Florence trip planner
A guide to help you plan the perfect vacation in Florence, Italy, hometown of the Renaissance
So you say you want some Renaissance, eh? Well how about Michelangelo's David
Then we can move on to Giotto's frescoes in Santa Croce, or maybe Brunelleschi's massive, ingenious dome over the Duomo (cathedral).
And let's not forget the Uffizi Galleries, the world's mightiest congregation of Renaissance paintings, with highlights like Botticelli's Birth of Venus and Leonardo da Vinci's Annunciation.
Birthplace of the Renaissance
Florence was the cradle of the Renaissance. From the late 14th through late 16th centuries in Florence, an era of humanist thought, classical ideals initiated a creative boom that resounded throughout Europe, rang the death knell of the Middle Ages, and would eventually come to be called the Renaissance, a "rebirth" of culture, thought, art, and music.
It helped that the 15th century saw the ascendancy of a powerful ruling family called the Medici, who—in addition to being great savvy and even better politicians—also happened to be great lovers of art and patrons of literature, philosophy, and science.
Florence beyond the museums
However, Florence doesn't force you to stick to the Renaissance 24 hours a day—though it might sometimes fell that way as you make your way from one world-class art museum to the next, filling in the gaps with countless fresco-bedecked churches.
Florence is still Italy, and therefore a master at living la dolce vita. When you're art-sick and museum-weary, treat yourself to a Tuscan feast with copious quantities of Chianti wine from the hills around Florence. Or delve into the medieval heart of the city that gave birth to Dante and Boccaccio, two of Europe's great early poets.
Shop 'til you drop on high fashion and fine leather in the city that brought the world Gucci, Pucci, Ferragamo, and Beltrami. Pisa and its Leaning Tower and Tuscan hill towns like Siena and San Gimignano all lie within easy day trip distance. Or just relax in the Boboli Gardens and let the green hills and lazy sunshine inspire you to write your own poetry or paint your own Renaissance.
Spend at least two days here, three if you can swing it, a lifetime if you can.
Tips & links
Useful links & resources
Florence tourist information
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How long does Florence take?
Planning your day: Many people try to see Florence in a day—which is possible, but you'll be missing a lot. It takes at least two days just to cram in the highlights—Michelangelo's David, the masterpieces in the Uffizi, the Duomo, the Palazzo Vecchio, Santa Croce and the Pitti Palace. Three days would be best, if you can swing it.
Our "perfect itineraries" page has ways to squeeze in the most possible, whether you have one, two, or three days... » more
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