Like other cities in Italy, Florence has public New Year’s Eve celebrations in its historic center. There are also private parties at clubs around the city, as well as special menus at restaurants, so can find just the activities that suit your style and budget.
In Florence’s Duomo Square, the layers of colorful stone on the Duomo itself usually draw the most attention. But on the baptistery that sits in front of the cathedral’s facade, there is a set of doors that Michelangelo himself thought so highly of that nicknamed them the “Gates of Paradise.” These doors, designed by Lorenzo Ghiberti, deserve more than a passing glance. Here’s why.
There are great reasons for visiting any city in Italy at Christmas, so if your travel plans put you in Florence over the holiday you’ll be pleased to know the Tuscan capital has plenty of Christmas festivities going on. Here are just a few reasons why Christmas in Florence will make your holiday particularly memorable.
Summer may be the most popular time to visit Florence, but the Tuscan capital can be an excellent winter getaway, too. If you don’t mind packing extra layers so you can bundle up against the cold, you’ll be rewarded with lower prices on things like airfare and hotels – plus a city that isn’t overrun by the usual tourist crowds. Here are some of the things you should do in Florence in the winter.
One of the city symbols of Florence is the famous statue of David, carved by Michelangelo in the early 1500s. Other works by the Renaissance master are on display in the Accademia, Bargello, and Uffizi – but there’s a lesser-known Michelangelo work somewhat hidden inside the cloister of the Basilica di San Lorenzo – the Laurentian Library.
One of the most popular excursions from Florence is to the walled city of Siena, roughly 46 miles to the south. It’s an easy trip to do on your own, since there isn’t a huge list of must-see sights in Siena you might be concerned about missing, and also since the transportation is pretty simple to figure out. And everyone who visits Siena falls in love with Siena, so it’s well worth your day.
Florence is well-known for world class museums like the Uffizi and Accademia, where you can see masterpieces by artists like Michelangelo, da Vinci, Botticelli, and Caravaggio, among many others. But not every attraction in Florence falls into normal sightseeing categories. In fact, Florence has its share of weird attractions – some of which you may want to include in your itinerary.
Florence is beautiful from nearly any angle, but in order to get a vantage point that will really “wow” you’ll need to get above the city. There are several places from which you can look down over Florence’s famous red roofs in order to get a spectacular view – and in some cases that view comes with a chance to have a drink or a meal.
Visitors to Florence inevitably walk many miles exploring the city. It’s largely a pedestrian-zone, and small enough to easily cover on foot. Seeing the sites you’ll go backwards and forwards so often during your stay that you may even find yourself wearying of seeing the same things again and again: ‘Is that Michelangelo’s David again! Boring!’ Not really, but you get my drift.
There’s plenty to do and see during a stay of a few days in Florence, but many travelers on tight schedules still have their hearts set on seeing the pictureqsque Cinque Terre villages on a day trip. Ideally, you’d have time to spend a few days in both Florence and the Cinque Terre, but if you only have a day for the Cinque Terre then you’ll be pleased to know that’s a do-able trip.