Want to know the beautiful and iconic spots you should visit when you study abroad in Florence? Let Connor walk you through his list of the 7 must-see places in this global, historic, and art-filled city. From museums to churches to great architectural structures, make sure to take note of these places!
1. Uffizi Gallery
The Annunciation by Leonardo da Vinci in the Uffizi Gallery.
The Uffizi Gallery is one of the most famous art galleries in the Western world, and it is located right in the heart of Florence. Usually, tourists have to reserve a ticket in advance to be able to get in to the museum. Luckily, as part of my Renaissance History class, I was able to tour the museum for free. The museum has artwork from Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Sandro Botticelli. It is a must see for all people who are in Florence.
2. Ponte Vecchio
A look at the Ponte Vecchio as the sun beams on it.
This bridge is one of Florence’s landmarks and was built in the 1500’s. With so much history behind the bridge, such as the secret passageway built for the Medici family, this bridge is one of the coolest places in the city.
It is now filled with jewelers all throughout the bridge. It has a beautiful view of the Arno River and is a great place for a picture as well.
3. Piazzale Michelangelo
This is my favorite square in Florence. The view from Piazzale Michelangelo overlooks the entire city and is a perfect place to go to at sunset. Besides the breathtaking view, the piazzale also includes a restaurant, gelato shop, coffee bar, and a replica of Michelangelo’s David.
4. Piazza San Spirito
The city center in Florence is filled with noise and tourists. If you are looking for a more relaxing and cultural experience, then Piazza San Spirito offers just that.
Piazza San Spirito is located right across the Arno. It is filled with restaurants, markets, and coffee shops. It is also occupied by mostly locals so you get a more authentic Italian experience.
5. Galleria dell’ Accademia
There are a variety of great art pieces in the Galleria dell’ Accademia besides the David. I encourage everyone to go there and check out some of the other amazing pieces as well. This includes the Tree of Life by Pacino di Buonaguida and the Coronation of the Virgin by Jacopo di Cione.
However, the David is probably the most famous sculpture in the world and was a masterpiece to be able to see in person. Everyone in Florence should see this piece of Renaissance art.
6. Santa Croce
A view of Santa Croce.
A mix between a church and a museum, Santa Croce is located right in the center of Florence. It is a massive church built in the 13th century that is filled with frescos and sculptures. It also includes the tombs of Michelangelo, Machiavelli, and Galileo.
The church also still hosts a Sunday Mass every week that is open to all people. I recently attended the service and it has been one of the highlights of my trip so far.
7. The Duomo
The beautiful Duomo from the outside.
The Duomo is something you cannot miss while walking through Florence. This Dome is one of the largest in the world. You can climb the narrow 463 steps to reach the highest point in central Florence where you are able to see the entirety of the city.
The Duomo also has a museum where you can discover more classical art work from renaissance artists. This includes Michelangelo, Donatello, and more.
Connor McGlone is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2018, sharing his story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Marketing and Supply Chain Management major at University of Pittsburgh, he is studying abroad in Florence this semester.
Connor's journey continues every Tuesday so stay tuned.