With its grand architecture and rich art scene, and set in the picturesque Italian region of Tuscany, Florence has long proved a hit among discerning holidaymakers. There is plenty to see and do and if you only have a couple of days there, it’s well worth doing your research first so you don’t miss out on any of the best bits of this magnificent Italian city.
For example, short breaks to Florence are not complete without taking in the grandeur of the city’s Duomo. The building is famed for its terracotta-tiled dome, which was completed in the 15th century. This remains the biggest masonry structure of its kind in the world. The building took a total of six centuries to complete and its impressive façade was not finished until 1887. Close to the Duomo is the Battistero, a charming octagonal building that is also well worth a look.
The Piazza della Signoria is another must-see. This expansive square features the medieval town hall of Palazzo Vecchio, which is crammed full of artworks. Nearby lies the Ponte Vecchio, which is the oldest bridge crossing the River Arno. Lined by shops, this is a real tourist favourite and, given its impressive and unusual appearance, it is not hard to see why.
If you’re travelling to Florence to immerse yourself in the city’s culture, then make sure the Galleria degli Uffizi is on your itinerary. This is arguably Italy’s best art gallery and it is based in what was originally built as the administrative centre of the governing dynasty. Among its works are Botticelli’s Primavera and Birth of Venus and Michelangelo’s Tondo Doni. Bear in mind that bookings are required.
Another impressive institution is La Specola, Florence University’s natural history museum. It is home to a collection of botanical and zoological specimens, including a series of wax anatomical models created between 1775 and 1791 as teaching aids for trainee medics.
As long as you plan your days carefully, you should find you’re able to see all of Florence’s top sights. However, if you’re in the city during the peak summer season, make sure you factor in the crowds as they can slow you down.