Culture Lover’s Guide to Florence
Many of the world’s greatest artists lived and worked in Florence during the Renaissance, making the UNESCO-listed city is a time capsule of creativity. You’ll find art and sculptures in museums, medieval palaces, churches, and piazzas. Here are some of Florence’s best cultural offerings.
Admire masterpieces at some of Europe’s best museums
As the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence boasts the world's greatest collection of Renaissance art. You could easily spend your entire vacation exploring museums but if you only have limited time, the Uffizi Gallery and Accademia Gallery—home of Michelangelo’s David statue—are must-sees. Smaller collections at the Bargello, Palatine Gallery, Orsanmichele, and Museo dell'Opera del Duomo are also well worth a look.
Step inside art-filled churches
Museums may get most of the attention, but you don’t need a ticket to see all of Florence’s artistic treasures. Churches across the city are free to the public, and many boast frescoes and altarpieces by Michelangelo, Donatello, and Titian. Santa Maria del Fiore (the Duomo) is deservedly the most famous basilica, but smaller churches such as Santa Maria Novella, the Medici Chapel, and Basilica di Santo Spirito also hold priceless gems.
Attend a Classical Music Concert
Small concerts held throughout Florence pay tribute to Renaissance maestros. Often held in medieval churches, these performances take advantage of centuries-old acoustics. Check the event listings at Santa Monaca Church or St. Mark’s Anglican Church, both popular venues.
Follow Medici footsteps at Regal Palazzos
The Medici family ruled Florence during its artistic peak, and the clan’s former palaces and offices showcase the ultimate in Renaissance luxury. Admire private art collections, jewels, costumes, and period furnishings at the Palazzo Vecchio and Palazzo Pitti, or enjoy some fresh air and royal landscaping on a stroll through the Boboli and Bardini Gardens.