Unique Italian Experiences to Include on Your Florence Vacation
Updated: Apr 24
Are you toying with the idea of going on a glamorous Italian vacation? If so, one place you should not miss is the wonderful Florence. The great thing about Florence is that it offers a quintessentially Italian experience. From food to architecture, this city is Italian to the last brick. Add some incredible art and splendid views, and you get a dream vacation! In fact, Florence is so busy that it's easy to miss out on some fun stuff. Don't want to fall into this trap? Make sure your Florence vacation includes the following essential experiences! See Michelangelo's David As the most famous sculpture in the world, David is a must-see even if you're not an art person. You can find it in the Galleria dell'Accademia, along with four of Michelangelo's unfinished—yet still impressive—works. Michelangelo sculpted David out of a block of marble that other artists saw as unusable. Once he finished his work, the humble maestro said that David was "trapped" in the marble, and all he did was help him escape.
Try the Vernaccia Wine If there's one thing Italy's best known for, it's wine. One particularly popular example is Vernaccia, named after the grape it's produced from. This white wine has a distinctive flavor featuring honey, flower, and saffron. You can enjoy Vernaccia in any restaurant in Florence. If you're already there, though, why not pay a visit to Chianti? This wine region is only 20 miles away from Florence, which makes it ideal for a quick wine tour! the most famous place is San Giminiano town a characteristic city medieval towers, something that we suggest to see if you are in Florence.
Enjoy the Best View in the Town As mentioned above, Florence isn't short on great views. That said, the best place to snap a cool picture is Piazzale Michelangelo. Named after the famous sculptor, this square provides a perfect panorama of the city. You can enjoy the scenery at any time, but it's best to come in the evening. When the conditions are right, there's no better place to see a sunset. If you go a bit further up, you can also visit the basilica of San Miniato.
Ride a Vespa Vespas are as synonymous with Italy as pizza and gondolas. If you happen to be there, it would be a shame not to rent one for a bit. Fortunately, Florence happens to be a very walkable city—perfect for a morning Vespa trip! If you've never used a Vespa, think of it as riding a jet ski. These vehicles have a low center of gravity, so it doesn't take too long to get used to them. That said, you should still wear a helmet to stay safe.
Stroll Across Ponte Vecchio If you're on a Florence family vacation, it will be hard to miss Ponte Vecchio. This stone arch bridge was the only bridge in Florence that survived WWII. It's also noted for a bunch of shops built alongside it. The top of the bridge also contains a large part of the Vasari Corridor. The corridor was the idea of the Medici family, who wanted to connect their palace to the town's hall. It got its name from its architect, Giorgio Vasari.
Eat a Florentine Steak The bistecca alla fiorentina is the signature dish of Florence. The steak can be veal or from a heifer, a cow that hasn't birthed a calf. An authentic Florentine steak must come from the Chianina breed of cattle. A big part of the steak's flavor comes from the quality of the meat itself. Like a T-bone steak, it's grilled over hot coals with a bone-in. Salt, pepper, and extra virgin olive oil complete the synthesis of flavors.
See the Gates of Paradise The Gates of Paradise is a pair of bronze doors at the Baptistry of San Giovanni. The building itself is noteworthy as it dates back to the 11th century. These days, though, the doors are the main attraction. The name "Gates of Paradise" came from Michelangelo, who was very impressed when he saw them. Each wing contains five scenes from the Old Testament. Every panel features incredible depth and detail. But you have to know that the original is not in the square but inside of opera del Duomo Museum. Come with us to discover all the secrets about the Paradise Door .
Visit the Rose Garden If you're in the market for Florence vacation rentals, look for one close to the Rose Garden. This lovely park is right under Piazzale Michelangelo, and it features another breathtaking view. Plus, it's free to access all year round. The Rose Garden has many links to the city itself. When Florence became the capital of Italy in 1865, the city wanted to develop the left bank of the Arno river. The park was an important first step on this road.
Climb the Duomo Florence Cathedral, also known as the Duomo, is the city's signature building. It's located in the center of the city, and the work on it took almost 150 years. Once you see it, you'll realize that all that effort was worth it. The cathedral's crown jewel is its dome, created by Filippo Brunelleschi. As the largest dome of its time, its creation was a key Renaissance event. If you want to see it up close, the climb to the top takes about 45 minutes!
Sip Wine From Wine Doors When it comes to Florence Italy vacation ideas, very little beats the wine doors. In fact, they're likely the city's most peculiar feature. You'll find them on the walls of many nobles' palaces throughout the city. Wine doors date back to the 1500s. Back then, nobles used them to sell wine to customers without having to pay taxes on them. Many wine doors are still in use today, but some serve gelato instead of wine.
Plan a Florence Vacation Today! As you can see, going on a Florence vacation is one of the best things you can do in your free time. Not only do you get a perfect taste of Italian life, but you do it in one of the most beautiful places in the world! Want to make sure you don't miss out on anything during your visit? Book a tour of Florence with us—if you don't like it, you don't need to pay a dime! Learn more about our tours right here!