo Vecchio are great places to start. There you can explore the galleries, museums, and architecture that have helped make Florence one of the most popular tourist destinations in Italy.
With its rich history, beautiful architecture, and stunning artworks, Florence is truly a city like no other. If you find yourself in Italy, be sure to make a stop here for an unforgettable experience.
Visiting Florence – Useful Passes
When traveling in Florence, there are some transportation options that can be useful in getting around.
- Hop-on-Hop-off Bus: 1-2 days Hop-on Hop-Off bus passes on buses that runs a certain route to get to touristic points.
- Private Airport Transfer: If you are coming in or leaving by flight, the most convenient option to travel between your hotel and Florence Airport.