6 reasons to visit Florence, Italy
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
The Italian city of Florence is a picturesque spot that’s hailed as being the birthplace of the Renaissance. With an entire historic city center deemed a UNESCO World Heritage site — not to mention a metropolis filled with quaint and romantic hidden spots just waiting to be discovered — this Tuscan paradise is a prime travel destination.
Here are six reasons why you should plan a trip to one of our favorite cities in the world.
1. The river
Strolling along the river in many cities is a lovely experience, but the riverfront in Florence has an ethereal quality to it, setting the vibe for the entire city — you might say the Arno River breathes life into Florence. The bridges are gorgeous day or night, and somehow the sunlight never hits them in just the same way, so crossing at different hours always makes for unique photos.
The Ponte Vecchio is the most popular bridge, but the real fun lies along with the other, less touristy bridges. Be like the locals and bring a bottle of wine and some snacks after dark to sit on the Ponte alle Grazie with your friends and take in the scene or order an Aperol Spritz at the bar on the corner and enjoy the view. For a quieter walk, wander across the Ponte Santa Trinita or the Ponte alla Carraia.
2. The art, history and architecture
Florence is heaven for art and history buffs, thanks to the Uffizi Gallery, which hosts some of the most spectacular art from the Italian Renaissance. Michelangelo’s Statue of David (at the nearby Galleria dell’Accademia di Firenze) and the Duomo Cathedral, with its famous dome by Brunelleschi, are must-sees, but the whole city is truly a work of art so you don’t even have to set foot in a museum or gallery to soak up the glory.
Those who love charming details will fall in the love with the cobblestone streets, intricately designed fountains, statues on every corner and rickety thatched rooftops and the colorful shutters of local homes.
3. The shopping
While Florence isn’t the fashion-forward haven of Milan, look past the crowds see that the city is still filled with enough style to make even the most devout fashionista envious. The Italians stand out like sore thumbs among the tourist masses thanks to their deeply ingrained sense of style and reluctance to leave the house in activewear.
The city is home to every possible high-end designer shop that exists as well as museums dedicated to Gucci and Ferragamo. If you’re looking for more affordable boutiques, spots like Sofi and Floreiza offer stylish finds. The city is also home to high-quality and affordable leather products, so check out boutiques like Massimo’s Leather or the San Lorenzo Market for great finds — and bring your haggling skills with you.
Read more: How to have a budget vacation in Italy
4. The food
Tucked into the hills, Florence is in the middle of the Chianti wine region, meaning you can drink cheap and delicious varieties of wine all over the city, or take a day trip for wine tastings at local vineyards.
The food is incredible and aside from typical Italian fare like pizza, pasta and gelato, Tuscan regional favorites include wild-boar pasta, tripe and bilberry steak, a perfectly cooked filet mignon soaked in warm bilberry sauce (bilberries are almost identical to blueberries).
5. The Tuscan countryside
Visiting small villages in the rolling hills of Tuscany is a perfect day trip. Medieval towns like Lucca and Siena are within easy reach, as are larger cities like Pisa and Genoa — even Bologna is only about 90-minutes from Florence. If you don’t want to rent a car, there are several organized tours that can get you out of the city for a day or two or you can always hop on the trains, which are especially easy to use in Italy and a fun way to get some great views.
6. The festivals
While Florence is gorgeous all year long, the city offers wonderful festivals throughout a typical year that can be amazing cultural experiences. Some of the most popular are Carnevale in February, the Gelato Festival in April, the Pitti Immagine fashion fairs (various dates) and the Festa della Rificolona (paper lantern festival) in September. June is considered to be Florence’s golden month, with a number of patron saint days as well as music and dance festivals.
Florence has a lot to offer and being in Tuscany — the food and wine are incredible. So from shopping to gorging to beautiful vistas, what’s not to love?
Featured photo by Davide Seddio/Getty Images
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
- Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.