As the birthplace of the Renaissance, beautiful artwork and architecture are everywhere in Florence. Florence is the home of well-known pieces such as Michelangelo’s ‘David’, da Vinci’s ‘Annunciation’ and Botticelli’s ‘The Birth of Venus.’ But artwork aside, you’d need months to experience all the fine arts have to offer here.
1. Visit the Uffizi Gallery
Likely Florence’s most famous art museum; here’s where you’ll find the works of da Vinci, Botticelli, Michelangelo and more. Take a guided tour if you can as you’ll learn way more than what you’d read in art history books, tours last 2-3 hours.
2. Accadamia Gallery
The city’s second popular gallery and located near the Piaza San Marco, it’s not just the home of Michelangelo’s original ‘David,’ but houses many other masterpieces from Botticelli, del Sarto among others. Recently added, the Museum of Musical Instruments, also features original masterpieces by Stradivari.
3. Enjoy free opera
Several churches, such as St Mark’s English Church regularly hold free concerts and opera performances. The highly acclaimed St Mark’s Opera Company also hosts performances which come at a reasonable entry fee. It’s an inexpensive way to enjoy some heavenly music.
4. Visit Teatro Comunale
This enormous auditorium was partially destroyed twice, by an air raid in 1944 and by the famous flood of 1966. Today it’s the centrepiece of the popular Maggio Musicale festival and opera, orchestra and ballet performances regularly take to the stage.
5. Viva La Bohemia
Le Murate Caffè Letterario, which is set in a former prison, is where the literati meet, create and perform. It regularly hosts interviews with authors, independent film screenings, live music, talks and exhibitions. Check in advance to see what’s on or let yourself be surprised.
6. Jazz it up
From late June until September, free jazz concerts are held at Piazza della SS Aunninziata for free. You’ll hear everything from Miles Davis and Billie Holiday to eclectic Cuban and African inspired jazz. There’s plenty of outdoor seating, street food and a great atmosphere.
7. Go to church
Florence is packed with impressively grand churches that are works of architecture themselves, but The Basilica di Santa Croce in particular, houses some significant artworks including frescos by Giotto. The Basilica also houses the tombs of notable figures such as Galileo, Machiavelli, Michelangelo and others.
8. See a film
Built in 1462, Teatro Odeon is a beautifully restored theatre that’s hosted some world greats on its stage including Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald. Now an art nouveau cinema, screenings of independent films, Hollywood blockbusters and specialty film festivals are regularly on the programme.
9. Get folky
If you’re experiencing a bit of art fatigue, visit Six Bars Jail. A popular spot for, this cosy concert hall regularly showcases a variety of highly talented folk and jazz guitarists. It’s a great spot to enjoy an evening drink and some serious talent.
10. Circo-lo Teatro del Sale
This live entertainment/dinner theatre experience includes a 20 course tasting menu, unlimited Tuscan wine and plenty of song, music and merriment. Even if you can’t understand the chefs as they call out each course, the atmosphere is so much fun, you’ll never notice.