fun things to do in Florence, Italy

As the beating heart of Tuscany and a melting pot of history from Medieval to Renaissance, world-class food, and endless manmade and natural beauty, Florence should sit high atop any traveler’s European bucket list.

Whether you’re looking for masterpieces of Renaissance art and architecture, or a taste of Tuscan life and delights, you have many places to visit in Florence. This beautiful city has an abundance and finesse in terms of tourist attractions, as well as culinary traditions.

Take a day trip to Cinque Terre or wine country in Chianti, or maneuver a Ferrari, a Vespa scooter or a paraglider. Whichever adventure you choose, the quality of things to do in Florence is guaranteed to leave you wanting more.

1 – Admire World Heritage treasures at Piazza del Duomo

Piazza del Duomo, Florence

Begin your discovery of the city’s marvels at Piazza del Duomo (Cathedral Square), right at the heart of the Historic Center of Florence — a UNESCO World Heritage site showcasing the magnificence of Renaissance art and architecture.

This popular square is a treasure trove of Florentine creativity. Your head will spin trying to see everything before Brunelleschi’s Dome catches your eye.

Climb the Dome to look down at the world-renowned works of art — the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, the Baptistery of St. John and the Campanile of Giotto (Bell Tower) to name a few.

Admire famous Renaissance artworks at the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo (Opera del Duomo Museum) for famous artworks like the original Gates of Paradise!

2 – Explore the massive Pitti Palace

Pitti Palace, Florence

The intimidating 15th-century palace was once a homestead and treasure house.

But after it was soon inhabited by the Medici Royal Family it quickly became a symbol of power — with plenty of secrets within its walls.

All four sections of the palace showcase the expansive riches of the family through artifacts and artworks by the likes of Raphael, Titian and more. You can find these paintings at the Palantine Gallery, on the same floor where the Imperial and Royal Apartments are situated.

Right above them, you can find the Gallery of Modern Art and the Museum of Costume and Fashion. Admire the decorative arts collection of the family at the Treasury of the Grand Dukes located on the ground floor.

Read more about Pitti Palace tickets price.

3 – Relax and refresh at the Boboli Gardens

Boboli Gardens, Florence

There’s no visit to the Pitti Palace without checking out the Boboli Gardens.

These original European gardens just behind the palace are teeming with manicured greenery, old oak trees, sculptures, and fountains — all under that toasty Florentine sun!

Spot Bernardo Buontalenti’s popular grotto which looks familiar to those who read Dan Brown’s novel “Inferno.”

Visitors also love the foliage turning brown in the fall and the fragrant flowers in the spring!

While you’re there, don’t forget to check out the Porcelain Museum, a sight packed with delicate tableware belonging to the Royal Families of old.

4 – Travel through time at Palazzo Vecchio

Palazzo Vecchio, Florence

Explore this palace museum that was once the town hall of Florence. Palazzo Vecchio which means “The Old Palace” was named by Duke Medici when he moved his residence to Pitti Palace.

Discover magnificent chambers and courtyards decorated with artworks by Renaissance artists like Michelangelo and Donatello.

No visit is complete without exploring the hidden corridors and stairways — look for a path hidden behind a painting!

Aside from discovering secret paths within those chambers, you can also spot ancient Roman ruins in this museum.

Then, find the replica Statue of David at Piazza della Signoria and wander the Corinthian capitals at the Loggia Dei Lanzi.

Read more about Palazzo Vecchio tickets price.

5 – Walk a secret passageway at the Vasari Corridor

Vasari Corridor, Florence

Connecting the “Old Palace” to Palazzo Pitti, this enclosed elevated path walk was named after Giorgio Vasari whom Medici hired to build it — so the duke could walk safely between his residence and the government palace.

The Vasari Corridor starts at the bustling Uffizi Gallery. Prepare for an eerie silence as you’re flanked by self-portraits of artists, before the vibe changes as you pass by Ground Zero of the 1993 attack.

If you continue walking through the passage, you will return to magical Florence and be greeted by beautiful views all the way until you reach Palazzo Vecchio!

6 – Follow Professor Langdon on an Inferno tour

Dan Brown's Inferno tour in Florence

Fans of the hit Dan Brown novel and Tom Hanks movie, as well as fans of Dante’s original Divine Comedy, will love this!

Visit the sites Professor Langdon, Brown’s fictional character in his book series, went to crack the codes and solve the mysteries — including the Hall of Geographical Maps, the Florence Baptistery and see the actual death mask of Dante himself!

Discover historic monuments and squares, as you walk along with your guide who will narrate the stories and secrets of this Renaissance city.

7 – Spot ‘The Birth of Venus’ at the Uffizi Gallery

Uffizi Gallery, Florence

Walking through this treasure trove of instantly-recognizable masterpieces is one of the most popular things to do in Florence!

See Venus emerge from the clamshell in the flesh (or in the canvas) and examine its intricate detail in every facial feature and fabric fold.

One of Italy’s greatest art museums, Uffizi showcases a rich collection of sculptures of Roman art and exquisite paintings from Medieval to Renaissance. The gallery also displays architectural masterpieces in its rooms, staircases and corridors.

Read more about Ufizzi Gallery tickets price and learn how to find the best Uffizi Gallery guided tours.

8 – Ride the Tuscan Hills on a vintage Vespa

vespa tour in Florence

Tour the city in style while driving this classic scooter made by a famous Italian luxury brand Vespa.

Start by zipping through Florence’s narrow streets and up to the hills until you reach panoramic views from the Church of San Miniato al Monte!

As you head into the poppy and vineyard-laden country with the wind in your face, don’t miss the chance to soak up the atmosphere by stopping for an Italian lunch — as classic as your ride!

9 – Rent a Ferrari for a day

Ferrari driving in Florence

Italians and fast sports cars are a match made in a rev-head’s heaven!

Visit the Ferrari museum on a day trip to Bologna and explore this Emiglia-Romagna city famous for its meaty sauce ragu and covered corridors or porticos.

Make sure to discover some artworks and architectural masterpieces, such as Piazza Maggiore before heading back to Florence.

But nothing truly compares to feeling the steering wheel in your hands and hearing the engine purr as you roar through the countryside.

If you’ve ever wanted to drive one of these spectacular cars, this is your chance to drive the Ferrari Spider on the charming roads of Tuscany!

10 – Get the city’s rundown on a hop-on hop-off bus

Florence hop-on hop-off bus tour

Get your camera ready for the views of Florence from an open-air, double-decker bus!

On the bus, enjoy the detailed audio tour giving you the rundown on all the things to do in Florence — before you jump off at whichever stops take your fancy!

There’s always another bus nearby to hop on again to resume your tour.

These buses take you to more than 40 famous sites and attractions, with routes within the city or the outskirts — of course, you can go both.

You can choose from one- to three-day passes, so you can plan where to go and when.

11 – Behold the splendor of Basilica di Santa Maria Novella

Santa Maria Novella, Florence

Whether you want to marvel at Gothic-Renaissance architecture or perform a religious deed, visiting the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella is one of the symbolic things to do in Florence.

Fulfilling both interests, this place serves also as a museum showcasing magnificent artworks aside from the church’s facade, including the Chapel of Filippo Strozzi and frescos like the Holy Trinity by Tommaso Guidi.

Amid the overwhelming grandiosity of this enormous space, your eyes won’t miss Giotto’s “The Crucifix” hung at the center of the church.

12 – Go on a treasure hunt

scavenger game in Florence

After a thrilling, fast-paced tour of Florence — with prizes at the end — add the treasure hunt to your bucket list!

Follow maps, clues and your intuitions, as you speed through the humming city to complete challenges and find some of its quirkier sites.

Treasure hunts are often themed such as the animal art hunt and family-friendly Medici family hunt!

13 – Cross the Ponte Vecchio

Ponte Vecchio, Florence

Holding the Vasari Corridor that connects the Vecchio and Pitti palaces, this historic bridge is miraculous.

The oldest of its kind in Europe, this stone bridge has withstood everything since reconstruction after being destroyed by the flood in 1345.

Among the bridges over the Arno River, Ponte Vecchio is the only one to survive the Second World War.

Crossing this Medieval bridge — considered the city’s historical good luck charm — is one of the essential things to do in Florence.

Browse the shops along the passageway for some of the best jewelry, artworks and other types of souvenirs from the city.

14 – Revel in the best of Florence’s street art

street art tour in Florence

There’s more to Florence than Renaissance and fine art. The bohemian art scene is just as impressive!

Once on the other side of Ponte Vecchio, you can find impressive street art as you explore Piazza Pitti in Oltrarno.

Let a tour guide take you through the highlights — often hidden masterpieces in unassuming small streets — while pointing out the workshops, bars and cafes full of budding up-and-coming artists!

Maybe you’ll be inspired to take up a class?

15 – Go on a wine and food trip to the Chianti

Chianti wine tour from Florence

Hop on a 4×4 through the Tuscan hills where you experience only the best wonderful wineries and vintage villas!

There are more Chianti pairs than liver and fava beans! Visitors love the olive oils and balsamic vinegar on rustic Italian bread, paired, of course, with Chianti wines.

If time is a challenge to go for a day trip, join a half-day tour from Florence to visit two wineries, meet the winemakers and sample their wines and unique products.

Explore this beautiful mountainous area and experience some of the finest flavors in Tuscany, as you’re surrounded by vineyards and olive trees.

With the stunning hilly countryside in every direction, it’s a must-do.

Read more about the best day trips from Florence.

16 – Take a foodie tour of Florence

food tour in Florence

Start by letting your nose be your guide at San Lorenzo Market and seeing what tickles your taste buds!

As you keep discovering Florence, uncover the local culinary specialties and just what makes them so special — rich coffee, rustic bread, deli sandwiches, cheese, olive oil, gelato, and of course, wine!

After satisfying your cravings at the delis, head to a wine shop or what Italians call “enoteca”. Your guide will show you some traditional pairings with local cheeses and meats to match your Tuscan wine.

And of course, nobody forgets the gelato! You might need to queue up for a bit if you’re aiming for the most popular flavors.

17 – Climb the Torre Grossa at San Gimignano

San Gimignano trip from Florence

The heritage-listed medieval town can be a little off the beaten path as it takes a half-day trip from Florence, but San Gimignano has plenty to offer worthy of a visit.

Heading towards this small walled village situated on top of a hill over 300 meters above sea level, you can easily spot the towers.

These are the remaining ones out of the 72 towers built by rich families to symbolize their feudal economic power during the Renaissance period.

Climb the tallest tower Torre Grossa with 214 steps to conquer — for breathtaking scenery!

18 – See the workings of a genius at the Leonardo da Vinci Museum

Leonardo da Vinci Museum, Florence

The ultimate Renaissance man is the prime example of a universal genius — a writer, inventor and artist.

Discover over 50 of his actual machine codes and models based on them which actually work at Leonardo Da Vinci Museum, located right at the heart of Florence, a three-minute walk from Piazza del Duomo.

Witness these in action along with the other exhibits (and an intriguing documentary) and appreciate that there’s never been another mind like da Vinci — so far in the history of humankind.

19 – Sample the best of Tuscany’s wines

Tuscany wine tasting tour

Wine in Tuscany isn’t a drink, it’s a way of life!

Experience a bit of the lifestyle in the breathtaking hills and villages on a day trip from Florence — some of the most visited places are Pienza and Montepulciano.

The artistic heritage of these beautiful villages forms an integral part of the final product you drink from your glass while gazing over the Italian countryside.

When you see what goes into every bottle, it’ll taste even better!

Aside from sampling various wines, indulge your taste buds in local delis with olives, cheese, bruschetta and more.

20 – Cycle through Florence (but stop for gelato)

bike tour in Florence

Weave around the Florentine traffic and major roads into pedestrian areas and laneways, off the routine tourist trail on an eco-friendly bike.

Your guide will make sure you don’t get lost along the way and you get a pitstop at all the highlights — which naturally includes a gelato break!

Most bike tours take two hours and include must-see and iconic locations, including the Riccardi Medici Palace, Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral, Piazza della Signoria and Palazzo Vecchio.

Follow the route towards the Arno River and stop at the Ponte Vecchio for souvenir artwork or jewelry. Explore the surroundings of the “Old Palace” and discover some street art along the way.

21 – Go horse riding through Tuscany

horse-riding through Tuscany

If the windows of a bus or 4×4 aren’t your thing, consider a horseback ride through the lush olive groves and vineyards instead.

If you book a tour, you can have a pickup from a hotel for a less than an hour ride to the stables. Meet your horse and get a safety orientation. Beginners are welcome! No prior experience is required.

Complete your adventure with a traditional lunch and wine pairing! You can visit two wineries and sample different wines, as included in most horse riding tours.

22 – Cruise down the Arno River on a barchetto

Arno River cruise on a barchetto

Glide through the Arno River on Florence’s version of a gondola called barchetto, a traditional small rowing boat, and admire the city in a romantic way.

This one-hour cruise takes you under the Ponte Vecchio and the charming Uffizi, Corridor Vasari and Palazzo Corsini from the river.

Let a Florentine boatman — steering this wooden boat with a long pole — bring you back to the times when it was used to transport construction materials for building the city walls.

Sail in the calm water with a prosecco in hand and bask in the Italian sun, while hearing the tales of the town and the river that runs through its heart!

23 – Experience Florence from a hot-air balloon

hot-air balloon ride in Florence

Is there a better view of the Tuscan countryside than a bird’s-eye view at 6,000-feet, as the sun begins to rise? The scenery from high up in the clouds is second-to-none — certainly worth the early wakeup.

See for yourself the arrangement of buildings and road grids, tracing the old walls that used to enclose the city. Notice the elaborate patterns and designs of the majestic lush gardens accentuating the dominating brown bricks.

And, of course, the champagne breakfast after landing is the cherry on top!

Whether you’re celebrating a special day or taking your partner to a romantic moment, this one-hour flight over the Renaissance city offers a chance for “rebirth.”

24 – Go rafting down the San Niccolo dam

rafting in Florence

There are plenty of options for stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking through Florence — with tourists falling in love with the magical sunsets as it beams through the city’s arches!

Nature lovers and adventure seekers, go for urban rafting down the Arno River towards the San Niccolo dam for a little extra thrill.

While paddling an inflatable boat, take time to admire the scenery and famous monuments from the river — like when you’re passing under the Ponte Vecchio.

In most tours, you get to sip an aperitif and simply cherish a remarkable experience.

25 – Adore Florence from above — while skydiving

skydiving in Florence

Anyone chasing the ultimate thrill? You can’t get a more adrenaline-pumping, heart-in-mouth experience than skydiving!

Jump off a plane up to 10,000 feet above the ground with a tandem instructor. You have a minute of free fall which, for most people, was an amazing moment. It’s a perfect time to appreciate the beauty of Florence and the Tuscan hills.

Skydiving over Chianti will satisfy that need for amazing Florence views.

Alternatively, skydiving over nearby Bologna has the added historical perk of following the footsteps of the heroic Allied paratroopers in World War II’s Battle of Bologna.

26 – Bottle your own perfume

perfume workshop in Florence

Florence has a rich history of perfumeries, dating back to the Renaissance alchemists who tried curing ailments with fragrant ingredients!

Nowadays, since Italy is a hub of perfume, why not learn a little about the process by visiting a laboratory?

While it will be a learning experience for you, you can also create your very own one-of-a-kind scent to take home!

One sniff will take you back to Florence in an instant.

27 – See the historic Hospital of the Innocents

Hospital of Innocents, Florence

For over 600 years, Ospedale degli Innocenti or Hospital of the Innocents has housed not only fine arts but, most importantly, thousands of orphans or what Italians called “innocents” of the city.

See the famous window where the infants were left by their parents. Most of them were believed to be illegitimate children of noble people or offsprings of poor parents who could not support them.

Famous for its arcade facade, the building was the first project of Filippo Brunelleschi, a pioneer in Renaissance architecture.

Visit the onsite museum and gallery to learn how Ospedale also depicts the Renaissance ideas of humanism and childcare — one of the oldest running institutions in the world.

28 – Pose with Michelangelo’s David at the Accademia Gallery

Accademia Gallery, Florence

Although the statue of David is the most iconic masterpiece here, Although David is the most iconic masterpiece here, Accademia Gallery has more to offer.

Having the most number of Michelangelo’s works in the world, it’s one of the best museums in Florence to visit!

Browse the gallery’s collection of paintings from the Medieval, late-Gothic, Renaissance to Realism and Impressionism.

Learn about various painting techniques, including gold ground and egg tempera which use egg yolk and pigments.

Music lovers can rush straight to the Department of Musical Instruments to find the original Medici violin, collection of elegant wind instruments and the predecessors of the modern piano!

Read more about Accademia Gallery tickets price.

29 – Get a snapshot of Florence at the Bargello Museum

Bargello Museum, Florence

Now an art museum, this impressive building was formerly a police headquarters, a prison and a palace — a setting for a bunch of Florence’s most significant events!

Located in Palazzo del Bargello, this national museum houses various sculptures and statues. Gaze at the walls decorated with coats of arms of the highest Italian official, and look up at the porticos filled with patterns and symbols of the city’s district governments.

Visitors will be amazed by the historical tour of the building, before delving into the art exhibits with works by Michelangelo and Raphael, just to name a few.

30 – Muse upon the monuments at Medici Chapels

Medici Chapels, Florence

The Royal Family’s church of choice, as well as its resting place, is a venue absolutely fit for a king!

Wherever your eyes look — from the floors to the ceilings — the building shows off the grandeur of the family.

The mausoleum is a rare instance of Florentine Baroque art, and some of Michelangelo’s finest sculptures are in the family tomb too.

These marble sculptures include symbolic human figures representing the dukes of Nemours and Urbino, as well as the “Medici Madonna.”

31 – Keep watching the skies at Galileo Museum

Galileo Museum, Florence

Get a glimpse into the Father of Modern Science, who was tried by the Inquisition for his radical idea that the Earth goes around the sun.

The museum is devoted to Galileo’s great scientific advances — particularly in astronomy — with early telescopes, compasses and models used to observe and map the night sky!

Experience the progress of science from ancient times through artifacts collected by the Medici family and Lorraine dynasty, such as celestial globes, thermometers, chemistry cabinet and winter plate electrical machine.

Check out the library if you want to learn more about what you have seen in the museum. It’s mainly used for research and study, but visitors can browse the database of digital versions of books, manuscripts, photos and more.

32 – Stroll the villages of Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre trip from Florence

If you only have time for one day trip, make it to Cinque Terre.

Here, the cliffs along the Italian Riviera hold five gorgeous fishing villages, beaming with color.

Immerse yourself in the villages by strolling through them, then choose between taking a train to the next village or hiking the spectacular seaside trail.

Camera at the ready — the preserved nature and the candy-colored houses of the villages are to die for!

33 – Visit the San Marco Museum and its famous frescoes

San Marco Museum, Florence

History lovers, take note. In this pristine 15th-century convent, you can get a taste of how ancient monks once lived.

This grand building — complete with a fine library, garden and captivating frescoes on its walls — was designed to evoke a simple life where the monks could concentrate on spirituality.

This spiritual aura still rings true today.

34 – Learn to make the local dishes

pizza cooking class in Florence

Sure, you’ve been loving the Florentine food, but where will you find stuff this good back home?

Impress yourself (and any dinner party guests) by taking a cooking class and learning the tricks of the trade from a passionate local chef!

Take a class at the historic center of Florence to learn how to make handmade pasta, gelato and other popular Italian desserts. Your lunch or dinner is definitely covered.

Think bruschetta, pasta, pork, pizza, tiramisu — washed down with Tuscan wine, of course!

35 – Hold up the Leaning Tower of Pisa

Leaning Tower of Pisa trip from Florence

Take that picture.

Pisa isn’t far from Florence, and, on the way, you can check out plenty of charming towns and villages!

Visitors love Lucca and its immense city walls designed by Leonardo da Vinci.

Meanwhile, inside the city is just as historic and attractive.

With marble churches, retro houses, narrow streets and low numbers of tourists, what’s not to love?

36 – Watch the opera at Santa Monaca Church

opera concert in Florence

Art aficionados, culture queens and kings, get your tickets!

Catching an Italian opera in a gorgeous 15th-century church could only be more quintessentially Florentine — if you’d go to get gelato for dessert afterward!

Formerly a monastery of the Augustinians, the church is now used for concerts, exhibits and other cultural events.

Witness and be amused by wonderful performances of famous arias such as the ones by Bellini, Mozart and Rossini.

The acoustics, decor, costume, music and choreography will delight the ears and souls of anyone lucky enough to be in the audience.

37 – Refine your wardrobe at Mall Firenze

Mall Firenze

Italy is still the fashion capital!

Shoppers love the Mall Firenze offering the best designer labels such as Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, and Roberto Cavalli with their prices slashed.

Over 40 minutes drive from the historic center of Florence, the luxury outlet mall provides a direct bus that runs daily with four trips from Florence starting at 8:50 a.m. and five from the mall until 7:20 p.m.

Outlet Barberino, on the other hand, is a shopping village with over 100 shops offering Italian and international branded fashion at up to 70% off along with a playground, bars and restaurants!

38 – Drive the countryside in a vintage Fiat 500

Fiat 500 tour from Florence

Italians have loved this car since the 1950s, and once you get behind the wheel, you’ll quickly understand why.

Grab your stylish 1960s model Fiat 500 from the garage and hit the road in your sweet ride for the day!

While your guide speaks through your radio, the surprisingly powerful vehicle will have no trouble conquering the hilly countryside as you explore.

Pass by or stop over for snapshots at iconic landmarks, including Piazzale Michelango, Basilica San Miniato al Monte, Villa Pian dei Giullari and Villa del Poggio Imperiale.

Popular self-drive vintage fiat tours include a traditional meal with local delis (such as crostini and salami) at a classic house in Chianti with an amazing Tuscany scenery.

39 – Roam around the historic center on a Segway

segway tour in Florence

First-timers will be amazed at how simple a Segway is to ride! After a few minutes, it becomes second nature.

As an entertaining tour guide leads travelers through narrow streets, town squares and bridges, it’s the perfect chance to discover every part of the city.

Best of all, the guide gives a local’s perspective on Florence, full of anecdotes, insider’s stories and handy tips!

40 – Get souvenirs or groceries at San Lorenzo Market

San Lorenzo Market, Florence

With an outdoor section dedicated to clothes, souvenirs and leather goods to buy for friends, this market has two interior levels for food — glorious food.

Located in San Lorenzo square, this historic market where leather products take a spotlight is bustling and teeming with tourists — it never sleeps!

The ground floor is geared toward groceries for travelers with kitchens, otherwise, the top floor’s food court (Mercato Centrale) is great for eat-in or takeaway!

41 – Go paragliding off Mount Bargiglio

paragliding near Florence

Want to fly over Tuscany like the native birds?

Glide from the top of the mountain and see the expansive countryside beneath you with a paragliding adventure!

In tandem with a certified pilot, you will take off at 700 meters above sea level on Monte Bargiglio. You can choose between flying the paraglider yourself to control the flight, or simply letting the instructor take control — while you get that perfect picture of the awesome views!

Your soft-landing will be near your meeting point with the instructor.

42 – Glance at the Florence skyline from Piazzale Michelangelo

Piazzale Michelangelo, Florence

Whether at sunrise, sunset, midday or midnight, the views of Florence are magical!

You can walk, ride or drive to the top for the view — best enjoyed over a drink and a plate of food. La Loggia has a coffee bar slinging great espresso and a restaurant complete with a terrace if you’re after recommendations.

Besides the impressive sight, Piazzale Michelangelo also boasts a replica of Michelangelo’s David.

43 – Get up to Basilica San Miniato al Monte

Basilica San Miniato al Monte, Florence

Another brilliant vantage point of Florence, the Basilica San Miniato al Monte is not only higher up than Piazzale Michelangelo, but also offers more to explore!

Located on one of the city’s highest points, the church displays a fine Romanesque-style architectural design — among the best in Tuscany.

The green and white marble church — with a 13th-century golden mosaic in its central window — is a work of art in itself.

Meanwhile, the cemetery (one of the oldest in Florence) has some intricate statues and is the resting place of Carlo Collodi, creator of Pinocchio!

44 – Try truffle beer at Mercato Centrale

Mercato Centrale, Florence

This market is where food meets art!

Some quirkier finds are Il Tartufo, a display of Tuscany’s love for truffles that puts them in everything from pasta to beer — and Il Lampredotto, home of the famous beef tripe sandwich!

If that’s a little too odd for your tastebuds, indulge in various flavors of pasta, pizza, seafood, and beer and wine selections created by local artisans.

This vibrant food court has served as the country’s hub of culinary traditions.

45 – Witness a tale of revenge at Strozzi Palace

Strozzi Palace, Florence

Little did the Medicis know when they exiled the Strozzi family that the Strozzis would return to show up the Medicis!

In the 16th century, they finished building the biggest, swankiest palace in the city — importantly, larger than Palazzo Medici!

The owner Filippo Strozzi passed away in 1491, almost 50 years before the construction was completed. In the same year, Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici seized it and he only returned it to the family three decades later.

The Strozzi family also vowed to display art for the public, which the house continues to do to this day!

Check out its calendar for current and upcoming art exhibitions, and it also offers guided tours and audio guides for individual visitors.

46 – See the antiques and weapons at the Stibbert Museum

Stibbert Museum, Florence

Walking into the house-museum is a jump back in time from modern Florence and into the 19th century!

The rooms are lifelike and made up as if Stibbert himself should be home, sipping coffee in the other room.

Additionally, there are 50,000 pieces that formed his collection — including the Egyptian temple over the lake!

47 – Revere the ‘Journey of the Magi’ at Riccardi Medici Palace

Riccardi Medici Palace, Florence

One of Florence’s oldest mansions, the pearl of this intractable 15th-century building is the Chapel of the Magi inside.

There, visitors will be treated to a series of attractive frescoes of the biblical Cavalcade of the Magi done by Benozzo Gozzoli, whose face appears in the fresco.

Don’t forget to roam the palace’s libraries and columns while you’re there!

48 – Dress to impress at the Gucci Museum and Garden

Gucci Museum and Garden, Florence

For fashion-centric things to do in Florence, look no further!

History and style combine as the accessories and clothes on display showcase the evolution of Italian fashion and lifestyle in a way only Gucci can!

Situated at Piazza della Signoria, Gucci Garden houses a boutique and a bookstore, with an elegantly designed restaurant Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura next to it. Just within the plaza, you can sit for a coffee or a cocktail at its all-day cafe, Giardino 25.

Don’t forget to swing by the gift shop, where the designer items are anything but tacky!

49 – Hunt for truffles (and eat what you catch)

truffles hunting tour from Florence

Lean into the Italian fascination for truffles by getting your hands dirty on a truffle hunt!

Join a professional hunter and his cute dog on a trip through the hills of Montefiesole, and learn the trade secrets, and pick (and eat) what you find!

After you’ll have worked up an appetite, take the chance to indulge in a well-earned classic truffle pasta and wine combo — or you might also have a delicious dessert!

50 – Cure what ails you at Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella

Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, Florence

This herbal pharmacy has been bottling aromatic cures and delectable scents since its founding by Dominican monks in 1221!

Visitors will first notice the potpourri as they enter, but there are plenty more for sale and on display.

Its expertise in cosmetics and health products sprang from the cultivation of a garden of aromatic plants at the convent of Santa Maria Novella.

Browse the Firenze 1221 editions of colognes, body cream and bath gel among other body care items — and step back in time with classic fragrance.

Make your way to the back room where the pharmacy concocts its own herbal tea!

51 – Have the gelato at Vivoli

Vivoli gelato in Florence

It’s bold to claim one of Florence’s myriad of incredible gelaterias is the cream of the crop, but the verdict is in and it’s Vivoli!

Since 1930, the same family has been pedaling the best gelato in Florence, with flavors chosen daily based on the fresh ingredients coming into the store.

Taking pride in not using additives and preservatives in its products, Vivoli promises to offer genuine flavors from real ingredients.

Cake and ice cream sounds perfect, right? Pair your ice cream with some “Vivoli style” pastries, cakes, cookies, rice puddings and tarts. Make sure to try its other specialties such as the Semifreddo (semi-frozen desserts) and the affogato (coffee cream).

You won’t stop at one scoop!

52 – Have a millefoglie at Caffe Gilli

Caffe Gilli, Florence

Florence’s oldest cafe has had plenty of time — almost 300 years in fact — to perfect its craft. The results are the best cakes and pastries in town!

Over the years, Gilli has been serving its customers with traditional Italian flavors by using the finest ingredients.

The millefoglie, a feather-light vanilla custard slice, is to die for! You might as well order one at the bar with a cup of coffee. Otherwise, you’ll be paying a pretty penny to sit inside!

53 – Browse the Medicea Laurenziana Library at the Basilica di San Lorenzo

Basilica di San Lorenzo, Florence

The Basilica di San Lorenzo, Florence’s oldest church, appears unassuming with its unfinished facade.

But inside, the church is full of stunning artwork and acts as the resting place of the artist Donatello.

Bibliophiles will light up at the vintage library designed by Michelangelo himself, one containing 3,000 original manuscripts.

Why so many? So the Medicis could demonstrate they were also people of learning (not just wealth).

54 – Explore the Forte di Belvedere

Forte di Belvedere, Florence

The star-shaped and near-impenetrable fortress is a stunning art gallery and exhibition center with views of Florence to boot!

Speaking of stars, the fortress is so beautiful it was chosen by Kim Kardashian and Kanye West as their wedding venue!

Built in the 16th century to protect the city from any attacks, Forte Belvedere today hosts major art exhibitions and cultural events. Check out the website for updates!

55 – Buy the Castello di Sammezzano

Castello di Sammezzano, Florence

Anyone looking for an Italian summer home?

The hey-day of this Moorish-oriental castle has long passed and it is left to deteriorate without an owner. Still, it’s certainly worth a visit.

Volunteers sometimes run tours of the grand structure, where they tell the sad story of this building that waits longingly for its owner to come and save it from ruin.

56 – Hear the Jewish story at the Synagogue

Synagogue and Jewish Museum of Florence

Florence’s Jewish history is both fascinating and tragic, with a story as iconic as the brilliant green-dome synagogue that sits on Via Luigi Carlo Farini.

With ghettos, emancipation, German occupation and modern-day renewal — the tumultuous tale of the small community that refused to fall apart in the face of danger is uplifting and powerful.

Having various initiatives for its restoration, the building also displays ceremonial objects significant to Judaism.

57 – Watch the Calcio Storico at Basilica of Santa Croce

Basilica of Santa Croce, Florence

Outside of the usual beauty and artistry expected of the city, you can find the resting place of Michelangelo, Rossini, Machiavelli and Galileo Galilei — at the largest Franciscan church, the Basilica di Santa Croce.

However, visitors who are lucky enough to be here in June will see four local neighborhood teams compete in a Calcio Storico tournament. It’s a historical sport combining football, rugby and wrestling — in front of the church!

The Piazza Santa Croce is believed to be the venue where this sport, as well as a celebration of Florence, started during the Middle Ages.

58 – Dance the night away in Florence’s rooftop bars

rooftop party in Florence

Who’s ready to party it up amid the wild Florentine nightlife?!

The best views come from the Grand Hotel Minerva rooftop bar where you can watch the sunset with a cocktail and some nibbles.

The swimming pool and live music at the very-chill Empireo Rooftop is a hit. And for those looking to dance, the weekend DJ sets at Angel Rooftop bring plenty of energy!

Some bars worthy to check out for their great truffle beers include Pint of View, Birreria Fiorentina and The Joshua Tree Pub.

Whatever you prefer, rooftop or not, what matters is that you’re having the best flavors and fun in one of the most beautiful cities in Italy.

Thanks for checking out our exciting list of fun things to do in Florence, Italy! If you have anything you’d like to add to the collection, feel free to leave a comment below.

Where to go next? Check out our list of the best places to visit in Italy.

Happy travels!