What to do when taking your time in Florence
A town such as Florence has so much to offer for those who choose to spend five or more nights here.
In that time, you can make sure you get to all corners of the city, from the bustling centre near the Duomo, to the quieter but absorbing Oltrano district south of the Arno River.
Where to Stay?
For those who wish to take their time in Florence, we recommend staying on the south side of the city. Here you will find more locals and out of the way restaurants, cafes and gardens while still being walking distance to the main attractions of the city.
Consider a Monastery Stay at Casa Santo Nome Di Gesu (TOF104) or CSD Istituto Gould (TOF127) for your longer stay in Florence. Both guest houses are in the Santo Spirito district, approximately 15 minutes on foot from the duomo.
What to do?
A previous Monastery Stays Blog post – ‘Florence Fast Tracked’ – covered the best things to see and do in your first few days in Florence. The following attractions are all well worth a look for those spending longer in the city.
- Perched on top of a hill, Piazzale Michelangelo offers breathtaking panoramic views of Florence. Visit this spot on a clear day for unrivalled views of the duomo and Tuscan hills. The square can be accessed by car, bus or on foot.
- Another grand palace of Florence, Palazzo Vecchio was originally the seat of the Florentine government. Today it is an impressive museum and gallery space. While here, be sure the visit the ‘Salone dei Cinquecento’ (Room of the 500), an enormous room with beautifully frescoed walls.
- Easily one of the most underrated sights in Florence, Palazzo Medici Riccardi is a brilliant attraction, only minutes on foot from the duomo. Courtyards containing magnificent statues and rooms with plenty of art and interactive exhibits await. The Magi Chapel and Galleria Room are masterpieces not to be missed.
- While the duomo is at the top of the list for most people visiting Florence, there are a number of other cathedrals around the city well worth a look. Santa Maria Novella sits on a pristine piazza and is adorned with Renaissance art. San Lorenzo contains the Medici Chapel, where many members of this famous Florentine family are buried. Visit Santa Croce to see the tombs of Michelangelo, Galileo and Machiavelli. Santo Sprito is a small church south of the river with magnificent artwork. San Miniato is perched high on a hill overlooking Florence – this is the sight of the very first church in the city.
- A multi-story building near Santa Maria Novella Station, the San Lorenzo Markets offer an array of fresh, local produce. Wind your way through the alleys downstairs for fresh fruit, meat and olive oil. Head upstairs and find a number of restaurants – steak, seafood, pasta, pizza – all cooked in front of you!