One of the most beautiful cities in Tuscany is Florence. It is famous for its excellent Renaissance architecture, historical palaces, impressive churches, and museums that house works of well-renowned artists of all time like Michelangelo, Botticelli, Da Vinci, and more. This romantic destination appeals to couples who want to spend some quality time away from their daily bustles. However, it’s also a wonderful destination for solo-travelers or groups of friends seeking a thrilling vacation. With loads to see and do, Florence will certainly fascinate you when you decide to visit. Before you go, know where to stay in the city and check out the best vacation rentals at your disposal. In case you want to go sightseeing around the city’s exquisites structures, read on and discover the most famous buildings in Florence.
1. Laurentian Medici Library
One of the most historic structures in Florence is the Laurentian Medici Library. It is home to over 11,000 manuscripts and over 4,000 printed books. This building was established in order to emphasize that the Medici banking and political family in Florence were merchants no more but were actually members of the intelligent society. Some items from the private library of the family are displayed in this Florence attraction. This magnificent structure was designed by the famous Michelangelo and boasts a Mannerism (or Late Renaissance) style.
Laurentian Medici Library
Address: Piazza San Lorenzo, 9, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Website: Laurentian Medici Library
2. The Baptistery of St. John
The Baptistery of St. John, commonly known as the Florence Baptistery, is a religious structure and holds the title of minor basilica. This building is octagonal and is located within the area of Piazza del Duomo and Piazza San Giovanni. Featuring a Florentine Romanesque style, this building is one of the oldest in the city, with its construction dating between 1059 and 1128. The intricate features of this Florence landmark include the bronze doors with relief sculptures and Donatello’s monument creation of the tomb of Antipope John XXIII.
The Baptistery of St. John
Address: Piazza San Giovanni, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Website: The Baptistery of St. John
3. Florence Cathedral
Cathedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, also known as Florence Cathedral, is one popular building in the city for its astonishing 19th-century Gothic revival façade, polychrome marble in shades of white, green, and pink, and a beautiful dome designed by Flippo Brunelleschi – a world-renowned artist. Together with two other buildings, the Baptistery and Giotto’s Campanile, they make up part of the region’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, located in the historic center, which is a well-loved tourist destination in Tuscany. This Florence architecture is also one of the largest churches in the world and its dome is also the largest in the world.
Address: Piazza del Duomo, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Website: Florence Cathedral
4. Santa Maria Novella
One of the oldest churches of the Dominican Order in Florence is the Basilica of Santa Maria Novela that dates back to the middle ages. This building was created using a mixture of architectural styles. This Florence building started with a Gothic style, and after 200 years, the façade was finished using the Renaissance architectural style, which you can see in its Romanesque columns, arches, and pediments. Another notable thing about the structure is it is home to the Holy Trinity, which is a masterpiece of Masaccio.
Santa Maria Novella
Address: Piazza di Santa Maria Novella, 18, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Website: Santa Maria Novella
5. Palazzo Pitti
Another famous structure in Florence is the grand Palazzo Pitti or the Pitti Palace. It is one of the biggest museums in Florence, which houses numerous different galleries, the lovely Boboli Gardens, and the astonishing and jaw-dropping gown of Eleanor di Toledo. Originally, the palace was made for a Florentine banker then later on bought by Toledo and has been in the Medici Family for centuries before being transformed into a museum. This palace is greatly influenced by the Renaissance style of architecture which you can see in its symmetrical elements.
Address: Piazza de’ Pitti, 1, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Website: Palazzo Pitti
6. Basilica of San Lorenzo
Untouched and preserved, the façade of the Basilica of San Lorenzo makes it the oldest structure in Florence. It is the parish church of the Medici, a wealthy family in Florence during the 1400s. One of its notable features is its symmetry and harmony which is an impressive example of the Renaissance architectural style. Apart from the Renaissance style, Michelangelo’s new sacristy, which is a part of the basilica, used an almost Mannerist style of architecture that was a notable style in the 1520s.
Basilica of San Lorenzo
Address: Piazza di San Lorenzo, 9, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Website: Basilica of San Lorenzo
7. Palazzo Vecchio
One of the most impressive town halls in Tuscany is the Palazzo Vecchio. It is a fortress-palace with a tall Gothic, Romanesque bell tower that conveys an image of strength and power of the Republic of Florence, which is much needed during the year 1299, for the republic is faced with political turmoil. The creation of the town hall is the first form of democracy, wherein the people voted for the creation of a palace to serve as a town hall. It is also evident in its façade, the shields and emblem of the notable and significant worker guilds which depicts diversity and the wealth of the place.
Address: Piazza della Signoria, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Website: Palazzo Vecchio
8. Ponte Vecchio
One of the most exquisite structures in Florence that you will see, which is not a museum or a church, is the Ponte Vecchio. It is a beautiful bridge, the oldest in Florence, and also the only bridge that remains intact even after the Nazi bombing during World War II. Another thing that separates it from the rest and makes it more unique is the colorful shops along the bridge that peaks out of the water.
Address: Ponte Vecchio, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
9. Uffizi Gallery
Overlooking the Ponte Vecchio and the Arno River, Uffizi Gallery is the most iconic and one of the most important museums in Florence. It offers numerous galleries that exhibit the works of the famous artist of all time like Michaelangelo, Raffaelo, Botticelli, and more. This Florence famous building was originally the administrative center of Medici and then it was turned into a museum that showcases excellent artworks from renowned artists.
Address: Piazzale degli Uffizi, 6, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Opening Hours: Tue-Sun: 8:15am–6:50pm
Website: Uffizi Gallery
10. Giotto's Campanile
If you’re an architecture enthusiast and are looking for a great example of the Florentine Gothic architectural style, then you have to see the Campanile di Giotto. It features marble in the hues of green, pink, and white. You also have to climb to the top of the structure to see marvelous vistas over Florence. This building was made between 1334 and 1359 and was a collective work of three artists; Giotto started it, followed by Pisano, and finished by Talenti.
Address: Piazza del Duomo, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun: 8:15am–6:50pm
Website: Giotto’s Campanile
11. Pazzi Chapel
Considered as a significant example and a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture, Pazzi Chapel, which is in the Basilica di Santa Croce in Florence, serves as the Cathedral Chapter House and a classroom dedicated for religious teachings. The chapel was built between 1442 and 1443 and has renaissance influence, which you can see in its beautiful dome and its little details.
Address: 50122 Florence, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy
Website: Pazzi Chapel
12. Hall of the Five-Hundred
One of the main attractions in Palazzo Vecchio is the Hall of the Five Hundred. This hall is considered as the largest room in Italy and has a size of 18m (59.05ft) high, 23m (75.46ft) wide, and 54m (177.16ft) long. This building in Florence is also made more popular by the mention of it in Dan Brown’s bestselling novel with the title of Inferno.
Hall of the Five-Hundred
Address: Piazza della Signoria, 2, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
A dreamy city
Florence is one dreamy city, in Tuscany, which features exquisite architecture with lots of Renaissance influence, beautiful and intricate domes, fascinating churches, and famous museums. In case you don’t know where to start your sightseeing tour of the city, make sure to check out our list of the famous buildings in Florence, before heading out.
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