I am currently in the final stages of planning a visit to beautiful Florence, Italy and I am very excited. Reservations are all set, and now we are making a list of the places we must see while there. We have a full week to explore the city and take a day trip or two to the surrounding area, so our list can be pretty long. If you think I missed something important, please comment! It is not too late!
- Obviously, the Duomo is high on our list. This is Brunelleschi’s masterpiece. Here we will see the actual Duomo, the famous Baptistry with its Gates of Paradise and mosaics. There is also the Museo dell Opera del Duomo where we can see the Pieta by Michelangel amongst other exhibits. I am thinking that we will be here for a full half of a day.
- Next, we will need to spend at least a half day to 3/4 of a day at the Uffizi galleries. I am hopeful that since we will be visiting in March, the crowds will be not as oppressive as usual. Rick Steves tells me in his 2016 book on Florence and Tuscany that the Uffizi has the “greatest collection of Italian paintings anywhere” . It is particularly rich in Renaissance art by Giotto, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Titian, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, Carvaggio and more.
- The Accademia seems to be most famous for Michelangelo’s David, pictured above. It seems that we could spend a morning here visiting David, but also to see other works of Michelangelo , Buonarroti, Botticelli and others.
- This former home of the Medici family, the Pitti Palace, could take almost a full day to tour all it has to offer. We will probably pare down the visit to highlights. From what I can see the highlights are the Royal apartments themselves, the costume exhibit, the Grotta Grande cavern with statues and casts of Michelangelos slaves, the galleries of Modern art, the Boboli gardens, if weather permits, and of courst the Art galleries and the Galleria Palatina with Frescoes by Cortona. My DK Eyewitness Travel guide tells me this is “second only to the Uffizi”. Here we can see works of Raphael, Rubens, Titian Cortona and many others.
- It won’t take very long, but I can not imagine going to Florence without visiting the iconic Ponte Vechio bridge. My husband will love taking photos here.
- The Bargello Museum will be worth a visit of a few hours. It is built in a former police station and houses an impressive sculpture collection. Here we can find multiple works of Michelangelo, Donatello, Cellini and Giambologna.
- The Museo di San Marco is located near the Accademia, so we may visit this on the same day. This is a a 15th century monastery which is known for its incredible collection of art by the Renaissance master, Fra Angelico. Frescoes and paintings are located throughout the building, and upstairs are 43 cells decorated with Renaissance art.
- We will have to visit the Piazzalle area so that we can see this beautiful view! The husband will have a lot of fun with his camera up there!
- A day trip to Siena is a definite on our list. The Duomo is such a famous sight, as is the Il Campo square in the photo above.
- San Gimigano will be a great day trip as well. This well preserved Medieval town is a very popular excursion out of Florence, but I am hoping the crowds will be lighter in winter.
- We are also considering visits to Assisi, Cortona or the Chianti area. We will see if we have enough time!
I am very excited to visit Florence for the first time! If you have any suggestions for me to add on my list, I would love to hear them! I will report back after our visit this winter.