Must See Art and Architecture in Florence

Florence is one of Europe’s most artistic and historic cities. No visit there is complete without seeing some of the impressive paintings and buildings and taking a lot of photos. There might be too much to see though if you’re only in the city for a short time. But here are a few things that you simply have to find the time for.

Florence Cathedral

The Cathedral is at the top of almost every to-do list in Florence, and rightly so! Work first started on The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore - to give it its full name – in the 13th century with Filippo Brunelleschi's dome coming a little later, in 1436.

The dome is the largest brick dome ever constructed. Being built during the time of the Renaissance, the dome moved on from traditional Gothic architecture and went back to the classic Mediterranean style of dome.

You can climb up the 463 steps to the top of the dome and it is definitely worth the effort. From the top of the dome - Florence’s highest point – the views are simply stunning.

Ponte VecchioPonte Vecchio

This literally means ‘Old Bridge’ and that is basically what it is. But it is a very beautiful old bridge.

Built in the 14th century (yes, it is old), it was the first bridge built across the River Arno and has survived this day, even through WWII – the only bridge across the Arno that made it through the war.

Taddeo Gaddi is claimed to be the mastermind behind the bridge’s design, though nobody quite knows for sure. Whoever was responsible, they sure did one brilliant job!

Florence at a glanceUffizi Gallery

The Uffizi Gallery is not just one of the most important art museums in Italy, but in the whole world.

With work from Da Vinci, Michelangelo and Giotto, the art on show is not to be missed. Unlike some art museums which have just a couple of showcase pieces (think the Louvre…), the Uffizi Gallery is so special simply because every piece on show deserves its place there and is worth seeing. You could easily spend hours and hours exploring the museum - and you probably will…

Galleria dell'Accademia

This was the first school of drawing in Europe, although it is most famous for its sculptors, most notably for Michelangelo and his David sculpture. This is not the only tribute to the Biblical protagonist David in Florence, but it is certainly the most famous.

The sculpture of the nude David, made of white marble, is the museum’s main attraction, but there are other Michelangelo works on show too, such as a statue of Saint Matthew, Michelangelo’s Four Prisoners, and a Pietà (the name given to artwork depicting the Virgin Mary holding Jesus' dead body).

Furthermore, there are several Renaissance paintings from the 15th and 16th century worth taking a look at. It’s a lot quieter than the Uffizi Gallery so you’ll have more space and fewer queues to put up with.