Florence, the city of Renaissance, is definitely not to be missed on any tour in Italy. And yes, thousands of tourists from all corners of the world do visit Florence to see its famous landmarks. But every single Florence attraction is worth it. And the good news is that, many of those attractions are free. Here are the top 5 free things to do in Florence.
Enter the DuomoThe Duomo is the most famous landmark in Florence. This is the cathedral that can be seen from virtually anywhere in the city. Its huge red dome stands tall above all of the other buildings. It’s among the big three landmarks in Italy as well. The Duomo is certainly a must visit. Look at the frescoes from the 16th Century by Federico Zuccari and Giorgio Vasari depicting the Last Judgment. In order to get a closer look at them, and to get a stunning, 360 degree view of Florence, you’ll have to pay a small fee to climb to the top of the dome. You can take amazing pictures of the city through tiny windows as you climb the stairs. But if you don’t want to pay the fee, you’ll still love seeing the beautiful interior of the cathedral.
Walk Across Ponte VecchioDon’t miss the Ponte Vecchio. This was the first bridge in Florence, crossing the Arno River near the Uffizi to Pitti Palace. This is the only bridge that has survived from the medieval days. Stroll across the bridge and look at the shops selling silver and gold jewelry. Even if you choose not to open your wallet, you’ll still have a more than memorable experience in Florence.
Loggia dei LanziLoggia dei Lanzi is a small building at the corner of Piazza della Signoria, which has been the center of Florence’s social and political life for centuries. Loggia dei Lanzi today contains many famous sculptures and statues, and you’ll even see a copy of Michelangelo’s David on the very spot where it first stood. If you don’t want to wait in line or spend the money at the Galleria Accademia to see the real thing, this is a perfect substitute. The statues under the loggia are all original, beautifully-crafted showpieces that you don’t want to miss.
Farmacia Santa Maria NovellaYes, this is a pharmacy, but it’s among the oldest ones in the world. When you enter, you will feel like you are going into a museum–not a drugstore. Housed in a former chapel, this pharmacy is a piece of art, and inside you can create your own perfume sold in bottles designed by Leonardo da Vinci or pick up some amazing soaps, shampoos, and more.
Piazzale Michelangelo and San MiniatoPiazzale Michelangelo stands on the San Miniato hill. This square has become a tourist hotspot as it offers panoramic views of Florence. The view from its observation point can be seen in countless snapshots and postcards. This square has been dedicated to Michelangelo and bears his name. You can see copies of Michelangelo’s work here, including a bronze version of David. Head a little further up the hill to the Church of San Miniato, which offers perhaps an even more stunning view.