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Things to see in Florence

Tourist offices

Azienda di Promozione Turistica (APT)

Address:
Tel:
Opening Hours:

Mon-Sat 0900-1800.

Website: http://www.firenzeturismo.it

The main tourist office in Florence distributes maps and information. It also sells passes and tickets. You can also find a tourist information desk in the airport arrivals hall and Santa Maria Novella train station.

Attractions

Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens

Built for the wealthy Pitti family in 1440, this sprawling palace now houses six different museums. The best two are the misleadingly named Gallery of Modern Art which houses Florentine art from the 18th and 19th centuries and the Galleria Palatina with Rubens, Titian and Raphael wrapped in heavy gilt frames. Few make it to the Costume Gallery, Silver Museum and Porcelain Museum and visitors at saturation point should head to the wonderful Boboli Gardens, a haven of fountains, grottoes and shady walks.

Opening Hours:

Tue-Sun 0815-1850.

Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No
Address:
Website: http://www.sbas.fi.it/english/musei/palazzopitti

Uffizi Gallery

The Medici art collection, housed in the majestic, 16th-century Uffizi Palace, is one of the most important accumulations of art in the world. It is too vast to tackle on a single visit, but don’t miss Botticelli’s mythological masterpieces, The Birth of Venus and Primavera, nor Leonardo Da Vinci’s Annunciation if you’re short of time.

Opening Hours:

Tue-Sun 0815-1850.

Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No
Address:
Website: http://www.uffizi.org

Duomo (Cathedral)

Brunelleschi’s gravity-defying dome dominates the Florence skyline and defines the city. The double-skinned roof that sits atop the city’s rose-coloured cathedral was an architectural breakthrough and remains the largest self-supporting dome since the classical era. Despite the lavish pink, white and green marble frontage, the cathedral’s cavernous interior is surprisingly free from decoration.

Opening Hours:

Mon-Fri 10-1700, Sat 1000-1645, Sun 1330-1645.

Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No
Address:
Website: http://www.ilgrandemuseodelduomo.it

Gallerie dell'Accademia (Accademia Gallery)

While Florence offers a panoply of art, most people associate the city with just one masterpiece – Michelangelo’s David. Crafted when the artist was only 29 years old, the huge statue, carved from a single block of marble in 1502, occupies pride of place in the city’s Accademia Gallery.

Opening Hours:

Tue-Sun 0815-1850.

Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No
Address:
Website: http://www.accademia.org

Ponte Vecchio (Vecchio Bridge)

Home to Florence’s gold and silversmiths since 1563, this famous 14th-century bridge is literally lined with gold, and is a prime shopping trap for tourists today. High above the shops is the Corridoio Vasariano, a secret passage that links the Uffizi Gallery to the Pitti Palace but can only be visited by prior appointment.

Opening Hours:

Daily 24 hours.

Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No
Address:
Website:

Museo Nazionale del Bargello (Bargello National Museum)

The grim façade of the Palazzo del Bargello, formerly the city’s jail and torture chamber, is a daunting introduction to Tuscany’s most impressive collection of Renaissance sculpture. Masterpieces by Cellini, Donatello and Michelangelo are arranged over three floors and overflow into the Palace’s handsome courtyard.

Opening Hours:

Tue-Sat 0815-1700.

Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No
Address:
Website: http://www.polomuseale.firenze.it/musei/bargello

Santa Croce

Some of Italy’s most gifted men are buried in this elegant Franciscan church, including Michelangelo (whose body was smuggled out of Rome in a packing case), Machiavelli, Galileo, Rossini and Ghiberti. Dante’s tomb lies empty – the forefather of Italian literature died in Ravenna and the city refused to return his corpse.

Opening Hours:

Mon-Sun 0930-1700.

Admission Fees:

Yes (combined ticket with Museum Santa Croce).

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No
Address:
Website: http://www.santacroceopera.it

Santa Maria Novella

The zebra-striped façade of the Santa Maria Novella church, completed in 1470, is one of Florence’s most dramatic frontages. Its graceful scrolls, gothic arches and classical pediments combine to make a standout building in a city of wonderful architecture. Inside is Masaccio’s Holy Trinity (1427), a fresco displaying an outstanding use of perspective.

Opening Hours:

Mon-Thu 0900-1730, Fri 1100-1730, Sat 0900-1700, Sun 1200-1700.

Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No
Address:
Website: http://www.chiesasantamarianovella.it

Museo Novecento

Showcasing a wealth of 20th-century art across 15 exhibition areas, this innovative museum celebrates the creative sparks of the 1900s. Working back from the 1990s, it’s a chronological journey of paintings, sculptures and installations by the likes of Giorgio De Chirico, Giorgio Morandi and Emilio Vedova. The top floor has a fascinating cinematic depiction of Florence.

Opening Hours:

Sat-Mon 1000-2100, Wed 1000-2100, Thu 1000-1400, Fri 1000-2300.

Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No
Address:
Website: http://www.museonovecento.it

Cappelle Medicee (Medici Chapels)

Built by the powerful Medici family to serve as their mausoleums, entering the Medici Chapels feels like stepping into a large jewellery box. The Chapel of the Princes is decorated with semi-precious stones and dotted with works of art, while Michelangelo designed the New Sacristy.

Opening Hours:

Daily 0815-1800.

Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No
Address:
Website: http://www.cappellemedicee.it